Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Voodoun Blues (2004)

Voodoun Blues – a short film
Directed by Misty Mundae
Starring Katie Bardeux, Misty Mundae

This should be subtitled Misty Mundae Goes to Film School, ‘cuz that’s what it is – a 6 minute, black and white, 16MM experimental short from the underground sleaze-cinema’s once-reigning scream queen. Who else but Misty Mundae would get a whole fuckin’ DVD release for her student film? What other snuff fetish model cum superhero fetish model would be afforded such an indulgence? Who else but Spider Babe could get a sap like, well, you to actually buy it? Nobody, baby, which is why if anybody is gonna make a movie about voodoo, it ought to be Misty, because she obviously knows how to use it.

As far as Voodoun Blues itself goes, it looks EXACTLY like a young hipster’s first film. It’s got quirky stop-motion animation of a topless chick freaking out while sitting at a vanity, surrounded by voodoo-ey knick-knacks like dolls made of string and candles. It’s got a mysterious woman-in-black that cuts open the crazy girl’s hand, and it’s got Misty herself, writhing around in bed, dreaming up all this madness. Then she wakes up in a cold sweat, only to find…her hand is bleeding! Yikes! Voodoo!

The scratchy 16mm stock and the creepy goth-blooze soundtrack definitely add to the druggy, off-kilter feel of the film. The fetish-y camera gaze brings to mind Richard Kern, and the staccato weird-girl animation is pure Kenneth Anger. Misty might make sleazy junk for a living, but it’s apparent from this short that she aspires to create some kind of greasy outlaw art. Just don’t let her try and explain that to you, or it’ll completely fuck up the art-girl scheme.

The truly awesome part of this DVD-EP, you see, is Misty’s meandering explanation about Voodoun Blues, which essentially boils down to some old broad giving her the hairy eyeball in the jewelry aisle at Target. But holy crow, does she take forever to tell the story. It’s amazing, this interview, and if I had the time, I would transcribe the whole friggin’ thing for you, cuz it’s about 6 hours’ worth (Ok, 5 minutes, but it feels longer) of, “She was all fucked up like, Hepatitis-having, ready to die, eyes all like, bloody and fuckin’ nasty and caked with eye liner, and I was like, whoa!”

Classic. Anybody that’s ever endured the ‘wit and candor’ of an artschool chick cuz they heard she was easy will have fond flashbacks when they land on this. Oh, and the interview’s punchline, when Misty talks about the film’s premiere at school, is pretty great, too : “I thought they were all going to hate it, but they liked it. Turns out, they were all really easy to please.”

More bonus bits: Misty’s cohorts show off their arty stuff, too, with a couple of equally experimental (and short) films. Cameraman Joe Miller’s “Sour Milk” is an inspired bit of Zedd-style punk nihilism, and her co-star Katie Bordeux shoots for shock and awe with the bloody “Night of the Whorror Hoppers”. Oh,and there's  lots of shots of Misty smoking while operating her camera, too. I still hate art, but this was kinda fun.

- Ken

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