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Shari Acharya
Georgia Straight, Vancouver, BC
November 15, 2005

Spike & Mike’s Sick & Twisted Festival of Animation 2005

By Ken Eisner

Publish Date: 10-Nov-2005

Rating unavailable. Plays Fridays and Saturdays at the Ridge until November 26, and November 27 and 28

Maybe it’s a mood thing. Assuming you are not a beer-soaked frat boy on a year-round basis, your most current temperament and inclinations will pretty much determine how you respond to the latest batch of Sick & Twisted cartoons. What with the rain and the world situation and all—however, I wouldn’t be surprised if more people than usual are prepared to chuckle at the sight of humping animals, chopped-up eyeballs, and—that old favourite—projectile vomit.

There are a couple of funny sex-related shorts, most of which seem to involve bunnies, for some reason. The most memorable is Bruce Simpson’s “On-Rop”, a brief description of disorientation that follows watching porn backward (hence the title). Sheer, untrammelled id is also the main motivator in Brad Abelson’s nine-minute “Save Virgil”, the biggest-profile new title on hand this time. Adam Carolla provides the voice for the title character, the foul-mouthed baby of a biker and his skanky wife. He also happens to be a randy cartoon in a live-action world.

Other technically impressive ‘toons include the computer-animated “Jack & Jill”, which suggests Mother Goose as cooked up by Stephen King and Edward Gorey, and Mike Blum’s “The Zit”, which does for pus what The Perfect Storm did for water.

Certainly, there’s not a lot of meaning to the “No Neck Joe” series, and often, being an animal is enough, as in the “Good Cat, Bad Cat” cartoons. Maybe it’s just me, but the “Dogs and Cats” of the French film of the same name seem to be stand-ins for human, you know, genitals. Elsewhere, a hamster (or something) is willing to literally make an ass of himself—while singing a vitrified version of “The Sounds of Silence” while stuffed up a donkey’s behind on “Donkey Bong”. Well, okay, what would you be singing?

In general, everyone here is up for quite a bit of pain and violence, with only one short having a real (sharpened) point. Chris Harding’s “Learn Self Defense” would be a handsomely drawn spoof of cowardly machismo even if you didn’t (eventually) recognize that the George doing all the defending here is the president of the you-know-what.

For some reason, the item that most cracked me up here was the last one, “Roybertitos”, a note-perfect spoof of the no-budget Mexican-food ads that show up on late-night TV in the western States. It gets more absurd and, of course, disgusting, as it goes along. Guess I was in the mood for it. But I still wonder what they put in the salsa.

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