Rated: Not Rated

        Just the thought of ever having a rare disease scares me. Think about it: the term alone, at face value means that whatever the affliction is is so new it barely has a name, never mind a cure. Of course that means that there’s not yet a true understanding of the symptoms; or if they’re life threatening; or if they’ll progressively get worse as time marches on. Not to mention that whatever this illness is may be so new that doctors misdiagnose it.
        Odd as it may seem, this nightmare scenario is the basis behind the comedic short film
Gunderson’s. In the film Max is a recently hired junior high health teacher. As a stipulation of his employment he must pass a health exam.  The trouble is, he has a rare venereal disease with only one symptom.
        This 14 minute film caught me off guard. Yes, I read the summary beforehand, but I didn’t quite catch the “comedy” genre listing. Missing this detail made the opening scene all the more entertaining once it was clear what was happening. The film opens with Max on the exam table in a doctor’s office with only his boxers and a t-shirt on, when the doctor comes in and gives him the bad news.
 I’m not going to give away any more details, other than the rest of the film is about how he copes  with the awkward medical knowledge delivered to him.
        Max Azulay, who plays the main character, doesn’t have many credits to his name thus far, but (in this role at least) he seems to be a natural. His reactions to the news the doctor gives him, the kids in the classroom, and the principal of the school all seemed like they were improvised instead of scripted.  And the looks on the students’ faces as he says the things he says to them are priceless.
        But Azulay’s hand in the film didn’t stop at acting. He also co-wrote it, along with writer/director Matt Porter. The two have worked on three other films, including 2 other shorts and a feature. I have yet to see any of the duo’s other films, but if
Gunderson’s is any indication I’m sure they’re each fast-paced, witty and humorous.
Gunderson’s is a film that takes a serious subject-STDs-and turns it on its comedic head.  It will leave you chuckling, as you quickly and discretely search Google to make sure there’s no such thing, which is proof of the caliber of writing contained therein. Plus, it’s a film that’s short enough to watch on your coffee break at work, leaving you no excuse to miss it.
Gunderson’s is not rated, was cowritten by Max Azulay and Matt Porter and stars Max Azulay and Timothy J. Cox. More information about Max, Matt, Tim and Dial Tone Pictures can be found here:
  • Gunderson's on IMDB
  • Matt Porter on IMDB