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Spike And Mike's Sick & Twisted Festival Of Animation 2001


Spike And Mike's Sick & Twisted Festival Of Animation 2001

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Rarely as sick or twisted as the name suggests, the annual Spike And Mike's Sick & Twisted Festival Of Animation is even more rarely of the same quality as their non-sick, non-twisted animation festivals. This year is no exception in the latter respect, but most entries do live up to the "sick and twisted" tag, emphasizing shock value above all else. Want to see semen as imagined by those working in traditional animation, claymation, and stop-motion using Legos? Then consider this the hottest ticket in town, but what most of these shorts provide in bodily fluids they lack in wit. There are notable exceptions. Pixar contributes the funny, gorgeously animated "For The Birds." Raymond Persi and Matthew Natsuk perversely re-create Fleischer-era animation with "Ghost Of Stephen Foster," an animated video to the Squirrel Nut Zippers song. Best of all, if still a mixed bag, is Don Hertzfeldt's high-concept "Rejected," a series of inappropriate animated promos rejected by organizations like the Family Learning Channel. As always, getting to the high points involves sitting through lows, which this year are lower than most. The crude puppet show of "Coco, The Junkie Pimp 2" wouldn't make the cut at a student film festival, and here burns off a torturous six minutes. "Sloaches Fun House" is at least technically skilled, but so grotesque as to be virtually unendurable. More typical is "Radioactive Crotch Man 3" which features a hero with, you guessed it, a radioactive crotch. So it goes for most of 2001's fest: tasteless ideas executed with little cleverness and stretched past the breaking point. Sick and twisted, sure, but little more.