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Albatross Lily (06/26/2007)

released: Jun 26, 2007

description: On a quiet suburban street, a sinister secret is kept in an overgrown greenhouse. The neighbors seem to know that something is not quite right, as Maryann Hathaway refuses to go into their neighbor's yard to retrieve her ball. Her brother, Henry, dead set on claiming the ball, bravely goes next door, only to come face to face with Martin. Martin refuses to give the child the ball back and subsequently stabs it with his clippers. Henry runs back home and informs his parents of what happened.

The children's father, Basil, next attempts to rectify the situation by appealing to Martin. Martin finally agrees to return the ball, but on his own terms. As Basil leaves, Martin resumes dancing with the deflated remains of the ball. As the family waits on the front porch for closure on this bizarre episode, an old Cadillac drives by to deliver something to their mailbox. It is the deflated ball wrapping an mannequin hand holding an invitation to dinner at Martin's house the following evening.

As Martin prepares, he remembers a time twenty-five years prior when he was younger and happier. He set out to the Better Homes and Gardens flower contest, where he was bested by undeserving winners. He continues to hold the grudge, and to culture his beloved lilies.

The family arrives on the steps the next day and Martin leads them to the dining room, where they are met by Sheriff Roberts, who was also invited along. Upon strapping the family firmly to their chairs, Martin reveals that Sheriff Roberts was the second prize winner in the Better Homes and Garden Contest. He viciously murders the sheriff before the family's eyes and serves them hunks of flesh. He then reveals the Hathaway matriarch, Henriette, to be the first prize winner in the same contest. Henriette hotly defends her win and refuses to apologize for it. Martin leaves his hacksaw with a thinly veiled threat and lugs the rest of the sheriff's body out to the greenhouse.

Henry sees an opportunity and strains for the hacksaw. He finally grabs it, and frees himself and his family. Hell bent on revenge, Henriette and Maryann insist on finding Martin. Henry and Basil resist, but they finally follow him out to the greenhouse, picking up gardening implements along the way.

Inside, Martin maniacally feeds the sheriff's remains to his lilies. The plants grow wildly and wrap themselves around Martin, creating a human/plant super hybrid. As the family busts into the greenhouse, Martin's vines grab them and suspend them upside down. This time, Mary Ann sees her dropped shovel and has her father reach it. She hacks Basil free, and he frees the rest of the family. This enrages Martin so that he decapitates Henriette. Distraught, Maryann destroys the lilies. As Martin's vines wrap around her brother and father, Maryann spies a bottle of bleach. She dumps it all over Martin and then finishes him off with the shovel.

The family sadly picks up Henriette's head and goes back to their own home. Later, they stand around a memorial for Henriette, "beloved mother, cherished wife, and kick-ass gardener." A bush of her prize petunias grows quietly next to the stone. Next door, Martin's house remains overgrown and abandoned.

cast & crew:

Directed by . . . Jason Chin
 
Basil Hathaway . . . Rob White
Better Homes and Garden Contest Winner . . . Kristen Studard
Henriette Hathaway . . . Amy Verdon
Henry Hathaway . . . Michael Johnson
Martin . . . Jorin Garguilo
Maryann Hathaway . . . Mel Evans
Sheriff Roberts . . . Colleen Breen

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