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Indie Memphis Review: Make Out With Violence

October 12, 2008

UPDATE – Makeout with Violence playing at Oxford Film Festival and then SXSW!

I tried to describe this movie to a friend calling it a coming of age zombie film, but that doesn’t quite get at the full story. It is a rare delight when you can’t find an easy description for a film because of its complexity.

Make Out With Violence is the first feature length film from the “Deagol Brothers” who made the short, Robot Movie.

We are first introduced to the character’s by a creepy voice over from a child, a perspective that I found interesting. The Darling’s, twin brothers, along with their younger brother, are introduced as they prepare for the funeral after the loss of their friend. Having gone missing, the town has a service despite not finding the body. Afterwards, as two of the brothers wander a field looking for cicadas, they come across something unexpected.

The cicadas in the background of this film kept tugging at my memory until I remembered (with a little help from google) that the cicada has an interesting literary history that connected to this story. In the Tale of Genji, the main character likens his love interest to a cicada for the way she sheds her scarf is like the way a cicada sheds its shell. In Journey to the West, Priest of Tang was named the Golden Cicada symbolizing the many stages of transformations required of a person before illusion is broken and enlightenment occurs.

And really this movie ties into both stories as a romance and in the way the story slowly sheds its shell leading us to the enlightenment of its characters and as to what happened to their friend Wendy. The youngest darling is the observer to his twin brothers exploration of who they are, what they love, and what they are willing to do for friends and for each other. For him to be the storyteller gives the movie a somewhat creepy effect and yet allows us to be guided along safely by the innocent bystander.

Something I took away from the film, but I worry that I misinterpreted it, was that Wendy comes back, in whatever half-life form, to expose her killer and however subtly this ends up happening as the story develops. I saw it as a quiet but effective part of the plot.

I don’t want to give much away here because the movie is like a gift wrapped present that shouldn’t be unwrapped too slowly. See it if you like zombie films because they’ve done something unique with the genre, but also see it because it’s not really a zombie film at all. It’s a story about love, growing up, self-discovery during a shedding of the summer of youth.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 23, 2011 11:06 pm

    I was really confused, and this ansewred all my questions.

  2. David permalink
    February 8, 2009 9:06 pm

    I was disappointed in this film in a lot of ways. I think it left too many holes unfilled.

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  1. SXSW Trailer/Review: Make-Out with Violence « Oxford Film Freak’s Reviews and News

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