Spike & Mike's Sick and Twisted Animation: Caught in the Act

It's a stretch calling most of these animated shorts "sick" and/or "twisted." "Fair" and/or "middling" is more appropriate. It's very telling that I have to look at the list of titles to remember which film is which. They blend together in a mess of spilled blood and video game art direction. The promise of "Schindler's Fist" is never realised. The premise of an old woman petting the cat on her lap while saying, "I love my pussy" (in "Love That Pussy") wears thin very quickly, yet the short continues. "Grimm's Humpty Dumpty" is slow and clumsy. It's amazing how long four minutes can feel when the director has no clue about pacing. The exceptions are "Stinky Monkey," "Proper Urinal Etiquette" and "Rez-Erection." They all stand on their own. They're compact, well-drawn and funny films. And then there is "Here Comes Dr. Tran." It misses the sick and twisted mark (although that isn't too surprising by this point) but it is clever and funny. A voice over announces the Dr. Tran film series ("3, 2, 1… Dr. Tran!") while a five-year-old boy protests that he's not a doctor or a movie spy. The short uses live action, old school cell animation and 3-D as the boy rants against the voice over narrator. "Here Comes Dr. Tran" is the best reason to see Sick and Twisted: Caught in the Act. You can easily forget the time wasted on the other shorts. The only extra is "The Making of ‘Here Comes Dr. Tran'" featurette. It's a typical behind the scenes look at movie making that maintains the spirit of "Dr. Tran." It's light-hearted, fast paced and a bit strange. These filmmaking boys seem positively giddy. And they should be pleased. It's a shame Spike and Mike included only one pair of 3-D glasses with the DVD. "Here Comes Dr. Tran" is definitely something you want to share with a friend. (Shout Factory/SMV)