Phil Tippett’s Mad God review by Bobby Blakey
Phil Tippett has been making movie magic since the 70s working on the special effects and creatures and everything in between in films such as the original Star Wars trilogy, Piranha, Willow, Robocop, Jurassic Park and so much more. Back in 1990 he started working on his passion project Mad God, but soon shelved it after feeling that stop motion was a dying art after his time on Jurassic Park and the change to CGI. Now after all these years the finished film is here, but is it worth waiting for or will it be a trip to out there to endure?
Mad God follows the Assassin, an iron-clad humanoid equipped with a gas mask and a crumbling map who descends into a rusty, peril-laden underworld of grime, blood, and unsettling monstrosities. As the stealthy invader meanders through the labyrinthine post-apocalyptic wasteland on a mysterious mission, going deeper and deeper in the nightmarish realm, the Assassin gradually reaches his final destination: the heart of this grotesque tower of torture. But what cruel, vindictive deity allows fear and suffering to take its most complete creation further and further into despair? Only a Mad God would revel in humankind's ordeal.
I have heard rumblings of this project for years and when the trailer for this film finally dropped over a year ago I have been eager to check it out. I love all things stop motion and a fan of Tippett’s amazing work so knew this had to be something unique and it is that and then some. The entire vibe of the film reminded me of a music video from the band Tool back in the day infused with sci-fi and horror bringing to life something that is strange, surreal, disgusting and beautiful all at once.
There is no dialogue in the entire film with only growls and grumbles serving the voices and it still makes total sense in a bizarre way. This is for sure not for everyone and features some creepy and strange visuals that might put some people off, but is striking and pure genius at work. The film is mostly stop motion, but also blends with some live action to create an interesting piece that has to be seen to really understand.
I truly loved the overall experience of the film and think that the brilliance of Tippett’s work and mind shines through the darkness of it all. This is not a film that will work for everyone as it is something that requires you to see through the grotesque and twisted nature to see its beauty at its core. Horror fans will likely dig it more than most, but I hope it finds its audience because it is a true vision accomplished and a work that deserves to be seen.
Decide for yourself and experience Phil Tippett’s Mad God available now on Blu-ray and DVD as well as streaming on Shudder now.