Lavinia is introduced by the lake, doing a wiccan ritual to cure her mom of cancer and get herself out of this town, when a wandering hydrologist interrupts – it’s convenient that a hydrologist is on-site exactly when an alien color-force lands via meteor and gets into the locals via the well water. Lavinia’s cancerous mom is Joely Richardson (of a movie-royalty family, previously of Drowning by Numbers and the Ken Russell Lady Chatterley), her dad is Nic Cage (toned down from Mandy, and better), doing his damnedest to inform America that alpacas are the animal of the future (they are!).

Lavinia and little brother Jack-Jack:

Cage vs. The Color (Purple):

Soon the mutations begin. Mom reabsorbs Jack, stoner brother Benny and his buddy Tommy Chong see otherworldy visions, the alpacas fuse into a many-headed blob, and Cage takes care of business with a shotgun. I think Lavinia helps bring about the apocalypse! Stanley is beloved for some 1990’s cult films… good music by the composer from Hereditary… shot by a music video vet (Grinderman’s “Heathen Child”). The first major Lovecraft feature since Beyond Re-Animator and Dagon in the early 2000’s (RIP Stuart Gordon).

Hydrologist, Benny, Tommy:

Hi, mom:

aka Short Story, but I much prefer the above title. I even prefer the title to the movie itself, though the movie is pretty cool too. A two-minute loop of a four-minute scene, the first and second halves playing at the same time, with neat overlapping of color and audio. The scene was hard-subtitled (dialogue in Farsi), so even the subtitles overlap. Then the scene repeats, presumably about 10 times, though my downloaded copy broke after about six. I thought that was sufficient. The set looks like the Presents set, with that staginess and simple color washes.



Writing about my films has sometimes discussed the ‘narrative’ aspect or ‘reading’ of some of my ‘pictorial’ nature, which is much more important. Reflecting on this, I realized that I have never wanted to make a purely narrative film, never had and therefore perhaps I should. Perhaps I should finally make a film that really tells a story. Thus ‘SSHTOORRTY’. … The film of the … scene was cut exactly in half and the two halves of sound and picture as super-imposed. This makes a simultaneity of actions that occurred ‘linearly’. Before and After become a Transparent Now. Arrival and Departure are united. It’s truly ‘filmic’, one transparent film over another.