Midnight Mania: Freaky

Midnight Mania: Freaky
For those interested in seeing toothed vaginas, exploding boobs, excess vomiting, denigrated flowers and heads being cracked in half with a shovel, there is Freaky, a Midnight Mania program of bizarre and aberrant shorts. Certainly a more juvenile collection of short films, it proves to be a surprisingly dull program for the most part, with very few highlights.

The segment starts on a high note with I Love Sarah Jane, a 13-minute Aussie-American co-production about a dystopian world filled with zombie infection and children left to their own accord. It’s a peculiar mix of cultural criticism — with kids chaining up zombies and torturing them — and youthful lust. The effects are solid and the acting is impressive from the young cast; it would be interesting to see what a feature-length version of this film would look like.

Bringing some comedy to the collection is The Flower, an animated short about a cheerful daisy that suffers rape and water sports. Hopefully, the light-hearted nature of this entry will keep audiences placated enough to stomach The Rambler, an American ode to ’70s drive-in theatre raunch. It’s a desperate plea for hipster acceptance with the Quentin and Eli crowd, featuring grainy film stock, excess colour filters and a three-to-four-minute vomit sequence.

Taking less time than the aforementioned upchuck is a two-minute Canadian short about the unlikely romantic pairing of a squirrel and a spider called The Squirrel Next Door. This is followed by another American short about a young girl trapped in a disturbing fantasy world after losing her mother in a truck accident titled Katie’s Journey. Relatively bland and forgettable, it’s inoffensive and perhaps one of the more competently assembled entries in this program.

Having the unique distinction of being banned in Mexico is Pretty Little Thing, a crude, misogynist short made under the guise of female empowerment. This should please those who like the idea of watching a schoolgirl shove a pencil up her cooter after drinking tainted mythological cola.

Following this is a slightly more tepid entry called Centigrade, which stars its own writer/director. Get ready for long, focused close-ups of actorly wonder and child abusy goodness. The heat from this short continues with Melty Kitty, a highly amusing and tragic look at a suicidal kitty cat.

Rounding out the program is Kingz, a German sci-fi short about gangbanging thugs with some kung-fu licks and tentacled body snatchers. Like all things beautiful, it is somewhat hollow.