This year’s Montreal Underground Film Festival included Joseph Christiana’s Meat Cycle, a 12 minute film which screened on May 23rd and was part of the “Midnight Dread” programming alongside eight other films – a perfect inclusion for Christiana’s dark storyline.
The premise of Meat Cycle is that of a psychological narrative, in which the main character’s obsession of presumably human entrails are kept cherished in a wooden box, strung with wire and played with like puppets. The cycle the title refers to comes into play when the main character’s own body parts are extracted like the pieces of his puppets were.
What is intriguing is that of the two characters – the main character being the masked male and the supporting character being the masked female – it is the male that has the obsession with the meat puppets; whereas the female, although not frightened nor condoning his obsession, doesn’t quite have a crazed side to her, rather, she slaps the puppets out of the male’s hand and points to the door to get rid of them. There is a slight modern stereotype for the role of the female to be demanding and the male to be submissive, but in this way, there is an odd sympathy (albeit a morbid one) for the male character and his tragedy at the end.
Christiana’s style of filming and editing is well done in appropriating his color schemes of neon green and negative filters, sequencing, and lens masking to produce that horror-esque hallucination. The audio in the film also suits the atmosphere superbly – a cut and mixture of radio frequencies, static, distortion and laughter.
As a film screened in the Underground Film Festival, it is definitely a must-see for its originality and overall production quality, and definitely a must-see for horror/gore enthusiasts.