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Short Film: Death Row Diet

Just because you’ve been sentenced to death doesn’t mean you can’t look good doing it. Animator Mike Salva made the very funny embedded short film Death Row Diet with Jonathan Katz as the inmate looking to pick up a Weight Watchers endorsement contract while waiting to be put to death, and Tom Leopold as the lawyer helping him achieve his goals.

Katz is, of course, the same Jonathan Katz of the late, lamented Comedy Central “squigglevision” animated series Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist. Although Death Row Diet isn’t squiggly, the audio director and editor is Tom Snyder, co-creator of Dr. Katz. Tom Leopold is a long-time comedy actor and writer, having written several episodes of Seinfeld and Cheers, amongst writing and acting in a ton of other things.

This all gives Death Row Diet a slightly higher profile than many other animated shorts that I post to the Underground Film Journal. But this came to my attention when it recently screened at the little acknowledged Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival. Hey, why go see a totally hilarious three-minute animated short when you can go get stabbed in the eye waiting to see director Paul W.S. Anderson from a thousand feet away?

Salva also has a bit of an underground pedigree as it were with previous films Back to Life screening at the 2009 Spooky Movie Film Festival and Max the Hero screening at the 2009 Atlanta Underground Film Festival. You can watch all these shorts at the official website of Salva’s production company, Project Meatball.