Cinema Admits All

Only the Rocks (2003)

One heist. One diamond. Another world of deceit.
A gangster film with a difference, Only The Rocks is the story of a Mobster on the run following a doomed heist. He confronts the mob-boss he deems responsible, plunging him- and us- into another world of truth.
Mahler (2004)

It's after-hours in the Blue Dahlia restaurant. Chairs are on tables, the lights are way low and even the night owls have flown. The City sleeps.

Breaking the silence, an exhausted Seth Persetti staggers down the street, on the lam from the coppers after a safe-break goes south. Clutching onto a satchel of cash, he's a whirlwind of anger and confusion.

As the doors of the restaurant burst open, Seth makes a b-line for a green suited mobster. Flanked by a couple of goons, Gorgon is Red-flag. Gorgon is Mafia. Gorgon is danger personified.

As the mob-boss plays solitaire, Seth will lay his own cards on the table: He suspects a stitch-up, with this crook Gorgon caught holding the needle. The beautiful Frances, his dame and ride home from the heist, is missing in action.

Tempers flare. Accusations fly. Seth high-tails it onto the street. But this is not the end of it. Not by a long shot.

As Seth departs, a quick glance reveals a horrifying sight- there is something very wrong with Gorgon, something strange enough to chill the blood.

Try to keep up with a twisting plot in an enigmatic short film that takes a bizarre turn from gangster movie into Sci-fi action flick. If you want to figure the story, you better listen up. Once people die, there's no more explaining.


Daniel Chapman
Daniel Chapman
Sunday July 27th 2003 (UK)
  • Gangster
  • Crime
  • Science Fiction

Cast (in credits order)

    • Alan Renwick
    • Alan Renwick
    • Seth Persetti
    • David Smith
    • David Smith
    • Gorgon
    • Nina Eames
    • Nina Eames
    • Frances

Additional Details

12 mins
Aspect Ratio:
16:9 Letterbox
Sound Mix:


    • Paul Roberts
    • Producer
    • Director of Photography
    • Special Effects
    • Jon McDermott
    • Camera Operator
    • Josh Kapusinski
    • Production Sound
    • Ian Hall
    • Stills Photography
    • Daniel Chapman
    • Editor
    • Special Effects
    • Mike Hadfield
    • Special Effects


  • Filmed just before 'Fake Shemps' (but edited after it), the schedule was just as punishing. Restaurant filming took place over two subsequent nights 12am-4am, the toilet scene from 7am-10am, and the alley scene between 7pm-10pm (less than 14 hours).
  • As the budget was exhausted during filming, there was no money for post-production. The special effects were created using a program that came free with a computer magazine, a cheap and simple piece of 2-D software called 'Particle Illusion'.
  • The effects were made extremely quickly, as they were 'test runs'. Subsequent attempts to improve them were considered less effective, looking too elaborate. Following lots of further work, we ended up using the 'first time lucky' versions. We considered updating these effects much later, but decided to avoid a 'George Lucas' and retain the charmingly lo-fi versions.
  • Spoiler Warning: Click here to read
    The practical effects were also intended to be more elaborate. For instance, Gorgon was to have a forked tongue and fangs, which worked about as badly as you'd expect.
Spiderhouse Productions Ltd
Mike J Hadfield
Look and code by Volicol