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  Go To Hell!! The Evolution Of PollutionBuy this film here.
Year: 1997
Director: Ray Nowland
Stars: Keith Scott, Helen Knight
Genre: Comedy, Animated, Science Fiction, Historical
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: G.D. (voiced by Keith Scott) is a billionaire industrialist who has invented many things, his current wonder a suspended animation chamber which can preserve the occupant for a practically unlimited time, ideal for space journeys to far distant destinations. Which will come in handy, as he has also created a spaceship that houses a large amount of travellers, all the better to take him and his family to the stars, and importantly away from their homeworld which has grown so polluted and devastated by war that it is uninhabitable - basically, if G.D. and his followers do not get off there then the human race will become extinct. Therefore he takes his infant son Red and his mistress Angel and sets off for a new home...

Barely seen since it was animated, Go To Hell!! was a subversive little cartoon with big ideas, no less than taking a long, hard look at how religion had guided mankind and not being too impressed with the results. It was the brainchild of Australian animator Ray Nowland who had worked in an artistic capacity on a number of films and television shows out of that part of the world, but this was notable for not simply his sole directorial effort, but by dint of the fact he more or less did the whole thing himself, nearly a one man show aside from a little help in the scripting and the voices of the characters taken care of by two actors, Keith Scott for the males and Helen Knight for the females.

You couldn't accuse this of lacking invention, as while the actual animation was rather crude, relying on whatever computer-aided techniques were available in the mid-nineteen-nineties, the drawing of the characters was reasonably distinctive, and the voiceover work helped to keep everyone separate in the viewer's mind, so if it was not the most polished of productions it did have an energy to it that pushed it through its at times wobbly methods. You could well understand why, as there was a zeal to the message-making that told you in no uncertain terms Nowland had an important lesson to teach us, so it may have started out, and indeed continued, in bawdy and even offensive fashion, the latter especially if you were religious, but by the finale the director was giving you a telling off.

As far as the plot went, that spaceship leaves its planet behind and G.D., Red and Angel go in to suspended animation allowing the rest of the crew and passengers to get on with running the ship only being all too human they manage to make mistakes, overpopulate and generally fall victim to their worst impulses, resulting in a mass riot. But wait - they've found somewhere to live, and the now-grown Red who has blotted his copybook by accidentally causing the death of a friend out in space opts to shake up his act and investigate this new planet. It's indicative of the film's sense of humour that when he and the landing party settle on the forest surface, they proceed to get high on the herbs they find, but there are dinosaurs present too.

Cue G.D. wiping them out, and in the chaos Red falls into his chamber and wakes up a long time later to find apemen created by his father milling around - and worshipping G.D. Do you get it now? The director was doing nothing less than taking down the Almighty as not fit for the job, and suggesting his opposite number was a better, more realistic bet. Red was actually the Devil, as you might have noticed by the frequent "subliminal" imagery flashing up on screen, and proceeds to sabotage G.D.'s efforts to get the humans to do his bidding, from the apemen (Red breeds with them to make the humans - really) to Moses and Pharoah, to the Romans in the Holy Land where Jesus Christ is an ordinary surfer whose miracles can be explained in mundane ways, though this doesn't stop his crucifixion. On and on down history G.D. and Red use us as a batteground, until Nowland eventually gives in and lectures us. Featuring lewdness and anti-establishment humour galore, Go To Hell!! was more like a throwback to the sixties counterculture, not great but memorably angry at the world.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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