Short Takes.

Guilty Frogs: Mayflower Park.

    The success of the Culver Brothers nine victim spree last year was well deserved. The image of all those bloodied cans of Spam lying in the autumn leaves will stay with us for years. But we all knew that it would lead to the inevitable storm of strange variants and copy-cats that have popped up lately.
    Truly the most entertaining of these was anonymous trio of grad students who flayed the flesh from their professor's body with cheese graters accompanied by a jazz trio.
    On the other end of the spectrum is the troupe Guilty Frogs, a so called "Carnage Circus" led by the twice convicted Troy Laurent. You may remember him as the guy who tried snaring people with a lasso from the rear car of the north end subway, only to end up being dragged for twelve blocks. His newest project was an even more embarrassing attempt at homicidal surrealism. Unfortunately his research into surrealism seems to have begun and ended with Pee-Wee's Playhouse.
    It began with a blue-leotard clad Laurent silly-walking into Mayflower Park at midafternoon carrying a boombox blasting annoying horn music. When a woman with a carriage asked him to turn it down he dropped it onto the sidewalk, looked at its splintered remains and gave the woman an exaggerated sad face. Then without warning he produces a spray can and holds a lighter in front of it, engulfing the woman in a rather impressive conflagration. This was the cue for the rest of the troupe to emerge from the bushes wielding pikes and chainsaws. The sight of close to a dozen men and women, decked out in day-glow leotards, waddling and cartwheeling around the park, slaughtering anyone in their path while shouting "GUILTY! FROG! GUILTY! FROG!" in helium squeals was downright irritating.
   The arrogance of Laurent is apparent. We are suppose to be both entertained and shocked as his minions foolishly bound into view and begin killing. All the flash and artsy trappings are suppose to distract us. This sort of psuedo-european absurdist bullshit may fly in more art-hungry regions, but not here.
    The only part of the whole debacle that was mildly entertaining was the chainsaw beheading of a middle-aged man in a single stroke, the force of which sent the head skyward. Two of the troupe paused from their tasks to leap for the head like a pair of centers going for a jump ball. What followed was an all-too-brief passing and juggling of the head in the style of the Harlem Globetrotters. It was a refreshing, if derivative, touch of playful improvisation in an otherwise contemptible display. As the troupe leap-frogged out of the park, their bright garments splattered with gobs of blood and entrails, I could only hope they would be caught and put away for life. Or at least flee to Canada. They'd probably be appreciated there.