Friday, December 4, 2020

Violence Voyager

Violence Voyager

Bobby and Akkun are two young boys who decide to go out for an adventure. After being warned about climbing a mountain (which they promptly ignore) they discover Violence Voyager, a theme park where you shoot at cardboard aliens with water guns. The boys discover an unconscious girl in the park and that is when the true nature of Violence Voyager is revealed and if they don’t escape they are destined to become food for the thing that lives there.

The look of Violence Voyager is the most immediately striking thing about it. The entire film is told through painted cardboard puppets in front of painted backgrounds. The characters wiggle around as they talk and act. The fluids however are all very real, water, blood, and uh... other fluids splash and drip over the puppets and it manages to get pretty gooey by the end.

Sponsored by the Oozinator™

Despite the seemingly innocent opening act, the odd character design gives everything an uneasy air. The world that the characters inhabit with its open spaces, foreboding mountains, and random chimps boils with menace just underneath the surface. If anything, Violence Voyager evokes an aesthetic of MTV’s Liquid Television from the 1990s. I could easily see this film spliced up into segments and put on that show. 

Soon enough that menace explodes as the movie shifts gears. Once the horror kicks into full gear it doesn’t hold back. The cast is largely children and the unusual presentation allows Violence Voyager to not hold back from visiting some extreme body horror on these characters. Many people get their faces melted by acid and to be honest, they are getting off easy compared to others. There is a real sadistic streak throughout the film. It doesn’t feel gratuitous as it helps create an air of suspense. I was honestly not sure if our protagonist was going to survive or not after the pure hell he has been put through.

What happens when you set the clock on your VCR wrong.

Despite all the horror and violence, there is also a strong comedic streak throughout the film as well. The premise itself is absurd despite its deadly seriousness. A mad scientist has constructed an entire amusement part to trap children to turn into food in the most roundabout way possible to feed his monstrous child. Our heroes are aided by a band of animals including a chimp with giant whiskers, a wayward bat, and a seemingly unkillable cat.

Violence Voyager is many things, it’s funny, absurd, horrific, mean, and genuinely touching at times. It is a striking labor of love from its creator and although it can be a tough watch for some, it has a unique vision that we could use more of in film. It is a quirky little movie that isn’t for everyone, but I think that those who are inclined towards weird personal projects will love it. It is also freely available on YouTube, so go give it a watch.

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