GENREBLAST FILM FESTIVAL: Mairzy Doats (2022)

The GenreBlast Film Festival is entering its sixth year of genre film goodness. A one-of-a-kind film experience created for both filmmakers and film lovers to celebrate genre filmmaking in an approachable environment, it has been described by Movie Maker Magazine as a “summer camp for filmmakers.”

Over the next few days, I’ll be reviewing several movies from this fest, based in the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Winchester, Virginia. This year, there are 14 feature films and 87 short films from all over the world. Weekend passes are only $65 and you can get them right here.

Mairzy Doats (2022): Directed by Seth Chatfield and written by Derek Curley and Mary Widow, who also play the leads Nick and Erica Finn, this film attempts to answer the question of “What happens when we die?” to the two leads, as they go from hearing voices in the woods to worrying about the end of the world before a very ordinary event ends up pushing them toward that answer instead of the horrific fate that we expect from this movie.

The song this is based on goes like this:

“I know a ditty nutty as a fruitcake goofy as a goon and silly as a loon

Some call it pretty, others call it crazy

But they all sing this tune: Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey

A kiddley divey too, wouldn’t you? Yes!

Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey

A kiddley divey too, wouldn’t you?

If the words sound queer and funny to your ear, a little bit jumbled and jivey

Sing “Mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy””

It was such a big song — it was Decca Records biggest single of 1944 — that two dozen covers came out in two weeks. It was written by Milton Drake, Al Hoffman and Jerry Livingston and originally was in the Laurel and Hardy movie The Big Noise. Perhaps it’s best and most famous use was in the first episode of season two of Twin Peaks.

Back to this short. Credit should be paid to cinematographer Caleb Heller and editor Adrian Hedgecock, who make this look beyond a low budget short and make me want to see more of what everyone in the film can do with more, particularly Chatfield, Curley and Widow.

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