Sunday, September 30, 2012

I Saw a Strange Movie: "I Married a Strange Person" (1998)

Bill Plympton, the animator I always associated with nice little animation pieces usually consisting of people having their facial features exaggerated in some way, gets out all of his frustrations in a full length effort that blows the doors off of any Japanese anime.

Grant and Keri are newlyweds. They begin having problems with their marriage right away. Keri's parents hate Grant, and at dinner one day, Grant begins imagining horrible things happening to his new family. A small lobe develops in his neck, thanks to a misplaced satellite TV signal, and when he imagines a giant blade of grass trying to lawn mow his neighbor, it really happens.

This interferes with Keri and Grant's sex life in what must be the funniest cartoon sex scene ever filmed. Grant goes on a talk show, and shows off his new power. He becomes the target of Smile Corp., who want his power in order to bolster their sagging television ratings. The rest of the film consists of one giant running gun and tank battle between Grant and Keri and the uniformed goons from the corporation.

This film is not for children. The whole thing is animated in that Plympton style, but he seems to cut loose here, resulting in a wild ride that never lets up. Barely 73 minutes, the action will leave you exhausted. The gore is intense resulting in hilarious, disgusting scenes. One split open corpse is used as a skateboard, and Grant's daydreaming usually consists of violence. There are more guns fired here than in all the Rambo, Lethal Weapon, and Terminator films combined. The giant goons sent after Grant are hilarious, and the constant sound of automatic gunfire that takes up the last half of the film takes on its own humor.

The sexual scenes are also explicit, and very shocking for an animated film. The best scenes involve Keri's parents. If you have ever been married, or in a serious relationship where you have met the significant other's parents, you can totally relate to Grant's experiences. Keri's father's foul mouthed prayer before the meal is classic.

I loved this film. I have mentioned "Killer Tongue" a few times in my reviews, and I think this film even out grosses out that one. Plympton boldly stomps into an area recently dominated by bland Japanese anime and memories of the overrated Ralph Bakshi, and kicks the ink out of both genres, reducing them to shallow, quirky cartoons. If you find this and watch it, you will not believe your eyes. If you finish it, and are completely offended, then I think Plympton succeeded. This is one marriage I am glad works out.

Definitely seek "I Married a Strange Person" out, and take my word for it. (* * * * *) out of five stars.