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The Paisano Review
February 13, 2006

Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation

by Jessica Elizarraras

February 13, 2006

Ever find yourself planning to watch the newest episodes of Family Guy, Drawn Together or the widely celebrated, South Park? Do you often express your bizarre humor in the most publicly uncomfortable of ways?

If you fit any of these descriptions, then Spike and Mike’s Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation is probably right up your …alley.

Brought to San Antonio by Alamo Draft House Cinemas, Spike and Mike’s Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation has, for the past 20 years been an annual event that has had a huge impact on the modern day television viewing experience.

The Festival is the Godfather to the cult-favorite Beavis and Butthead and held the first premiere of Wallace and Gromit in the US.

The 90-minute show promptly began with an opening from Mike and Spike, which swiftly prepared the crowd for the rest of the show. In effect, it was filled to the brim with explosions, four-letter expletives and animation slap-stick, which was indicative of what would follow.

The animation shorts ranged from the mildly violent to all-out cartoon dominatrix-style bondage. Probably the most sick and twisted part of the festival was the widely used familiarity of the cartoons.

From “Jack and Jill as interpreted by Andrea Shear” in which Jill shoves Jack into a well and is pulled into the well herself by a rope that is attached to Jack’s plummeting body, to “Peep Land,” where marshmallow peeps have a massive amount of sex that leads to the overpopulation of peeps in the world, that ultimately collapses.

One of the festivals more digitally advanced cartoon was “The Zit.” After three years in production, “The Zit” can easily be compared to Disney/Pixar “The Incredibles” or “Finding Nemo.”

“Learning Self-Defense” was another hit. The aptly named cartoon featured a regular Joe who played according to the rules but was still at risk for being a victim of bullies. Joe follows a series of steps (Have a Plan and Stick to It, God is on your side, and Pre-emptive Self-Defense) and it is through them that he transforms into a gun-toting vigilante and kills everyone in his way.

This year’s festival also included two cartoons featuring the cult favorite “Happy Tree Friends,” a group of cute but extremely accident-prone woodland creatures. “Happy Tree Friends” has about the same amount of spilled blood as any Quentin Tarantino film.

One of the most high-profile cartoons, “Saving Virgil,” ventured outside the world of pure cartoons. Voiced by Adam Corolla, Virgil, is technically a 2-D boy who can feel any human emotion and whose parents happen to be the leader of a motorcycle gang and a porn star.

An out-right outcast from birth, Virgil finds himself the focus of media attention when he tries to commit suicide atop the Hollywood sign. Without divulging the ending, let’s just say, Gary Coleman’s cameo steals the show.

By far, my favorites were Don Hertzfeldt’s “Rejected” and from the producers of “Dr. Tran,” “Roybertitos.”

“Rejected,” perhaps the most random cartoons of the festival, is a series of stick figure commercials that were rejected from various networks and companies. You will never look at a bowl of cereal the same way after watching the first few seconds of this film.

“Roybertitos” is all too reminiscent of Mexican restaurant commercials. The fast-paced animation, coupled with the horrible voice-overs and stereotypical Mexican cook, made for one of the funniest commercial spoofs I’ve ever seen.

The festival ended with a fitting good-bye from Spike and Mike, telling the crowd the show was over and to “Get the Fuck Out!!”

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