The couple who left early missed out on the better half of Saturday’s double bill at Sinema Old School: [e’Tzaintes] + A Wicked Tale. Both directed by Tzang Merwyn Tong, the screening also charts the evolution of a filmmaker from a director of no-budget campus tragic-comedies to a polished producer of saturated atrocities that screw with stereotypes and taint visions of virtue in red and white.
Misfits rule and resign themselves to fate in the cringing opener set in a nondescript campus ruled by a blind caretaker and his little boyz in black. The less said of this the better, unless you like your acting stilted, editing scrappy, blood catsupy and script a molehill of whingeing punchlines and distilled epiphanies that outstay their welcome the moment they burst out with the ferocity of a half-bitten bullet.
A wicked world of a difference awaits in Tong’s retelling of a grim fairytale set to balletic distortions of Mozart and Tchaikovsky. A girl too innocent to be true dons a virginal frock and crimson cardigan on a mission to grandmamma through woods where wolves in name and nom lurk for prey of pleasure. In this fable of entangled fates, there is little to distinguish between the stalker, the woodsman and their respective quarry, for a mere taste of forbidden flavours can unleash appetites of unhinged minds. Wet cotton and dry blood mingle with living tissue to raise hell on earth in a massacre of modest proportions.
Mother knows most and tells least in this amorality tale that plunges deep into the Freudian barrel to scrape up lupine fantasies in a bonbon and nurse the darkest fears of devils in disguise. Pure bodies are clearly no strangers to sharp affairs and blind to the guiles of hapless hunters caught with their pants down in the act of unhurried seduction. Guns meet roses over Grandmama’s smoking body as Little Red Riding Hood plays hard ball with the facts of Faeryville and issues a cold warning to would-be puppet-masters still lost in an age of untrammeled innocence.