Most of the time I was confused. Then I was kind of grossed out. At the end I was just tired.
“The Pink Egg” is a 71-minute film depicting the actions and habits of seven insect species. However, this is not a Discovery Channel kind of documentary on insect behavior; it is acted out by humans in a variety of brightly colored, form-fitting bodysuits and a weird collection of sound effects. The film contains no dialogue, no subtitles, no context. The viewer is submerged into director Jim Trainor’s hypothetical people-bug universe with no clue as to what is actually happening. The director offered some insight before the screening of the film by describing his witnessing of a wasp preying on a grasshopper and the odd behavior it exhibited. Without that disturbing nugget, there is no way the audience would have had any idea what was occurring on the screen.
No plot was evident and characters were ambiguously identified by the stripes on their adult unitards, but nothing was actually defined or clarified throughout the film. The sex scenes between the female and male wasps — if they even were wasps, I honestly don’t know — were a memorable recurrence. The female would take a jar out of her purse after the male had caressed her face or rubbed her arm, then the male would continue to secrete white lotion from a bottle. This exact sequence happened about ten times. The teletubby look-a-like people-bugs also indulged themselves in yellow martinis, perhaps representing pollen, covered in yellow cereal like Corn Pops and Honeycombs. Accompanying the yellow drinks was a plethora of uncomfortable slurping noises reminiscent of your grandfather loudly inhaling soup on Thanksgiving.
Most of the sounds in the movie seemed odd and unnatural. Trainor explained that all the sound was added post-production, mostly from free internet sources. Some of the most delightful sounds came from Caroline Nutley’s (Trainor’s wife) playful soundtrack. Nutley’s smooth, pleasant vocals contrasted nicely with the absurdity on the screen.
The set was constructed into what looked like a poorly built playground. It consisted of brightly painted plywood structures and many cardboard cocoons pasted together with duct tape. The childish set paired well with the arts-and-crafts nature of the costumes and props. While the colors and set evoked childhood, the movie is not meant for children. Parts of the film include nudity and graphic cannibalism, attempting to capture the natural phenomenon of wasp larvae eating the partially living grasshoppers where their parent laid them to hatch.
“The Pink Egg” cast boasted 42 actors, all playing different roles as insect, sex partner and prey, but the theater barely attracted that many viewers. Overall, the film was disturbing, hard to sit through and impossible to understand.