Possibly In Michigan: Cecelia Condit wrote and directed the short film Possibly in Michigan in 1983. It delves into the predatory, often self-destructive sides of love and passion, as well as a gloomy look at female friendships, all with a healthy helping of surreal horror thrown in for good measure. You can see it here.
The film introduces us to Sharon and Janice, two friends having a perfectly ordinary afternoon at a shopping mall when they are interrupted by a looming, sinister presence…
Due to the film’s brief length. Proceed cautiously.
Possibly In Michigan: Condit wrote, Art And Short film
- Action Girl: While the “battle” is stylized, Sharon has no qualms about going toe-to-toe with her assailant. Janice, on the other hand, is a natural with a gun.
- Ambiguously Gay: The fact that Sharon and Janice eat their critical meal together while appearing to be entirely naked could indicate nothing or everything (Condit’s occasional support for comments suggesting a queer interpretation supports the latter).
- An Arm and a Leg: Discussed: When Arthur tells Sharon that he’s going to cut off her arms and legs out of “love,” Sharon complains that love shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg.
- Ax-Crazy As a perverse way of displaying his love for his victims, Arthur follows, tortures, kills, and cannibalizes them.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: With the various scenes of Sharon melting into a decaying mummy, Condit appears keen on breaking this myth and making a message about the impermanence of youth and beauty.
- Becoming the Mask: According to the narration, Arthur has worn so many disguises and false personas that he has forgotten who he is, which is reflected in the film by wearing many masks in succession.
- Big Damn Heroes: Just as Arthur starts cutting Sharon, Janice jumps into the room and shoots him, instantly killing him.
- Sheep in Sheep’s Clothing (Bitch in Sheep’s Clothing):
- Sharon is drawn to violent men, but she also enjoys “making them believe the violence is their own decision.”
- Arthur imagines himself as “Prince Charming,” yet he is a serial killer.
- Casual Danger Dialog: What will Sharon do if an intruder approaches her and threatens to sever her arms and legs? “Love shouldn’t be prohibitively expensive!”
- Evil Tastes Good: To dispose of Arthur’s body, Sharon and Janice decide to prepare him into a stew; neither of them seems appalled by the idea of eating him, and appear to enjoy it.-Strange Electronic Music: The entire soundtrack is made up of creepy, janky synth waltzes. “Animal, Cannibal” deserves special note because it perfectly captures Sharon and Arthur’s mental state, which is replete with janky lower-pitched saw waves and unsettlingly high square waves.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: After eating Arthur, the girls indulge in a long smoke that causes them to cough.
- Humanoid Abomination: Arthur is represented with an unusual walk and attitude, his main mask being that of an old man with a gaping mouth. The women appear to be unable to see him even though they should. He appears to be an ordinary man once he arrives at Sharon’s house, but his voice is low and distorted compared to Sharon and Janice’s light and sing-songy tones.
- I’m a philanthropist:
- Arthur has assassinated and devoured six people.
- In order to rid of Arthur’s body, Sharon and Janice prepare and devour him.
- Karmic Death: Arthur, a cannibalistic serial killer, is assassinated, dismembered, and devoured by two of his intended victims.
- Drying the Dog in the Microwave: Janice shares a storey about her aunt drying her dog in the microwave. They were both killed when the microwave detonated.
- The Ophelia: Sharon’s lines and voiceover imply that she isn’t quite there mentally, which is emphasized by multiple views of her lying in the grass, Ophelia-like, with flowers in her hair.
- To the Pain: Arthur enthusiastically describes how he plans to dismember Sharon and consume her limbs right before her.