Spike & Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation 2003

Spike & Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation seems to have been going downhill the past few years, and this year really sealed the deal for me. I don't think I am going to bother attending next year's screening. The simple problem is this: there isn't enough new stuff for me to continue to send my ticket money their way. This year's flyer advertised "28 New Films! Now With 75% More Than Last Year!" The problem is that with the advent of the Internet, I had already seen the more clever shorts, and the ones that I hadn't seen were lackluster at best.

I don't expect high brow humor when I sit down at a Sick & Twisted screening, but this year shorts like "The Inbreds," "Coco the Junkie Pimp 3: Revenge of the Junki", and "Five Fucking Fables" tried to "raise the bar" but simply ended up falling flat (at least with this reviewer). While the "Happy Tree Friends" shorts were mostly funny, it seemed that Spike and Mike knew the show was weak this year and jammed 6 of their shorts into the Festival this year to carry the deadweight. That's not to say that the show was universally bad. The two "Nougat" shorts had me rolling, and "Roofsex" was great. Bill Plympton produced a few funny shorts, although I remember one or two being ho-hum. "Pickles Day Out" seemed to be universally approved by the audience and "1300cc," which was a bit long in my opinion was still pretty well done. Proving that some people still know how to make a funny short involving "fuck" jokes, "A Father and Son Chat" was great and the Spumco produced video for Tenacious D's "Fuck Her Gently" is funny every time I see it.

I would rather see more original work at the festival, and one would think that with the advent of the Internet and more advanced computer animation tools Spike and Mike would start to feature some of the good products of the net cartoon generation, but they seem content to re-screen favorites that made the crowd laugh the year before (or for the past several years, in some cases). I would rather save my money and see the Future Animators of the Future show twice next time (which has been more consistent, even if they have the same "re-screening" problem to a smaller extent).