- Movie Rating -

Mad God (2022)

| June 11, 2022

I don’t know what to do here.

I just spent an hour and twenty-three minutes beholding Phil Tippett’s Mad God, an ugly, unpleasant dystopian nightmare from which I exit the other side feeling unclean and confused.  However, given it’s pedigree, particularly the fact that Tippett – The Oscar-winning special effects wizard who worked on everything from Star Wars to Indiana Jones to RoboCop to Jurassic Park – spent 30 years trying to get this movie made, I feel therefore obliged to put down my critical sword and admit that the work here is impressive.

Where I am at odds though is trying to figure out why he wanted to make a movie this bleak.  This is a CG-animated horror exercise about a dystopian Dante-esqe wasteland in which everything is struggling, screaming, dying and praying for the icy hand of death.  Everything is either dripping, oozing or bleeding  It’s a filthy, crud-covered society teetering on the edge of a final death rattle that refuses to come.  The aesthetic is what I imagine might be happening in my duct work if I wait too long to call a guy with hoses to clean it out.

The movie itself has a story that I’m sure will be interpreted and dissected by YouTube analysis for the next 20 years (stay tuned) but at first glance this largely appears to be art for art’s sake.  We follow an assassin wearing a gas mask, a bulky trench coat and a WW1 Brodie Helmet as he traverses a disgusting world full of predators and scavengers whose destination and motivation is really unto themselves.  Smaller creatures struggle to eek out a measure of survival but always under the knowledge that they can be gobbled up by the next globular brobdinagian mutation that happens to lumber by.  I didn’t time it, but I think something dies in this movie every 20 seconds.

The Assassin’s mission, we learn, is to follow a crumbling map into the bowels of this world where he plants a suitcase bomb that never goes off.  What happens after that is, I guess, up to you.  What I gleaned from it it was that the mission keeps failing and so another assassin is retrained (or rebirthed) and is sent back into the lair to plant yet another explosive that, this time, might go actually off.

Okay, so reading back over my summary, I can see that it probably makes more sense than what came out of the movie.  So much happens in this movie, so many gelatinous creatures lumber onto the screen and have nasty things happen to them that you kind of lose your sense of direction.  Wh  at comes in the third act is not entirely clear.  I wasn’t sure if we were looking at a hope of rebirth like 2001: A Space Odyssey or the possibility that hope was up to mankind like The Terminator.  Or perhaps it was a universe-crashing microcosm like The LEGO Movie.  I really don’t know.

Again, I’m at odds.  I want to recommend the movie for it’s visual style, but I know that most will be repelled by its wasteland of ugliness.  This is an unpleasant journey to which you can admire the craft but you can’t admire the experience.  Taste will vary, so see for yourself.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(2022) View IMDB Filed in: Animated, Horror