Friday, March 10, 2017

What It Feels Like For a Ghoul

Throw your hands up in the air and wave 'em around like you've severed an artery, for Raw (or as I like to call it Ginger Snaps: The Freshman 15) is here to tell us in the words of Charlotte Gainsbourg as co-opted by Madonna what it feels like a girl. A nasty girl (cum Nasty Woman) at that. And much like Catherine Denueve and Susan Sarandon once discovered, it feels hungry. And sexy. And a little gay, now and then. But mostly hungry. Very very hungry.

If there's one thing and one thing only that you learn at college it's vegetarians are not to be trusted. That was my experience, anyway. And a lesson worth every penny of debt I still suffocate under. So it's nice to get a whole movie about that. In the first scene of Raw you've got a dead-eyed helicopter parent snapping at the help about insidious and sneaky meat stuffs, and it's all downhill (or up depending on your vantage point) from there. It's a roller-coaster of rib-eye! A fun-house of pork fat! I laughed, I cried, I chewed on my elbow, or possibly the face of my seat partner.

In all seriousness, Raw is my jam. Here on this day where we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Buffy I'm having trouble not seeing it through that lens - whereas the Slayer fought the metaphorical horrors of High School Raw's cannibal-to-be is gnawing her way tooth-first through freshman year hazing rituals and eating disorders and sudden and strange allergic reactions. It lives and breeds upon those weird plasticy dorm-room mattresses that you side-eye from day one. This is fertile territory for body horror.

You're a big girl now, making lifestyle decisions for yourself all of a sudden - laundry piles up in the corners of your room, and those cafeteria buffets offering every single cereal brand, plus possible cherry-whipped dysentery to boot? Not to be beat. You're burning the candle at both ends, everything pouring from all the ends at once - it's weird how many college memories involve body fluids isn't it? Puking and peeing where ever you stand, a fountainous toddler. You're sticking your hand on the stove to see what you can take as if you'd never learned anything of substance before that very day.

Raw captures that sudden hopeless plummet into freewheeling adulthood with dizzying aplomb. You have no fucking clue what you're doing for a few months there, it's a world of new horrifying and delicious sensations - you basically peel your old skin right off and become whatever terrible butterfly you're gonna be at light-speed. You open your maw good and wide and wider still, gulp down every goddamn thing that gets in your way, and regurgitate up a heap of person-shaped somebody in your place. Step in - it's warm, and this is who you are now, lady. Lick it up.

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