Of all the films I saw during Fantastic Fest, Blood Tea and Red String was certainly the strangest. In fact, it is the oddest film I've seen all year, and certainly earns big points for originality. Fantastic Fest programmer Kier-La Janisse described the stop-motion animated film as "Beatrix Potter in hell." Director Christiane Cegavske worked on the feature film, primarily alone, for 13 years.
Blood Tea and Red String is so very original that the plot is hard to describe. What are those creatures with the brown fur and pig-like ears that walk on two legs like humans and speak in bird-like squawks? (Cegavske's website calls them the Oak Dwellers.) These creatures decide to create a large doll that resembles a human female, and tuck an egg inside her torso. They tie her to their tree-home with red string, and everyone seems happy. However, under cover of night, the red-eyed white mice steal the doll-woman and take her to their lair, where they drink blood-red tea interminably and play card games with seemingly blank cards. The Oak Dwellers embark on a quest to find their beloved doll, encountering a variety of creatures both good (the frog) and evil (the spider woman).