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Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Crazy. Just plain balls-out crazy. That's about the only way to describe the sheer insanity and wholesale carnage on display in Jo Beom-jin's AACHI & SSIPAK, a South Korean exercise in unbridled animated mayhem and humorous bad taste. I saw a free screening of it in Tribeca last night and I'm completely blown away.

At an unspecified point in the future, the only renewable energy resource is human excrement, so the government anally implants citizens with an identity ring that takes note of when they drop a deuce, and the citizen's contribution to the fuel supply is rewarded with a narcotic Juicy Bar, an addictive taste treat that looks like a popsicle made from Windex. Unfortunately, a side-effect of Juicy Bars is that they can turn those who eat them into borderline-retarded blue mutants who can now only metabolize Juicy Bars for nourishment, and when the government cuts off distribution of the bars to the mutants, they band together under the leadership of the Diaper King and ravage armed Juicy Bar shipments as the ultra-violent Diaper Gang. In the aptly-named Shit City, Juicy bars are abundant, so the gang has plenty to plunder.

Highway robbery: the Diaper Gang hijacks a shipment of Juicy Bars.

But the government isn't having that, so their resident very mad scientist, Dr. Strange, creates Geko, an inhumanly agile, motorbike-riding super-cyborg who's equipped with enough ordnance to overthrow a small country. Geko regularly annihilates droves of the Diapers, but their numbers seem limitless so his fight goes on and on.

Geko, the cybernetic one-man army, in action.

Into this maelstrom of violence ride the diminutive Aachi and his bald, shirtless friend, Ssipak, two biker punks who make a living by hanging around public lavatories and ripping off Juicy Bars from citizens while they're still on the bowl and selling the bars on the lucrative black market. After getting beaten up by prison-based gangsters whose territory they've horned in on, the pair find Jimmy the Freak, a flamboyant pornographer who's making an "artistic" film about a girl whose anus saves the world (don't ask), and the two get him Carlos Castaneda-level fucked-up on Juicy Bars in order to remote control his body and wreak vengeance upon the the crime boss whose boys had earlier assaulted them and made off with their ill-gotten loot. As the Diaper Gang also zeroes in on the crime boss and his Juicy Bar ring, all hell breaks loose, landing Jimmy in the clutches of the Diaper King, while the boys meet Beautiful, an avaricious porn actress who sought the lead in Jimmy's new film (and turned up her nose at his anally-oriented film concept, instead suggesting he focus on her world-saving tits).

Beautiful makes her pitch.

During the Juicy Bar-spurred madness, Jimmy explains to the Diaper King that all he needs to do to get all the Juicy Bars he and his people need is to find someone who takes exceptional dumps and implant them with several of those anal identification rings. In theory that would cause a decent dump to yield vast amounts of the bars, and Jimmy points the Diaper Gang in the direction of the perfect subject, namely Beautiful. Once kidnapped by the gang, Beautiful is unwillingly stuffed with the identity rings, only to be rescued in the nick of time by our heroes (at the insistence of the smitten Ssipak).

Beautiful, getting anally stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey, just as our heroes arrive to literally save her ass.

With Beautiful now amounting to the goose that laid the golden eggs, the trio turn her defacatory yield into an avalanche of Juicy Bars ready for black market distribution and in no time the crew find themselves Tony Montana-level wealthy, which allows them to live out their dreams of tacky opulence.

Our newly rich heroes, stylin' and profilin'.

But such a state of affairs was not meant to last and the forces of the government, the Diaper Gang and the utterly mad Dr. Strange each converge to claim Beautiful (who has plans of her own for her cash cow ass) and shut down the crew's operation. While a cornucopia of mayhem and violence erupts from every conceivable direction, it's a race against time to save Beautiful from a horrid existence of rectal slavery as Aachi and Ssapik must simultaneously contend with the legion of Diaper Gang Mutants, the guns-a-blazin' fury of Geko, evil government officials, and some special threats dreamed up by the psycho doctor.

The battle for Beautiful.

AACHI & SSIPAK is a delirious, beautifully-designed and colorful head-on collision of a NATIONAL LAMPOON sensibility, a HEAVY METAL-style anarchic and dystopian future, and the kind of wild sci-fi fun to be found in 2000 AD magazine during its classic period. It's also a real treat for film buffs because it references and pays homage to many of the films that it was influenced by, but, unlike a Quentin Tarantino crib-fest like KILL BILL VOL. 1, it never becomes a feature-length checklist of the filmmaker's sources.

Beautiful borrows a page from Uma Thurman during the film's "wealth" montage.

By far the best and most entertaining Asian animated movie I've seen in ages, I cannot recommend this highly enough for those of a mind to check it out. The only problem with doing so is that AACHI & SSIPAK is not yet legally available on DVD here in the States, obtainable only via "gray market" DVD if you know where to look, and on YouTube. At last night's screening, the show's host stated that the film is supposedly slated for legitimate release on DVD next year, so keep your eyes open. Until then, go here for the first fourteen minutes of the film. You will NOT be disappointed, so make sure to watch this as large as possible. (I would have embedded it, but embedding of this material was disabled by request.)

Aachi, clearly grooving on the profits garnered from Beautiful's bountiful turds.

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