Jorge DeLarosa, Wyl Price and Him Johnson
Jorge DeLarosa, Wyl Price and Him Johnson
The Order of the Green Dawn
The Green Nymphs
There is not much going on in the village of Mantua Ohio, population approximately 1,000. There isn’t much crime really, at least nothing the local Sheriff is concerned about. The fact that this little township leads the nation in disappearances is clearly a mistake. Well, maybe.
Another possibility is that there is a group of communal flower children living in Mantua who grow a super-powered weed by crossing cannabis with a local plant, then feeding the plants the spinal fluid of sinners. I guess that’s just as likely.
Mantua is the perfect example of what happens when you have a very small town with not much to do that spawns some local heroes who put out crappy films cast with their buddies that make fun of local inside jokes. Wait, does this happen often enough for this to actually be a “perfect example”? Hard to say, but it’s happened here. This film is created by The Slow Mutants Production Company out of nearby Kent, Ohio, and began as three short films that were finally spliced together with a common score added. These films were shown in local pubs in Kent to the friends and admirers of these local artistic types.
Mantusa tells an increasingly convoluted tale of a group of cult followers awaiting the arrival of “The Organic Ones”, and with their coming members of this cult will “evolve” into plants of some sort with roots in the ground and nothing but rainwater and sunlight for nourishment. That may not seem like an evolved state to most of us, but it certainly does for the green haired and tattooed people who frolic with this cult. While they’re waiting they need some cash though, right? Never fear – they have combined marijuana plants with some local ragweed and found that, when fed the spinal fluid of humanities most vile, they create a breed of locoweed that cannot be beat. There are also some folks who make black goo sandwiches out of human beings and feed them to their friends, but I’m not sure if they are associated with the hippy cult or not. That’s pretty much it.
Mantusa has crappy sound, crappy lighting, crappy acting and a crappy story. But, I’m not sure I am the intended audience for this film. My theory is that the town Mantusa has a reputation of being particularly sleepy and boring with those in the more hip Kent Ohio, and maybe people even laugh at others who say they are from there. There might also be a lot of pot smoking and flower childing going on in the smaller town, making a horror movie about cult followers worshiping “The Organic Ones” very funny to those who live in the area. The rendering to film of this local inside joke, when shown in an establishment where liquor is flowing freely, is bound to gain a following among the locals. Because there is not much going on in this part of the country, this film may have been the best thing happening for miles around, so everyone pats the filmmakers on the back and tells them how wonderfully funny the whole thing is. All of the local accolades then go to the heads of the filmmakers and they start to think, “hey, this is really a hit! Let’s get this in the hands of horror sites and make millions!”
This reminds me of a story… Years ago I lived in Nashville TN and saw many a family who mortgaged their house to get enough money to thrust little Lu Lu Belle onto a stage in front of a real audience in Music City. I mean heck, she brought the house down during Karaoke at the Comfort Inn lounge back home, and everyone says she’s got the gift – so let’s show that gift to record promoters and get a million dollar record contract, just like Loretta Lynne! Well, Lu Lu Belle bombed, and the families all ended up hitching a ride back home to live in a trailer behind Mama’s house. Today Lu Lu Belle is a waitress at the Truck Stops of America, but the drivers all stop what they’re doing when she sings along to Reba McIntire on the jukebox. She is still bringing the house down in her hometown, and that’s where she intends to stay.
I’m not saying that the Slow Mutants should give it up and start slinging hash at the truck stop diner… just that they might want to step up their game a little bit and get some feedback from outside their immediate circle of friends and family before unleashing their next creation on the world… because this one sucks.