Mantis Club | Short Film of the Month

Short Film of the Month June 2022

Mantis Club

By Yalian Li with 7.2

dark comedy · Short Films · english

The world of the film is seductive, alluring, but surreptitiously so. It is a world where women run their own metaphorical 'club', echoing in its title a subversion of the 'boys ' club' of our contemporary reality. However, the reality they conjure for the men involved is no less horrifying for it involves women eating their male counterparts after having sex with them, quite literally.

When seventeen-year-old Zack gets asked out on a date by a much older woman, he is immediately surrounded by a charge of well-meaning men, spearheaded by Moe, who attempt to talk him out of it. There are Bachelors Anonymous meetings, cries of celibacy and the outright rejection of the violence inflicted by women on men in the pursuit of convincing Zack to cancel his date. However the desire for love, intimacy and hope remains triumphant over all fears and doubts for our meek, wide-eyed protagonist.

The dark comedy holds back no punches in sharing its ideas on misogyny, patriarchy and the power dynamics of heteronormative equations, providing an insightful social commentary in the process. And yet, it never veers off its course of a dark comedy, eschewing refuge in an overbearing or didactic tone, thereby making its messaging more impactful. As for the characters and their fate, while the men may have already painted a picture of women and their evil nature for Zack (a part of the fictive narrative which holds disturbingly true for the real world as well), would he eventually find love, or simply another predator awaiting to devour its prey?
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