Spike & Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation (2000)

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Spike & Mike’s Ghost of Stephen Foster
  • Spike & Mike’s Ghost of Stephen Foster

Hey kids, it’s time for Spike & Mike’s annual antidote to all that wretched holiday niceness and bogus good cheer, their seventh compendium of “sick and twisted” animation. And what could be a better palliative for all that saccharine seasonal sentiment than a bunch of gross and slimy taboo-busting fantasies from some alienated animator’s troubled unconscious? That’s right, nothing.

Of course, and as usual, only about a third of the entries really qualify as both sick and twisted, but they’re doozies. Sloaches Fun House, which Spike himself has declared “the sickest film ever,” is probably the only chance you’ll get this year to watch blindingly ugly clay creatures wallow in semen and shit — while Mike Grimshaw’s Deep Sympathy offers a gleeful depiction of necrophilia (which actually seems the least of its transgressions). And a too-detailed description of Pee & Graphenburg’s Birth of Abomination would probably get even this cutting-edge newspaper in trouble.

On the instructional side, Roy T. Wood’s Wheelchair Rebecca illustrates the old comedy formula that Dolls plus Degradation equals Funny, while Comas & Metzger’s Coco, The Junkie Pimp, Part 2 demonstrates that Drugs plus Marionettes equals Boring. These are truisms, not to be questioned.

Then there are gay people, who are always good for a laugh as shown in Rick & Steve: The Happiest Gay People in the World (OK, I’m being sarcastic, but this one does have some humorously barbed dialog) and the ever-popular Radioactive Crotch Man. But it’s dubious if these qualify as sick and twisted, even in the Age of Bush. Also only marginally bent is Dan Hertzfeldt’s happily postmodern Rejected, which purports to be a series of ads that were too edgy or just too weird for their clients — very conceptual.

Other themes include “children are evil” (we knew that) and “reindeers make for funny gangsters.” Throw in a few leftovers from past festivals and you have a well-rounded show. Enjoy (you sick bastards).

Showing exclusively at the Magic Bag (22920 Woodward, Ferndale), Dec. 20-21 and 26-30. Call 248-544-3030.

E-mail Richard C. Walls at letters@metrotimes.com.

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