Sure, they look sweet, but we bet the Happy Tree Friends are really up to no good.
Sure, they look sweet, but we bet the Happy Tree Friends are really up to no good.


It's hard to believe that animation and clay--the same media that brought us Mickey Mouse and Gumby--could also spawn the likes of entries from The Spike & Mike Sick & Twisted Festival of Animation. They're hard-core cartoons with blood and boobs and plenty of unmentionables, ones with animation so vulgar, so violent and so obscene that they can only be shown at midnight. The name is certainly no misnomer.

Hide the children because the festival that introduced such cartoons as Beavis & Butt-head, South Park and Mutilator--the latter claymation by the producer of MTV's Celebrity Deathmatch--is coming to Dallas. If your idea of a raunchy cartoon is Family Guy and the freakiest thing you've seen at Magnolia Theatre is Secretary, we'd recommend you just go on back home. You may not be emotionally prepared. Besides, we hear tonight's Frasier rerun is a real knee-slapper.

But if you are willing to test your capacity for gore and fit into the group of what a representative of the Spike & Mike festival describes as "the ones who come out of the woodwork," then get tickets now for one of the four showings. And be ready, because, as the rep says, "People who come to the screenings know what they're getting into. We've had folks come in drunk, high; sometimes they'll bring along friends who've never seen it before. They're generally pretty shocked."

The festival began in the early '70s in the Bay Area of California as a way to promote underground bands using animated film shorts; Craig "Spike" Decker and Mike Gribble later dropped the musical aspect and focused their efforts on showcasing animated films full time. From their creation of the Classic Festival of Animation came the Sick & Twisted affair, a sort of deviant brother that catered to the darker, more explicit works, acquiring what the Spike & Mike company calls "a definite cult following."

The pageant of atrocities is stopping in West Village to supply us with their own recommended dosage of brutality, violent sex and clay. If we were in charge of the hard-core ratings system, we'd give Spike & Mike's an extra X to add to its pre-existing three. Along with viewings of works titled Coco the Junky Pimp: 3, Roofsex and The Inbreds will be a short film set to the uncensored version of Tenacious D's Fuck Her Gently. This is right in tune with past years that have featured necrophilia, pregnant druggie whores and unlimited amounts of semen pouring from everything from Homo sapiens to horses. Don't say you weren't warned. Too bad it's limited to viewers 18 and up, because much of this humor would most likely be appreciated by a drove of adolescent boys. For those less impressed by animated bodily fluids, it might take a gag reflex made of iron to keep from feeling like you're being beaten into submission by a large blunt object.


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