(If you like what you see, you can go to camseyeview.biz to see more of my work on video game reviews, editorials, lists, Kickstarters, developer interviews, and review/talk about animated films. If you would like, consider contributing to my Patreon at patreon.com/camseyeview. It would help support my work, and keeps the website up. Thanks for checking out my work, and I hope you like this review!)
Heads up: I was able to watch this film via a screener sent to me. I got no other form of monetization other than the screener. Thank you Kelly Hargraves for this opportunity.
Do you know what’s a bummer of a review? It’s reviewing a film you are mixed on. Some critics have cited that films they found boring or middling are tougher to write about. You try to wring out any thoughts or personal observations from said boring experience, but there is a dose of anger with a film. Your experience was almost incredible, and yet, something or a couple of things about the film drags the overall enjoyment down, and that’s not fun to watch in real-time. Not to say that the film is terrible, but you always hope for a film to be good from start to finish. This is the journey and the outcome of watching a truly distinct and unique film like Bob Spit: We Do Not Like People.
This movie is based on the comics and characters by famed Brazilian comic book artist Angeli. It’s directed by Cesar Cabral and written by Angeli and Cesar. The story follows Angeli as he is being interviewed about his career and his approach to his art, where he reveals and talks about the characters he famously killed off. This includes the notorious punk rock green humanoid Bob Spit. In another realm, Bob Spit finds himself in a completely abandoned wasteland full of survivors watching something off special orbs, small demonic critters that look like Elton John’s version of Critters. When he finds out his creator is going to kill him, he goes on an adventure and journey to find his creator and stay alive. Because, as Bob Spit says, “Punk is not dead!”
This is a very fascinating film, and you love to see these very distinct films in the animation scene. Sure, you may not be able to see this one in a readily available way, but hopefully, that will change in the future. This is partly an interview with the real-life artist talking about his life via his personal ongoings and how he approaches his characters and art. There are other scenes seen throughout the experience of other individuals in the lead’s life that influenced his personal life or his work. The film takes up a majority of the 90-minute runtime to really focus on the artist who is also his own character within the film, and exploring his current mindset of where he is right now, being all retrospective of his career. Now, how does the Bob Spit’s arc fit into all of this? Well, when a specific line is said about the art having a life of its own, well, you can probably put two and two together with how that unfolds, as Bob then goes on an existential journey about him and his world’s own existence. There is even a pinch of commentary about the evolution of music, with the slow demise of punk and the rise of pop. There are some action set pieces and brief nudity, but it’s more of a story-driven experience that’s more of the creator’s retrospective look at his life and his art than some stop-motion Mad Max action flick.
Animation-wise, the stop-motion quality is top-notch. If you need a companion piece in terms of similar-looking stop-motion films, then the film’s animation is close to 2015’s Anomalisa. It even does a surreal sequence where part of the artist’s face slides off to show the puppet inside when he is whacked by Bob Spit. It might not have the cinematic feel of Aardman or Laika stop-motion film, but when we live in a world where very few stop-motion films are being made, you take what you can get. Still, the designs translate well to stop-motion and the action is well executed. The acting is also splendid, and even the real-life artist is in the film as his own character. The music is also rather punk and full of rock and roll tunes, as you would expect of an artist and his creation from a very specific time period.
The only real downside is that the film is very slow-paced. You wouldn’t expect that from the 90-minute runtime, but the pacing itself can be slogging at points. It might be due to how quiet the overall film is. The third act also feels like the film is trudging to get to the finish line. Granted, the finale is satisfying, but it was easily the weakest part of this experience.
Bob Spit might not catch and entice everyone with its punk rock aesthetic and surreal storyline, but it’s a film that animation fans and animation critics should feel happy exists. It’s another adult-focused animated film that doesn’t fully rely on the adult animation tropes that most adult animation suffers from. It’s a distinct experience that comes highly recommended to check out if possible. You may like it more than others, but as Bob Spit would say, “Punk is not dead!” And neither is this movie’s experience. Now then, next time, we will look at the awards darling of 2021 with Flee.
Thanks for reading the review! I hope you all enjoyed reading it! If you would like to support my work, make sure to share it out, and if you want to become a Patreon supporter, then you can go to patreon.com/camseyeview. I will see you all next time!
Rating: Rent It!