In one of my previous reviews I called Toad Road the best of the fest, meet its rival: the ever bloody, ever hormonal, and ever so fucked up: Excision! (Directed by: Richard Bates Jr.)

Just to set the mood, right before the start of the film, the director and his colleagues gave the audience members necklaces made with bloody tampons (fake blood of course). I considered leaving the theatre for fear of how troubling the film would be but I’m really glad I didn’t.

Pauline’s kinda sorta (a helluva lot) different. She doesn’t fit in, doesn’t seem to take care of her personal hygiene very much and has a really bitchy mother played by none other than Tracy Lords. Pauline has a thing for blood, a dream of becoming a surgeon, hormones, and a sick sister.

ExcisionThis first feature by Richard Bates Jr. is based on the very similar and darker short film of the same name. It is a stylistically stunning piece with it’s disturbingly engrossing fantasy sequences and a stark dark realistic film in its portrayal of the life of a high school outcast with shitty family dynamics. John Waters as the priest, whom Pauline is brought to instead of an actual psychiatrist, is, as always, quirky and strange with little effort. Annalyne McCord’s performance as Pauline is fucking breathtaking. I literally couldn’t move by the last scene of the film and needed half an hour to come down from that freaky high.


I’m a sucker for a quirky coming of age story and Turn Me On Goddamit! (Directed by: Jannicke Systad Jacobsen) is a good one at that. Set in a small Norway town (Skoddeheimen) where young girls dream of escape, giving the finger to the town sign every time they re-enter its limits, Turn Me On Goddamit! is about a young girl named Alma who is really horny. At the town recreational center, Alma has an interesting encounter with her longtime crush, Artur, and is faced with social ridicule when she recounts it to her lipgloss obsessed friend. For, you see, Artur poked her with his dick. Thus, Alma becomes “Pik (Dick) Alma” and things only gets worse when her mother becomes increasingly aware of Alma’s hormonal needs, in the shape of a very high sex telephone bill.


What drew me to the film initially was the idea that this would be a film depicting a teenage girl’s sexual desires and I was intrigued to see how this would be done without being some sort of weird male sexual fantasy. I was quickly reassured within minutes of the opening scene that indeed this film would have depth and that the sexual desires of Alma were not simply there for male fantasy but rather a realistic portrayal of what a young woman can go through growing up in a world where female sexual desire is unfairly meant to be kept under the sheets.


The young actress who plays Alma delivers a compelling performance especially in the scenes where Alma and her mother are faced with the discomfort of Alma’s sexual appetite. One of my favourite parts to this film was the small asides focusing on Alma’s best-friend Saralou who wants to differentiate herself from all things small-town. As well, the turnip plant imagery in the film is intriguing and even more so when the two drunk girls, Alma and Saralou, throw turnips and yell “fuck society”. That’s the spirit girls!


I went to see Warped Forest (by Shunichiro Miki) because a fellow reviewer suggested the film and hyped the shit out of it. Normally, this sort of film is off my radar. Even in my open-minded box-breaking film tastes, I am unfortunately still conservative in some regards. Films that approach the absurd or surrealism just don’t get me going and leave me puzzled. Warped forest is one of these films. Given the aforementioned, I shall try to review the film anyhow.

Nine characters, some of which are actually different in scale and proportion, intermingle and live their lives in a bizarre setting that looks like something that came out of an intense drug induced vision: Pornographic fruits, nipple twisting creatures, super cum guns, obsessions with gaoza, and weird inverted floating pyramids. This isn’t surprising since most characters in the film are under the influence of one drug or another at almost all times in the film. Three teenagers, three sisters, and three best buds get tangled up in webs of dealing with wanting more: love, money, and happiness. Dreams and escapism are themes throughout.


Overall, the imagery was extremely interesting and the coveted fruit bearing trees are most probably the most interesting aspect of this twisted forest although they are not nearly explored enough. The scene where the three buds try to dream tinker without having to pay any pocos (the currency in the film, which consists of nuts stored in ones bellybutton) is very silly and quite memorable. The standout performance is that of the youngest sister, who is on a strange quest in the wild, wielding the cum gun and constantly thinking about gaoza (dumplings).

In the end, the film left me with two things: an aversion to avocados and a dire need to eat some dumplings.