RVOD057 Carnivorous Plants

(1955, Educational-Short/Religious-ish, b&w)

So, God is primarily a designer of plant weaponry.


Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy

Rating: ***

In a Nutshell:

Can’t think of a better description than the quoted line above.


[Insert obligatory 'Feed me, Seymour' joke here.]We start off with a montage of unrelated images, served with irrelevant narration. Next, the narrator starts in on mousetraps. A few puzzling moments of this elapse before he finally gets to the topic of the day: carnivorous plants. We meet all kinds of carnivorous plants, go over how they’re trigged, and then settle in to watch insects die in desperate agony. Throughout, the narrator takes pains to inform us that carnivorous plants are unique and scientifically unexplainable masterworks of the Divine Creator.


This is one of those “What the hell?” shorts. Not as “What the hell?” as some others I could mention, which babble on while assuming that you’ll figure out their point on your own. Carnivorous Plants is actually rather informative once you get past the irrelevant introduction. It’s the odd insistence on constant acknowledgement of the Almighty that raises eyebrows here. Do students of American history constantly say things like “You could make a lot of wooden teeth out of Monticello,” or “If he wanted to, Abraham Lincoln might have cooked really good omelettes” while summarizing the civil rights movement? No? Maybe that’s because these statements, though potentially true, have nothing to do with the subject at hand.

I regret nothing!The commentary starts off with Mike’s riff on the name of the production company, “Moody Institute: A division of the Morose & Sullen Foundation.” While the narrator marvels at a Venus Fly Trap’s ability to tell between a leaf and a bug, Kevin notes that they “can also distinguish between Shinola and that other stuff.” After we’ve heard the narrator drone on and on about nature’s perfect traps, Bill speculates that “Admiral Ackbar loves this short.” The commentary’s solidly, decently funny, and if you can get past its quirks, the short can be kind of interesting.