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Film / Possibly in Michigan

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Possibly in Michigan is a 1983 short film written and directed by Cecelia Condit. It explores the predatory, often self-destructive aspects of love and romance, but also takes a dark look at female friendships; all served up with a liberal splash of surreal horror. It can be viewed here.

The film introduces us to two friends, Sharon and Janice, whose thoroughly banal afternoon at a shopping mall is overshadowed by a looming, sinister presence...

This film provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: While the "fight" itself is highly stylized, Sharon clearly has no problem throwing down with her attacker. Janice, meanwhile, is quite handy with a firearm.
  • Ambiguously Gay: The fact that Sharon and Janice enjoy their pivotal meal together while apparently completely nude might mean nothing or it might mean everything.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Love costs this, apparently.
  • Ax-Crazy: Arthur, who claims he stalks, tortures, murders, and cannibalizes women "for love."
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Arthur, a.k.a. Prince Charming, who always wears a tuxedo.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Condit seems intent on destroying this trope and making a statement about the impermanence of youth and beauty with the various shots of Sharon dissolving away into a decaying mummy.
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  • Becoming the Mask: Stated word-for-word (and visually depicted,) to be what has happened to Arthur.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Janice pulls one off.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Sharon is attracted to violent men, but also likes "making them think the violence is their idea." Arthur, meanwhile, thinks of himself as a "Prince Charming" but is actually a serial killer.
  • Casual Danger Dialog: Sharon's reaction when an intruder attacks and threatens to cut off her arms and legs? "Love shouldn't cost an arm and a leg!"
  • The '80s: The early eighties are on full display here.
  • Evil Tastes Good: Sharon and Janice aren't the slightest bit fazed by engaging in cannibalism. In fact, they seem to enjoy every minute of it.
  • Freaky Electronic Music: "Animal, Cannibal", a perfect representation of the mental state of both Sharon and Arthur, is rife with janky lower-pitched saw waves and unsettlingly high square waves. It's so early 80s DIY synth it hurts.
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  • Gorn: The various scenes of Sharon fading away, replaced by ancient, desiccated corpses.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: After eating Arthur the girls enjoy a very long smoke, to the point of coughing.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The stalker is depicted as one with his unnatural gait and poses, and distorted, screaming face. It's made worse by the fact that there are several times when the women apparently can't see him even though they should. Once he finally arrives at Sharon's house he appears as a normal man.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Arthur, and Sharon and Janice later.
  • Karmic Death: Arthur, a cannibalistic serial killer, meets his end by being murdered, dismembered and eaten by two of his would-be victims.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Arthur. Also, shortly before the women become aware that Sharon is being stalked, there are several bizarre cuts of a room full of these dancing with women.
  • Microwave the Dog: Janice tells a story about her aunt doing this, much to Sharon's amusement.
  • Mind Screw: If Arthur is dead, how is he stealing wine off the windowsill?
  • The Ophelia: Sharon's dialogue/voiceover carries some implication that she's not quite there mentally; driven home by numerous shots of her lying in the grass, Ophelia-like, with flowers in her hair.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Sharon.
  • Sanity Slippage Song: The "Animal, Cannibal" song that plays throughout the film.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Arthur, though the "crush" part is more murderous lust than actual attraction.
  • Surreal Horror
  • Title Drop: During the theme song.
  • To the Pain: Sharon's attacker gleefully explains how he is going to dismember her and eat her limbs in front of her.


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