Love, especially young love, is a many-splendored thing. Unfortunately some of those “splendors” include a wrecking ball of absolute agony, an anvil of soul crushing confusion and for many, a bombardment of chemicals in the brain whose effects leave the victim, for all intents and purposes, clinically insane. Replacing schmaltz with gobs of gore, and purple prose with KATHY ACKER style diatribes, director RODRIGO GUDINO drags you through love’s limb-strewn battlefield while always keeping one severed foot firmly planted in the horror genre. Romana (BIANCA RUSA) throws a wish out into the universe like many young girls do for love. She’s wise enough to know that it is intensity, not candy and flowers that she desires. She is delivered 13-year-old Eric (TODOR PLOPEANU) whose heart basically has “kick-me” tattooed upon it. Along with Romana’s best pal Sara (JEWELIA FISICO), they make an after school play-date destined to dissect the grotesque beast that romantic attraction invariably conjures. It turns out Romana and Sara are not only orchestrating a LADY IN A CAGE style home invasion in the house that they claimed to be Sarah’s, but are also doing an Abu Ghraib number on an unnamable monstrosity that resides in the basement of the dwelling. Worse still, the hoops that Eric is prompted to leap through in order to prove his affections are placed just high enough to prove fatal if miscalculated. Finally, love’s true nature caught on film! With a KENNETH ANGER-like raw vibrancy and a sincerity toward the anguish love spawns that recalls LUCKY MCKEE’s MAY, GUDINO, along with cinematographer DEREK ROGERS, does in 22 minutes what most of those MASTERS OF HORROR episodes failed to do in twice the time. He delivers a unique vision with a distinctive voice that is, at turns, laugh out loud funny and hand wringlingly intense. Anyone who has ever nursed an infection from a poorly aimed Cupid’s arrow will recognize this short film’s pulsating, bloody heart.