Spike & Mike's Sick & Twisted Festival of Animation 2004

Spike & Mike's Sick & Twisted Festival of Animation 2004

2004, NR, 110 min. Directed by Various.

REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., Jan. 30, 2004

The self-appointed kings of gross-out animation are back with the 2004 edition of their Sick & Twisted cartoon showcase. With only a few repeats from past shows, this new crop of ’toons hits all the usual sex, violence, and body-humor notes. Familiar cartoons, such as Shane Acker’s "The Hangnail" and Don Hertzfeldt’s "Billy’s Balloon," remind us of the cruel world we live in – and numerous new works also take up that theme. "Heavy" by Kell McGregor and "The Mousochist" by John Dilworth come to mind, as does the hilarious "Tinky Winky: The Last of the Teletubbies" by Steven Schuch. The latter is a cartoon that is a post-Barney update of the classic "Bambi Meets Godzilla." Peppered throughout the program are more sadistic episodes of the cultish Happy Tree Friends series than you can shake a stick at. Another inspired piece is Josh Bass’ "Ninjews," a claymation ’toon featuring superheroes created by the use of a ninja sword at a bris. Technically, most of the films in this collection use simple line drawings, and it’s interesting to see the different figurative styles on display. An entertaining stop-motion film is "Peepshow" by Debbie Bruce and Natalie Repp, which uses those Easter Peeps bunnies to do what bunnies do best: multiply. Sex is on the mind of many of the animators as in Patrick Mallek’s "My First Boner" and Bruce Simpson’s "Stickgirl," but only longtime animator Bill Plymton’s "Petting in the Dark" really captures that unbridled burst of lewdness that can also be sensed in the early underground comics when they first broke away from the mainstream. (The catchy theme song of "My First Boner," which comes – so to speak – at the end of the program, causes many people to leave the theatre singing the tune.) Only the French-made "How to Cope With Death" by Ignacio Ferreras and the aforementioned "Heavy" attempt any philosophical underpinnings, although they, too, have their share of physical anguish and torture. Before the show starts and during the intermission, Spike and Mike lead the crowd in bawdy audience participation exercises designed to get viewers into receptive moods. Also handed out to patrons are free 3-D glasses – just don’t look too hard for the 3-D film.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Various Films
2021 Oscar-Nominated Short Films: Animation
The also-rans are as good as this year's animated nominees

Richard Whittaker, April 2, 2021

2021 Oscar-Nominated Shorts: Live Action
Great performances bolster this year's Academy nominees

Selome Hailu, April 2, 2021

More by Marjorie Baumgarten
Nomadland
Story of America's itinerant population wanders too much

Feb. 19, 2021

The Reason I Jump
Poetic insight into autism, based on Naoki Higashida memoir

Jan. 8, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Spike & Mike's Sick & Twisted Festival of Animation 2004, Various

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle