SPIKE & MIKE'S SICK & TWISTED FESTIVAL OF ANIMATION
runs April 26-May 18 at Varsity
COPIOUS ANAL bleeding. Third input forcible entry. Explosive diarrhea. Proctology high jinks. If you think this shit—pun intended—is comic nirvana in the right context (actually, scratch the "right context" part), you're probably already a fan of this popular annual cartoon vomitorium/compilation.
Boasting two dozen titles, the 2002 edition is prefaced with an appropriately profane live-action short in which Craig "Spike" Decker—Mike Gribble died in 1994—revisits the dilapidated house where oddballs like Mike Judge, Tim Burton, and Jim Rose convened to cut their artistic teeth. The barely lucid Decker mumbles that macabre ringmaster Rose was into "organ origami" during his visits; when asked to elaborate, Decker shrugs, "He was playing with his dick."
The following hour of proudly randy animated films are diverse in approach but stagnant in content. The dregs, like Choke Spot Choke, and Nanna and Little Puss Puss—in which an elderly woman in a rocking chair literally "strokes her soft wet pussy"—riff tiredly off playground euphemisms. Los Primos' predictable take on the Harry Pothead children's book series appears to have been conceived under the influence, and the South Park—influenced Behind the Music . . . That Sucks features on Eminem and Britney Spears are exercises in shooting caged deer.
Spike and Mike veterans provide the major highlights. Bill Plympton's surreal restaurant debacle Eat and Don Hertzfeldt's Oscar-nominated Rejected series add wit, imagination, and irony to the grotesquerie. The latter's vindictive stick-figure theater delivers subtle goofs on commercialization—and the aforementioned copious anal bleeding to boot.
A few oldies sneak in, including Betty Boop and a queer-bashing Lenny Bruce routine cleverly dubbed into a cowboys-and-Indians cartoon. But these seem archaic, pearls from a time when you didn't require a preschooler guzzling bong water to draw laughs.