While earning numerous comparisons to Twin Peaks and Heathers, this equally creepy and charming soap opera set in a suburban high school is an oddball delight in its own right—complete with jocks, cheerleaders, misfits, wayward moms, corpses, clowns, and of course an ’80s soundtrack.
When Carolyn goes missing, no one in her class seems especially distraught; after all, they weren’t very close to her. But her mother—clearly a little loopy to begin with—certainly is, and it shows in her choice to wear her daughter’s dresses over her own clothes while tearfully leading the school choir through haunting renditions of the Go-Gos’ “Our Lips Our Sealed” and Modern English’s “I Melt With You.” Her despair gradually touches all the students in their own way—from Charlotte and her goth squad to good-girl-with-a-secret Laurel to Joanna, who wears her intellectual feminism on her sleeve (or rather on her chest, in hand-ironed lettering: Sarah Lawrence, Bryn Mawr, Yoko Ono). And judging by their own parents, it’s increasingly clear to these kids that facing life’s cruelties and absurdities won’t get any easier with age.
Writer/director Jennifer Reeder’s eye for surreal detail—talking T-shirts, aluminum-foil pillows, blood that glows—and ear for funny, surprisingly poignant dialogue (“Is it even Dad’s fake baby?!”) make for a musical-slash-mystery with cult-classic potential.
Sponsored by William LaBahn, Out Front, Ratio Beerworks, Mike’s Camera, Colorado Office of Film, Television & Media
Producer: Brian Hieggelke, Jan Hieggelke | Editor: Mike Olenick | Cinematographer: Christopher Rejano | Screenwriter: Jennifer Reeder
Cast: Kate Arrington, Marika Engelhardt, Tim Hopper, James Vincent Meredith