Frenchies

A fantasy satire film about how fear drives a nice guy into a judgemental person against his new neighbors, the Frenchy family – they are human with heads like French Bulldog.

Arthur (Graham Kurtz) is a good enough guy. He and his boyfriend John (Motown Maurice) Live in a small apartment when some odd things begin to happen. No, it’s not that the two casually lounge around the apartment in full business attire. It’s not the oversized insect that Arthur keeps for a pet. It’s not even that their next door neighbors are anthropomorphic French Bulldogs. No, in the new satirical short Frenchies, we get equal parts Eraserhead, The Burbs, and a pinch of Kafka to create an amusingly original short.

It all started one night when Arthur started hearing weird noises just outside their apartment. Leering through the peephole, he sees one of his neighbors Danny Frenchy (Sean Mears) lugging a black garbage bag down the building hallway. This is followed by the son, Reggie Frenchy (Weiyang LI) who is summoned by the sound of a squeak toy held by Lily Frenchy (Yoyo Li). Arthur pops out into the hallway to see what is happening and is greeted by totally affable if puzzled, French Bulldogs being polite and neighborly.

“…glass to the wall, he overhears suspicious things and suspects murder or, even worse, number 2 indoors.”

Well, Arthur begins to suspect the worst of his odd neighbors. Putting glass to the wall, he overhears suspicious things and suspects murder or, even worse, number 2 indoors. Lily boldly knocks on the door later in the film and offers a hot steaming pot of stew complete with floating brains and eyeballs. There’s nothing “wrong” per se about these dogs, but Arthur is more and more disturbed by their seemingly strange behavior.

Kuan-Fu Lin’s absurdist horror comedy Frenchies dives into heavy themes of racial profiling, groupthink, and house training with a sure hand. Stark black and white photography, Twilight Zone art direction and endless Dutch angles paint a world of bizarre paranoia and wit. Kurtz is wonderful as the confused everyman whose prejudices may or may not hold him captive. The script, by director Lin and co-writers Daniel McDonald and Sam McGoldrick never gets too literal and instead goes for camp and surrealism.

Frenchies had me laughing out loud one minute and thinking the next. Fun, silly, weird, wonderful.

Frenchies (2018) Directed by Kuan-Fu Lin. Written by: Kuan-Fu Lin, Daniel McDonald, Sam McGoldrick. Starring Motown Maurice, Graham Kurtz, Weiyang LI, Sean Mears, Yoyo Li. Screened as part of the Midnight Series at DWF,

7 out of 10

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