Tuesday 26 November 2013

SuperFuzz (2013)

Director: David Towles-Moore
This film was an official selection at the Filmstock Arizona 2013 round of the revolving Filmstock film festival. Here's an index to my reviews of all selections.
This film was an official selection at the Phoenix Film Festival in Phoenix in 2013. Here's an index to my reviews of 2013 films.
I've already reviewed a couple of short films (A Stray and The Worst Best Man) that will be screening at Filmstock Arizona 2013 in early December, but I plan on reviewing the rest too. I ought to start with the pair I saw back in October at Filmstock in the Park, a free public event at the Downtown Phoenix Civic Space. I saw a few notable films that night but the most memorable had to be SuperFuzz, an animation without dialogue from filmmaker David Towles-Moore. It's an energetic affair, to put it mildly, a surreal one and a highly accessible one. It has such universal appeal that I'd be hard put to imagine anyone it wouldn't play well to, which makes its many festival wins unsurprising. It landed awards at Filmstock Colorado, so is now happily circulating round this revolving film festival that travels the four corner states: Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona. If it was eligible for prizes at the others, it would no doubt win them. It's hard to say no to a black ninja fighting a psychotic teddy bear.
Yeah, you heard that right. The ninja is Gray and he likes nothing more than relaxing after a hard day's work with some Super Co Chocolate Milk. Given that he's a ninja, you wouldn't think he'd have much of a hardship drinking milk from his fridge, but you don't know about Sevelle yet. That's his teddy bear, a cute and cuddly little critter some of the time and, well, a psychotic and metamorphic beast whenever he gets near some Super Co Chocolate Milk. What are the odds? So Gray has to sneak into his very own apartment, unlock the secret compartment in his fridge and spirit the milk away before Sevelle decides to steal it from him in the form of the clearly insane Mr Fudgems with his own, not inconsiderable, ninja skills. Five minutes later, the end. If that's not a synopsis for the greatest action film ever, I don't know what is. Well, OK, a ninety minute version that never stops being inventive would trump it. It would also succeed The Raid: Redemption as the closest thing to the xkcd ultimate action movie.

Animating the story means that Towles-Moore didn't have to find someone at Arizona State University like Iko Uwais or Tony Jaa to bring it to life. He could do that himself and he did, filling many crew slots all on his own, though with the assistance of a number of others where needed. Everything is pristine but especially worthy of note are his choreography and his sound. I think he uses every part of Gray's apartment in their epic battle, without stretching, and there's hardly a repeated move. Every sound is joyous and there are a succession of them; so many noises without a single word, gradually clustering together as the action builds until they're layered. He also makes room for great little moments, like a perfectly timed squeak. Sure, it's not the most original storyline that ever hit the screen, given that it's basically Clouseau vs Cato, albeit where Clouseau is a frickin' ninja and Cato is a frickin' metamorphic demonic teddy bear, but who cares? It's five minutes of magic. Even the credits are perfect.

Oh, and I may be accidentally timing this perfectly. Happy birthday, David Towles-Moore!

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