Scooby gang has nothing on these three little girls. They will absolutely terrorize the
supernatural beings haunting St. Claire’s Academy. Sugar & Spice massively trumps the things
that go bump in the night throughout Hitoshi Takekiyo’s animated feature After School Midnighters (trailer here), which screens tomorrow
as part of this year’s Fantasia International Film Festival.
touring their prospective new elementary school, Mako, Miko, and Mitsuko take a
detour into the soon to be dismantled science room, where they basically have
at the poor visible anatomy dummy. However,
after night falls, the uncanny dummy stalks the halls of St. Claire’s as the fearsome
Louis Thomas Jerome Kunstlijk. Rather put out by the treatment he received from the terrible trio, Kunstlijk
sends out a pack of gun-toting Mafioso rabbits to lure the girls back to St.
Claire’s. Of course, both he and the
bunnies will get more than they bargained for.
Kunstlijk’s efforts to scare the willies out of them, the innocent motor-mouthed
Mako and the entitled elitist Miko are too absorbed in their own little worlds
to fully appreciate the situation, whereas Mitsuko, the goth girl, is basically
down with it all. The girls are so
unfazed, Kunstlijk’s skeleton crony, “Goth,” tries to recruit them for a
supernatural scheme to save the science lab, sending them careening about St.
Claire’s like pinballs. Nevertheless, Kunstlijk
still has a hard time letting things go.
Midnighters is so off the
charts frenetic, it must be the product of a creative team consuming nothing but
Red Bulls and Pixie Stix. Sure, there is
plenty of “girl power” in Midnighters,
like the Power Puff Girls hopped up on amphetamines. Frankly, by computer animation standards,
Takekiyo’s characters have quite a bit of personality. Yet, it is hard to judge how appropriate the
film is for younger viewers. Many of the
supernatural elements are surprisingly sinister looking, but they only make the
three girls giggle with glee.
Chocked full of goofy humor and strange little
macabre details, there is never a quiet moment in Midnighters. You really have
to admire the sheer manic inspiration of Takekiyo and screenwriter Yōichi
Komori. Beyond breakneck, their hyper pacing
allows no time for logic to ever kick in. Recommended for anyone up for a cheerful
descent into bedlam, After School
Midnighters screens this Saturday (7/27) at the Imperial Theatre as the
2013 Fantasia Festival continues in Montreal.
Labels: Animated films, Fantasia '13, Japanese Cinema