Can you imagine taking Fritz Lang’s Metropolis by the scruff of the neck, dragging it through a septic tank filled with toxic waste and owl pellets, electrocuting it, injecting it with dubious hormones, and irradiating its nether regions so that its secret inner organs grow tumours and swell to the size of rotted grapefruits before bursting open to reveal an inner landscape populated by hopelessly toiling figures whose future holds the promise only of immolation, degradation, decapitation, or any one of a hundred equally, miserably futile fates, and whose only hope for salvation lies in the unreliable intentions of a lone subversive inexplicably embarked on a mission to perhaps unearth a truth, or demolish a deity, or else simply plod ever deeper into the sick blinded eye of an all-seeing mind that understands beyond all doubt and reason that it has finally degenerated into an irreversible, unquenchable state of madness?
If you can’t imagine it, don’t worry. Someone’s done it for you. His name is Phil Tippett, and his new stop-motion animated short film Mad God: Part Two is available to purchase online right now. If you enjoy things that go bump – and squelch, and “eeeuuaaargh!” – in the night, I urge you to watch it. You won’t regret it … well, okay, maybe you will regret it when you wake up in the wee hours in a cold sweat, wondering if the truly hideous Butt Sergeant is coming after you …
Confused? Don’t be. I had the pleasure of interviewing Phil – the man responsible for more movie monsters than you can shake a stick at – back in 2014, when he told me all about his crowdfunded labour of love, the independent animated movie project known as Mad God. During the interview, Phil told me:
“Mad God is the antithesis of my day job, where there’s a lot of filmmaking rules. I thought of it like a painting that I would work on a for a long period of time, maybe shoot something over here, and something over there, and not really know exactly how they were going to link. I studied my dreams. I read a lot of Jung. I wanted to use the unconscious to drive the thing. And that takes more time. You have to let things cook for a while. I wanted to do something without the trappings of story and plot.”
Okay. Enough orientation. I think you’re ready. Well, as ready as you’ll ever be. It’s time for you to join The Assassin as he continues his mission to find and destroy the dark heart of a doomed world. It’s time for you to meet the enslaved and splatter-prone Shit-Men in their sunken Miltonian realm. It’s time for you to hold your breath and pray for salvation.
Because Max isn’t the only one who’s gone mad.
All images copyright © Tippett Studio 2014.