Ah, schoolwork. Who would think that somewhere in the mundane academia of it all, llama piñatas could possibly find a home, and one troper's twisted ambitions could finally germinate? Yet that's pretty much what happened.
It all started simply enough in a Spanish II class somewhere in the western United States. The final project for the class was given: use your existing knowledge to create a reasonably coherent video narrative. So it was that three classmates joined forces, and Roméo and Julieta was born.
From the beginning, the plan was to create something that would stand out by virtue of sheer investment while still having as much fun creating it as possible, through use of choreographed camerawork and... memorable characterization. However, the sheer outlandishness of the premise note lent itself more to Ham and Cheese than to serious work, leading to a shift toward Bathos fairly early on. The final result? This.
The plot is as follows: Two sentient piñatas are bought at the store and taken to a household preparing for a birthday celebration. Though scared and unsure what the future holds for them, they quickly forge a deep emotional bond with each other, but it quickly becomes obvious the house has something unpleasant in store for them
Though a reasonable success at the class screening, some people just can't leave well enough alone, and so one of the creators set to work on constructing a new adaptation using clips of the old video. This video was different from the first in several ways, featuring extensive re-editing and the complete omission of dialogue. Though not entirely devoid of humor, the film is undoubtedly more somber than the original.
These works include examples of:
- Brick Joke: The guy who beeps in in imitation of a supermarket scanner is credited as such in the end titles.
- Developing Doomed Characters: Being voiced helps a lot in illustrating character nuances the second film didn't really explore. But then they die.
- The Dulcinea Effect: When Julieta fearfully wonders if she's going to die, Romeo tells her he'll protect her despite not knowing her for seemingly more than a few seconds.
- Large Ham: Roméo and Julieta themselves. Especially Julieta.
- Despite not actually saying anything, Partygoer 1's mannerisms are the most exaggerated out of any human character. He even lets out an Evil Laugh before killing Roméo.
- Mood Whiplash
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Neurotic Julieta and laid-back Roméo are portrayed this way, respectively.
- Unsound Effect: "Beep... Beep..."
- Adaptation Distillation
- Cerebus Syndrome
- Darker and Edgier: Much less to laugh about here.
- Foreshadowing: Party supplies are visible in the bag with Roméo and Julieta when they're put in the car. What happens to piñatas at parties again?
- Shout-Out: The film's working title? Llamas with Bats.
- Silence Is Golden
- Show, Don't Tell: It's pretty obvious what's going down when the rope and bat are shown.
- Tone Shift
- Ambiguously Evil: Just how aware the humans are of the piñatas' sentience is never revealed, so we have no idea if they knew or cared about killing them.
- Animated Inanimate Objects: The piñatas themselves, as well as the Tiki pastor.
- The Bad Guys Win: Or at least carry out the party (piñata-bashing included) uninterrupted.
- Big Bad: The humans in general, but Partygoer 2 is arguably the main one.
- Bolivian Army Ending: Julieta's ultimate fate is never shown, though it's heavily implied she dies.
- Credits Gag
- Downer Ending: Both protagonists die helplessly, and those responsible may not even realize their actions led to two lives being snuffed out. Or maybe they do and just don't give a crap.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: Roméo is torn open with a bat. Likely a similar case with Julieta.
- Gory Discretion Shot: Roméo's death.
- The Hero (And Probably Heroine) Die
- Hero Killer: Partygoer 1 kills Roméo. Presumably, most of the partygoers qualify at the end.
- In Name Only: It's not really that faithful to the source material. The "feuding families" plot is completely excised, the only interaction they have with other characters is with the pastor when they get married, and ultimately they are killed by outside forces rather than committing suicide.
- Karma Houdini: All partygoers involved in the piñatas' deaths suffer absolutely no retribution for their acts.
- Killed Off for Real: Romeo for sure. Less clear but still probable with Julieta.
- Knights of Cerebus: When the humans show up in force, things immediately get more serious.
- Large Ham: Partygoer 1 in both installments.
- Marry for Love
- Men Are the Expendable Gender: Roméo is the first to die; fairly brutally at that. And though Julieta presumably goes out in a similar fashion, her fate is far more implicit than his.
- No Name Given: The pastor and humans are never given individual names, even in the credits. Word of God confirms the former's intended name as "Tikidude".
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Lasts just long enough for the protagonists to fall in love and marry. At which point they get killed.
- Silent Antagonists: The humans never say anything outside of an Unsound Effect and an evil laugh.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: The credits of both films feature this. The first features a cheery "happy birthday" melody in addition to bright colors and jokes such as a "guy who made beep noise" credit. This is absolutely jarring, considering the note the movie ended on seconds before. The second film's credits partially invert this, with somber music and an almost cinematic feel sharply offset by the lunacy of what is scrolling by.
- Symbolic Blood: Julieta is showered with candy when Romeo is killed.
- Widowed at the Wedding: Julieta. Though it's likely she doesn't have that long to grieve either...
- Yank the Dog's Chain: The piñatas are carried off to the party in the middle of their wedding.