Mad God

Mad God
Running time:83 minutes
Director:Phil Tippett
Release date:Not communicated
Under a hail of enemy fire, an intrepid special agent trapped in a container is gradually lowered into an ominous-looking shaft. The deeper he goes into the shaft, the more ruins and debris testify to the unforgiving nature of time. The capsule finally reaches the ground and its occupant emerges with a map and a mission in mind. The surrounding landscape denotes a deteriorated and decrepit world, a horrifying decay. But our hero will not be discouraged, although what awaits him is even more terrifying...

Mulder's Review

Phil Tippett is undoubtedly one of the best visual effects supervisor and producer but above all a visionary and his second film after Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation (2004) easily confirms it. After having truly revolutionized the world of special effects with his remarkable work on the original Star Wars trilogy also films like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), Robocop (1987), Robocop 2 (1990), Jurassic Park (1993), Jurassic World (2015), Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018). His work in the field of stop motion and computer animation of characters has made him appear as a worthy descendant of Ray Harryhausen and has imposed him to the major American studios as a must. It is easy to understand his desire to make a film that really resembles him and that allows him to push his art to its limits. It took him thirty years to create in his own studio a film that is a real personal effort and made in stop-motion and partly funded by a Kickstarter campaign. In Mad God, the sets, environments and creatures have all been carefully designed by hand.

Mad God is a surprising animated film in more ways than one. Far from wanting to propose a traditional film, it is first of all a technical feat since the whole film is shot in stop motion except for some scenes with real actors. In the same way, we could not imagine a better illustration of a horrific world than the one shown here, yet behind this omnipresent violence, a true visual poetry of an artist who has completely invested himself is emerging. Impossible to remain insensitive in front of this treasure of inventiveness and creativity which imposes itself as a work outside time. Like a sculptor kneads his clay to make a work of art, Phil Tippett conceived this film as a testimony of his hard work in stop-motion. Behind this frame-by-frame animation stands a singular and obsessive work of an artist aiming for visual perfection and capable of working on it for countless hours.

From the very first minutes in which we see a human-like being reaching the bowels of a planet on a suicide mission, the emphasis is placed. Director and screenwriter Phil Tippett creates with Mad God an unparalleled cinematic experience. Like a baroque opera, we follow and watch a film that deals with human insanity, war, monsters of all kinds and an apocalyptic future in which humanity seems to be living its last hours. The title of the film Mad God comes back to the artistic creation in which artists can create worlds as they wish and have the possibility to do what they want with them.

Mad God is not made for a wide audience as some scenes are typical of horror films or even gore films in which blood is omnipresent and violence is often graphic. By creating this animated film Phil Tippett reminds us at times of Tim Burton's universe but also his true idea of hell. Even if it would be too simplistic to compare this film to a waking nightmare, Mad God is first of all a masterful dive into our very humanity. Like a goldsmith, Phil Tippett has brought to life a beautifully created, moving film that will haunt your memory for a long time to come. Like no other film, Mad God is not only a testament to an artist of genius, but also to a passionate man who has given his entire life to making cinema even better. His contribution to the cinematic universe has allowed the audience to see giant dinosaurs come to life, a giant robot confronted by Robocop but above all to push the limits of our imagination. Mad God is certainly in this sense a true masterpiece and we strongly advise you to discover it.

Mad God
Written and directed by Phil Tippett
Produced by Phil Tippett
Starring Alex Cox, Niketa Roman, Satish Ratakonda, Harper Taylor, Brynn Taylor 
Music by Dan Wool
Cinematography: Chris Morley, Phil Tippett
Edited by Ken Rogerson 
Production companies : Tippett Studio
Release date : August 5, 2021 (Locarno), Augsut 22, 2021 (Fantasia)
Running time : 83 minutes

Seen on August 21, 2021 (Fantasia press screener)

Mulder's Mark: