Sometimes there are films that define their audience simply from their synopses. Korean animated feature Aachi & Ssipak is one such film. Set in a future where the main source of power is, uh, human faeces, two hoodlums (the titular Aachi and Ssipak) find themselves caught between the fascist government and a tribe of blue psychos, mutated by the narcotic popsicles the populace are awarded in return for defecation. Into the mix comes a cyborg cop, porn actress with amazing shitting powers over whom a war quickly develops.
Your reaction to that premise will quickly decide whether Aachi & Ssipak is the movie for you.
This is unhinged animation. Like Ren and Stimpy meets Mad Max, the dystopian world of Aachi & Ssipak is a wasteland of spontaneous (and extreme) violence, doublecrossing, mutants, transsexuals, chase scenes, massive lashings of toilet humour, Indiana Jones-style mine cart sequences, desert battles and more violence all depicted in an anarchic, blitzkrieg-fast cartoon style.
The animation itself is stunning, with bright colours and 2-D characters interacting with 3-D backgrounds in shots that are often gorgeous. The density of work is such that the shots never linger and instead the whole delivers a sugar-rush of wild imagery. Everything happens so fast that if you blink you literally miss another jaw-dropping moment.
Despite the meticulous visuals, however, Aachi & Ssipak struggles when it comes to the storytelling aspect. The plot is fairly straightforward, although mixes in enough twists to retain the interest. But the biggest drawback is the fact that none of the characters are remotely sympathetic. The titular pairing are clearly meant to be the heroes, but they have little but selfish interests and are almost as unlikeable as the rogue’s gallery of villains arrayed against them. This has the result of distancing the audience and rather than be involved in the story, the film becomes enjoyable on almost exclusively an aesthetic level.
It may not be thought-provoking stuff, but Aachi & Ssipak is still a lot of fun. Perhaps it is something of a shame the satire is as lightweight as it is, but for sheer spectacle, this animated flick is hard to beat.
In the way of extras there’s: a music video, a teaser trailer, theatrical trailer and a stills gallery; so nothing of substance.
Available on R4 DVD from Madman Entertainment.