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Dial 'M' for Killing

by Crab Crab Crab


Got given the choice of musical or splatter, and of course went for both! I dig it! Essentially a tail of bloodlust, as the requirement to be satiated by higher levels of claret spiraled out of control.

Driven by a chorus who sung and narrated from the side with many a pun and 4th wall break, our lead actress started her day badly when flies buzzed just a bit too much near her bed, but through the development of a nervous tick soon a handful of bugs don't cut it. Fish, birds, cats and old bats are all fair game when you dial M for Murder.

Honestly, utterly bizarre in tone but highly enjoyable. It had moments that reminded me of John Waters' early cruel dark humour mashed with Russ Meyer (the chorus in UP!). The songs were well sung though a teeny bit unclear in terms of lyrics. Lighting was fantastic where it was used also.

I think the story itself was just a bit singular in tone. It was highly enjoyable and whilst the lady became meaner and meaner, it was still sickly comic in how this was portrayed. By singular in tone I mean that as a story we never really had a dramatic question asked to drive the film, it just was escalated bloodlust from woah to go in my opinion. But I enjoyed it!

Story: 2/5
Technical: 3.5/5
Elements: 3/5
Overall: 3/5

When Crab Crab Crab go weird, they go weird hard, marrying bizarre practical effects with unique approaches to form, and this year's musical is no different. Except for being inherently different, because it's Crab Crab Crab.

This year the Crabs have created a film built up of vignettes that feel almost like silent-film episodes or an experimental stage show, with circular mattes following the action wherever it goes. As its protagonist escalates from killing an annoying fly to larger animals and beyond, her journey (all within her house, mind) is narrated, via song, by a Greek (and actual) chorus delivering some pretty great tunes. The music is ambitious and fun, and my fingers are crossed that the finals audience, should they see this film, sings along with the gloriously misanthropic final number.

The two downsides are the slightly muffled vocal recording, which renders the (probably great) lyrics difficult to hear, and the story. While the escalation from fly-swatting to matricide is entertaining to watch, it's basically a linear series of vignettes. There are no narrative gear shifts, no surprises other than the means to the end, and while the return of the fly is a nice button to end on, it signals a total lack of change across the story. Maybe that's the point - the human race just kills and kills and kills again - but as a short-film story it's wanting.

Still, one of the better musicals in Christchurch this year, and I wouldn't be surprised to see it on the big screen again. I'll just have to restrain my eyes from rolling out of their sockets at the (intentionally) CSI: Miami-grade groaners delivered by one member of the chorus, who knows who they are and what they did.

Loved it as always... A bunch of fun and totally weird. The songs, lyrics are damn catchy and I have multiple images from this bruned into my memory. My favorite is drinking from the bird.
Bloody well done *excuse the pun.

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