2.5 Stars
Year Released: 2004
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 11 minutes
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Animator John E. Goras has an ugly vision to share and this homemade compilation of four cartoons will probably earn a fanboy following for the brain-sucking scene alone. The artistry is raw, the imagery is ghoulish and the politics are incorrect but Goras’ willful negativity is downright gleeful, and frankly, it’s infectious.

Ignore the easy, obvious satire of “Religion Rocks” (which pits the Son of God against the Son of Godzilla and features a comical Cat Stevens derailing the Peace Train, Jihad-style) and consider the “Ghost Tank” segments. This trio of ‘toons comprises the meat of Goras’ brief portfolio and follows the adventures of a bloodthirsty, warmongering skeleton who calls to mind the album covers of a thousand lost hardcore bands.

“Not a Prayer” sets Ghost Tank (is that his name?) up against a battalion of enemies led by a skeletal priest, and the message of the gory imagery is clarified with a heartfelt “fuck you” at the end. “Martyr Allah Ya” presents our hero in full Shock and Awe mode as he slaughters a succession of Middle Eastern foes and turns their women into whores. Just when the jingoism starts to get too deep, George W. Bush appears, bearing a medal for Ghost Tank’s bravery and earning a mangled face for his trouble. Finally, “Future Shock” dives deep into surreal headfuck space; now the skeletal maniac is privy to the secrets of evolution as well, and an unclassifiable collision of aliens, apes and anal sex results.

Each clip builds upon the last until the crude animation becomes distinctive and the motivations of the artist no longer seem so simple. What is John E. Goras after? Laughs? Disgust? Horror? Nightmares and bad acid trips? Whatever his goal, Goras should let “Ghost Tank” get as far out as his imagination will let him, and leave the snarky cultural commentary to South Park.

Posted on November 17, 2004 in Reviews by

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