Posted on Monday, May 9th, 2011 by Angie Han
Still bummed about the fact that Guillermo del Toro’s At the Mountains of Madness is no longer happening? Well, there’s not much I can do about that… but perhaps today’s Video of the Day will help ease your H.P. Lovecraft craving just a tiny bit. Craig Macneill‘s Late Bloomer isn’t a Lovecraft adaptation per se, but it explicitly draws inspiration from the horror author’s oeuvre to tell the tale of one “seventh grade sex ed class gone horribly wrong.” The funny short film played at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, and is now available in its entirety online.
A note of warning to our readers: Late Bloomer isn’t technically NSFW — you don’t see anything more explicit than you would in a basic junior high school health textbook, and the terms used are more euphemistic or clinical than outright filthy — but I doubt even the most relaxed boss would be thrilled to hear florid descriptions of adolescent lust and genitalia ringing through the office hallways. Once you’re positive you’re not sitting anywhere that you could get in trouble for sexual harrassment, watch the video after the jump.
Obviously, the film doesn’t make much literal sense, but in its own way, it makes emotional sense. For an awkward, naive 12-year-old, sex ed can feel every bit as incomprehensible and terrifying as Cthulhu at its most fearsome. The representation of female biology and sexuality as monstrous is nothing new, as any film studies or women’s studies student could tell you, but Macneill’s take is clever and apt. I absolutely believe this kid would see the vagina as a sinister and unknowable creature.
Writer Clay McLeod Chapman also deserves tons of credit for his pitch-perfect spin on Lovecraftian purple prose, as well as for his delightfully over-the-top narration. It’s his work that keeps the film together as events in the classroom take ever-weirder, ever-funnier turns.
Discuss: Is it normal for sex ed classes to involve both genders, though? My public junior high school always split the classes up by gender whenever we reached that part of our health curriculum.