13 September 2006

Ink Blots XXIX - Rock & Rule

Ah the 80's. This rock opera features the works of Cheap Trick, Lou Reed, Debbie Harry of Blondie, and Iggy Pop. Have I got your attention yet? Well what if I throw in Earth, Wind & Fire?

The film opens with an explanation that long ago a war left only mutant cats, dogs, and rats as survivors - which explains the characters freakish appearances. We are introduced to Mok, a superrocker, who is trying to open an interdimensional portal. Next we meet Omar and Angel who also have a band and they are trying to make it big. Turns out, Angel's voice is the key to opening the interdimensional portal, so Mok kidnaps her and makes her perform a concert to summon a demon.

The animation is odd in this film. The tone is serious, but all of the characters have big snouts like they are in a Saturday morning cartoon. Also, there is some attempt to make Angel hot, but I don't think most humans fall for rat people, no matter how red their lipstick.

I am not surprised this was not a box office hit, but I am surprised that it only took in $30,379. Apparently the "evils" of rock and roll scared away many parents and their potential rocker kids. I wonder how a gangster rap themed cartoon would do today? Certainly this is an interesting novelty and certainly it is unique, but captivating it is not. Maybe if it featured the works of Weezer (or The Beatles) I would be more hooked. But Weezerless, I score Rock and Rule a C.

Check out the film's trailer:


Kory said...

Definitely a fair review I think! Not great but at least there were a couple points in the movie where the animation quality gets knocked up a notch, I liked the strange layering of media to create the demon's flesh, and Mok's self-absorbed music video.

Chip Chief said...

that is true. the my name is mok video is worth checking out. it is available on youtube as well. i will even give a link for the curious.

toast said...

This is the first feature film to be made by the Canadian company Nelvana! Go Canada! It cost 8mil to produce and almost bankrupted the company.

I agree that the film's story is not the greatest and rather slow moving at parts. But I think that it has some great animation. Definitely on par if not better than other features released in the 80s.

David Bowie was the visual inspiration for Mok.

You should read up on the huge amount to trouble Nelvana went through trying to get this movie made. No studio wanted to distribute it. The US recut it hoping to make it more popular. It wasn't. I really attribute MGM and their poor marketing to the dimise of this movie. It has a good cult following here in Canada and a small one in the States.

Chip Chief said...

oddly, wasnt it the care bears movie that saved Nelvana?

j said...

If it was the Care Bears movie then thank heavens it did. I enjoyed the whole series of Care Bear movies.

Chip Chief said...

they also made the star wars droids and ewoks shows. and eek! the cat.

Anonymous said...

four of my teachers at Sheridan worked on this. The demon at the end was raw meat animated under the camera.

I stil prefer this over Heavy Metal 1 & 2. And the guys who worked on it have gone on to better things.

Chip Chief said...

animated meat? nice.