It doesn’t take a tinfoil hat-wearing conspiracy nut screaming at you to know surfing next to a nuclear power plant is…well, it doesn’t feel normal, let’s just say that. The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) literally releases nuclear effluent into the ocean. Meanwhile, people also surf there. A lot.
If that sounds like fertile land (pun intended) for some surfy sci-fi cautionary tale, it is. Enter Stoke Wars, a project filmmaker Evan Adamson created to highlight issues like surfing’s intersection with single-use plastics, toxic sunscreen, littering, unsanctioned dumping of chemicals (*cough), and sustainable agricultural practices. And it’s been done in the trippiest throwback B-film style possible.
“I’ve also always been influenced by Mike Black and his cult classic films like Invasion From Planet C and Jazz the Glass,” Adamson told The Inertia. “The full commitment to do something so absurd, funny, and different has always inspired me.”
Adamson lists some other influences you can definitely see hints of in the film: South Park, eighties campy films, Stranger Things, Kubrick, Wes Anderson, Tim & Eric, Thomas Campbell, Bruce Brown Films.
So, what if there really is something in the water at SanO?