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Film: Bitter Lake
"After more than a decade of peace the proud and noble kingdom of Valanor is suddenly torn apart by a terrible civil war. After 12 years, when the dust settles and resources start to dwindle, the starving people of Valanor cry out for peace, forcing the leaders of Tier, Sinnah, Daneth and Osgard to lay down their arms and meet each other at the negotiation table. As each province prepares an envoy to find a diplomatic solution at the Kingdom's only neutral ground, an ancient and dark organization plots its return. Unbeknownst to the leaders of the four warring provinces this old enemy will stop at nothing to crush any hope of lasting peace. Can the four envoys put their old hatreds aside and forge a bond of trust? Or will those that crave the blood and terror of war get their way? Whatever the outcome, the fate of Valanor will be decided... at Bitter Lake."
—Synopsis from the film's website.[1]

Bitter Lake is the first full-length live-action movie created specifically to cater to a furry audience. The entire film is performed in full fursuits, shot entirely in France. 41 minutes long, the movie consists mostly of static dialog scenes as the characters first hold the actual peace talks, then switch briefly to a paranoid Whodunnit when they start getting killed. There's one short action scene near the end.

Not to be confused with the actual Bitter Lake in Seattle, Washington.

Provides examples of:

  • Acting for Two: Stoelbank plays both Prince Arden and Atrius the Stormbringer aka Arden's brother Aelric. Rin was both Belora and the messenger. Drraer and Careth were both voiced by Dylan Nagel. While Arden and the Narrator were voiced by Shay/Michael Wolf Visser, who was also the Producer.
  • All There in the Manual: The movie's website describes the setting and characters in far more depth than the movie does.
  • Catch Phrase: Drraer likes to say "Hell's Bitches" at every little thing that irritates him.
  • The Dung Ages
  • Evil Gloating: After everyone else is dead, Careth meets his employer, Arden's brother, who then proceeds to explain his plot in detail. Then he kills Careth.
  • Funny Animal Anatomy: Belora and Arden have digitigrade feet. Careth and Drraer have plantigrade. The disparity is because, rather than being custom-tailored for the movie, the actors added faux-medieval costumes to their own fursuits.
  • Ghost Town: Bitter Lake is utterly abandoned, presumably because it's neutral territory located in the exact middle of Valanor.
  • Kill and Replace: The real Careth is killed and impersonated by a Dark Brotherhood assassin about five minutes into the film.
  • Milking the Giant Cow: Since the faces have precisely one movement (opening and closing the mouth), the actors all overact their body language to try and sell the acting.
  • Obfuscating Disability: The brother of one of the main characters gets mentioned twice: once in the movie and once on the movie's website. Both times he's alluded to as being mentally disabled. Then he actually appears at the end, and it turns out he's actually not retarded in the slightest; his brother just always asserted that he was.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: The cast and crew are credited as their fursuiter nicknames instead of their real names.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Belora dan Winters is the only female.
  • The Stinger: The new King Aelric receives a letter from "A Friend" warning him that forced peace is a lot like trust. As a black-furred figure with hand on a sword walks up behind him. It cuts to black with an Audible Sharpness sound effect.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: Belora has just enough time after the long debate scene to have a brief Ship Tease moment with Arden before she's assassinated, sending the men into a paranoid frenzy.
  • Succession Crisis: Arden is the crown prince of Valanor, and he would have taken the throne had his father not been assassinated while he was still a child. At the peace talks, one of his demands is that he be instated as king in the reunited Valanor. In addition, Belora wants independence for her province, Drraer's rebelled for some unspecified reason, Careth was the one who killed the king in the first place, and Arden's younger brother wants the throne for himself.
  • Throwing Off the Disability: Arden's brother gets a one-off mention as being "retarded" (the website also makes a mention of him being "half-witted"). Then he actually shows up at the end of the movie and turns out to be not impaired in the slightest and the one who orchestrated the string of assassinations that makes up the end of the movie. He claims that he never really was, and Arden only told everyone he was retarded in order to discredit him.
  • Whodunnit: The final act of the movie is a paranoid scramble by the diplomats to find out which one of them is the assassin before they all end up killed. This boils down to a swordfight between Drraer and Careth.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Prince Aelric kills the assassin who slew all the diplomats so he can't tell anyone what really happened, and give them a scapegoat.

The Big YearFilms of the 2010sBlitz

alternative title(s): Bitter Lake
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