Escape From City 17: Part Two

Lambda Lambda
Another Valve-inspired short film to enjoy this morning. Many years ago, John showed off part one of the Purchase Brothers guerrilla-style Half-Life homage, and now they’ve only gone and released part two. It uses the same blend of live action and game footage to fine effect. They spent $250 making this. To put that into context, Michael Bay spent 742 billion dollars on each of the Transformers films. This contains marginally less robots hitting one another but otherwise it’s far superior. Remember to watch in HD.


  1. elnalter says:

    ive waited forever!

  2. roryok says:

    Been looking forward to this so long.

    Really quiet around here since Steve Jobs resigned.

    • bear912 says:

      It is a sign. Soon, Black Mesa will be finished. Next, Half-Life 3. I’m calling it.

  3. StranaMente says:

    Quick, somebody throw a bunch of money at them.

  4. TooNu says:

    This was truly great. Holywood, why are you paying a hack billions to make terrible movies when these people make awesome for $250 ??

    • Evil Otto says:

      well… in hollywood you can’t let your friends be the actors for free… you can’t ask you aunt to do the catering… you can’t use images from google to make a destroyed city etc etc. At least, I presume that’s how they did it on such a low budget.

    • mrbungle says:

      I think it’s because they make billions in return

    • karry says:

      Thats because these guys didnt actually pay anyone. They probably spent all the money on props, the work was free. I’d estimate the CG alone would cost about 20k up, depending.

    • Big Murray says:

      I’m not sure what the budget has to do with it … it’s not news that people with no budget can make brilliant movies, with or without special effects.

      I’m not sure why they’re coming in for so much praise along the lines of “See, Hollywood is wasting money when these guys can do it for $250!” Sure, they got impressive special effects for the budget … but the story and the acting, which is more important unless your name is Michael Bay, was seriously lacking. And you don’t need any budget to write a good story.

  5. diebroken says:

    If only the camera didn’t shake so much…

    • abigbat says:

      easiest way to cover up low budget effect work – those models would look horrific with a straight camera shot. fortunately it’s very effective (the film looks great).

    • torchedEARTH says:

      Also guns don’t have recoil in the future – just camera angles.

      Ok. It’s excellent, let me just say that much because *yet again* the actors don’t look like the sort of people who could survive in that wasteland.

      I would suggest they look a lot more tired and ragged.

      But again, it is excellent.

  6. Gabe McGrath says:

    That’s really marvellous.

    Well done to all involved.

  7. freespace303 says:


  8. Pointy says:

    Excellent work.

    Oh… but…

    Where are you HL2ep3/HL3?


  9. LuNatic says:

    I was caught up in the whole drama of the *spoiler scene* until they did a close up on the combine and I almost burst out laughing at how comical those masks are.

    • LoopyDood says:

      They’re not masks. It looks like they’re using the actual in-game models for the heads. I will admit that it was a bit jarring up close, but from afar the effect was perfect.

  10. ABearWithAGun says:

    stop sucking these guys off just because the first part was so good. this was a horribly acted, boring, and inconsistent massive step down from the original.

    • Undermind_Mike says:

      I can understand both criticism and praise for these but the first one was great and this one sucked? Really?

    • Joe Duck says:

      @Undermined_Mike: Don’t feed the trolls man, they are always hungry. :-)

    • Jikid says:

      @Joe Duck: Yes, no need to fumble the trolls, but somebody also has to say that this wasn’t actually that good a movie. :) Visuals and acting were acceptable only for a fan-made movie, but the story for the most part wasn’t even for that. And I don’t even remember the first one (despite remembering seeing it)

  11. Joe Duck says:

    Excellent! I like it a lot.

  12. Confusatron says:

    The films OK.

    But I think it’s a tad ironic that you’re making fun of Hollywood blockbusters in this context when this film is clearly trying to mimic pretty much all of them…

  13. DeathHamsterDude says:

    Pretty good. Some pieces were a little . . . iffy. And it wasn’t the effects, which were unbelievable for 250 dollars, or the acting, which, while not brilliant, was defintely better than a lot of other fan-films. It was more about the script in my opinion. It was good in parts, but you’d think with so little budget, and a script essentially being FREE, that they’d have put in a lot more work into it. Admittedly they did make this for a special effects demo reel, but still.

    Also, did anyone else notice G-man at around four minutes in? When the helicopter goes by some ruins.

  14. boywithumbrella says:

    You can’t really say that the budget of this short is $250. Because that definitely does not cover the equipment used, time spent shooting, wages of the actors, scenery, software, CGI and rendering etc.
    It cost them $250, if everything was preowned and done voluntarily without payment. However, if you count all those things out of any given blockbuster (advertisement/publishing costs as well, seeing as this movie was neither advertised nor published on the movie industry scale), then its budget would be diminished by a factor of thousands.

    It’s still a great short, but there’s absolutely no point in comparing the budget of a hobby-type indie film with a Hollywood blockbuster.
    Everything would de much cheaper if we didn’t have to pay for labour and tools.

  15. Cooper says:

    Guns! Combine! Dimensional rift! SNOGGING!

  16. Doth Messar says:

    I thought everything except for the script was great. The emotions were erratic, no scenes really had anything to do with one another. It was just a bunch of HL2 scenarios thrown together — with a romance. But don’t get me wrong, it was pretty cool. Just…write a script next time.

  17. Novack says:

    Hey, very cool!

  18. Fumarole says:

    That was great. It’s nice to see barnacles get a little bit of love.

  19. wonderpookie says:

    Haha, excellent timing! I just NOW, THIS VERY SECOND finished my 4 day marathon play through of HL2 inc. both episodes. Easily one of the best games I’ve played this year, this despite it being almost 7 years old now and of course, having played it before! Just a quality game.

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  21. celewign says:

    You dont really think about them in the game, but headcrabs (the idea of them and how they work) are REALLY disturbing. Like nightmare disturbing. This movie captured that really well.

  22. Aldehyde says:

    I was not so impressed. The script was boring compared to the first part, they tried to mix in a love story which felt even more terrible than the ones that usually exist in action movies. Reason being that there isn’t enough time for both action and love in one movie, much less 15 minutes.

    On top of that, the acting was quite bad (expected, of course) and not a whole lot made much sense. I’d rather have them just concentrate on the story of the first part and the two guys who came in later in this one.

    The pacing of this just felt really odd. It was not better than a Transformer movie. Relative to the budget? Yeah. But not by any other measure.

  23. Turbinator says:

    Mwahahahaha, good luck waiting for Part 3.

  24. Big Murray says:

    I know that they’re exceptionally talented, but seriously … writing is not one of their talents. It’s a shame that after they wowed everyone with the first part, they didn’t team up with some experienced writers to collaborate on the second.

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  26. elnalter says:

    better than bayformers