No one likes receiving unwanted sexual attention whether it’s a stranger’s persistent request for attention, leering, or an interrogation of personal questions. And most people do not like receiving unsolicited pictures of genitalia on their phones. Ilja Rautsi’s Finnish satire Night of the Living Dicks is a thought provoking horror short about a woman who cannot escape the uninvited presence of penises. Clever writing and artful direction capture the essence of George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead while paying homage to John Carpenter’s They Live.
Venla is a young woman who goes on live television to face her assailant, Simo (Tommi Korpela), a man who has sent her dick pics. Simo is given ample time to give a rehearsed backhanded apology and Venla tries to express the way the pictures are a violation in themselves. Venla then finds a pair of glasses that allow her to see men for what they really are. Venla is played by Sonja Kuittinen who gives a remarkable performance as the heroine of the film. Her frustration and feelings of futility in the situation shine through as she searches for salvation and logic. Rautsi’s film examines what it is like to be viewed as strictly male or female and the social confines that shape behavior and societal expectations. Rautsi rails against the conventions of sexual politics and looks at how humans as individuals are more than their reproductive organs. Night of the Living Dicks is currently playing at the Fantasia Film Festival.
The Fantasia Film Festival takes place in person and online from August 5 – August 25
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