by Willis Wong
Despite a children’s puppet show being the premise of this mockumentary, this is definitely not one for the kids. It’s probably not for most adults too.
A slot has opened for Sunflower Hour, the successful kid’s puppet show started by an ex porn mogul. Four contestants have to compete and audition for the job: David is a physically and emotionally fragile young man whose lifetime obsession with the Sunflower Hour makes him the talented shoe-in for the spot.
Satan’s Spawn (!) is a damaged teenage goth, mocked by her peers and acting out through her puppet. Leslie is the creepy son of a televangelist who may have a secret agenda behind his audition. Shamus’ puppet never left his hand and demands to be treated as a real person.
Director Aaron Houston slowly ramps up the weirdness, revealing the horrible stories behind the happy front of a puppet show, ending in an audience-groaning conclusion when the winner is picked. He makes a hilarious cameo as a desperate puppeteer gone bad. Swimming deeply in the sick and twisted territory, Sunflower Hour will have you wincing between grins.
British Columbia, 2011
Directed by Aaron Houston