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  Big Bang, The World War Four
Year: 1987
Director: Picha
Stars: David L. Lander, Carole Androsky, Marshall Efron, Alice Playten, Marvin Silbersher, Joanna Rush, Jerry Bledsoe, George Osterhan, Bob Kaliban, Deborah Taylor, Ron Vernan, Roberta Wallach, Ray Owens, Josh Daniel
Genre: Comedy, Animated, Trash, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: It is the future, and the Intergalactic Council have turned their attention to planet Earth. Some years ago, World War Three was staged there after everyone grew curious as to what all those nuclear bombs they had amassed would actually do if set off, with the result that after the dust had settled, there were only two continents left. The north one was a mixture of the United States and the Soviet Union, called the U.S.S.S.R. where all the men lived, and the south was Vaginia, where all the women lived, but they were in a stalemate of perpetual aggression: until now. They have built weapons strong enough to destroy the universe, so who can save us?

How about binman Fred (voiced by David L. Lander), the sole superhero left who is available? The fact that he's a binman and not currently getting cats down from trees or defeating supervillains and the like points to the fact that he might not be the best choice, but the Council haven't any other options. This also points to the sense of humour of The Big Bang, or Le Big-Bang as it was known originally, one of the feature length cartoons to hail from the fertile if juvenile mind of animator Picha, here scripting with Tony Hendra, himself best known for editing National Lampoon and his big screen appearance as Spinal Tap's manager.

There was a spate of adult cartoons which arrived when censorship was relaxed around the early sixties to the eighties, and this was a latecomer in that style, but had no qualms about trying to match those other efforts for offensiveness. Alas, when filmmakers try to push the boundaries of taste, any true wit and humour can fly out of the window to escape an encroaching meanspiritedness, and such was the case here, with its wacky surface belying a grim, steely eyed regard for the battle of the sexes. In this case it really is a battle, and if your wondering who will be the victor then you should take a look at that title to see how it ends up.

Of course, that title can be taken two ways, and indeed that's precisely what Picha does. So enthusiastic is he in his embrace of the lurid and X-rated that his visual imagination goes to new heights (or depths), with an adolescent view of sex that doesn't speak well of his or Hendra's emotional development; actually, it makes them look, um, somewhat preoccupied as if they wished to get something out of their system in the most violent depiction of it possible. Fred the superhero is dispatched to Earth and ends up first at the U.S.S.S.R. where you get some anti-gay gags at the expense of the mostly male mutant population - although there is one woman present, and with this creative partnership it's no surprise to see she's a sex object.

She is called Liberty (Carole Androsky) and Fred takes a shine to her, i.e. he wants to have sex with her. She won't do anything because they're not married, and definitely won't do anything when she discovers Fred already is, not that this stops her taking her clothes off for the benefit of those who like to have sexual fantasies about cartoon characters. Meanwhile, Fred takes refuge in Vaginia, and has as antagonistic a response to his pleas for peace as he did in the other continent, this time from the forthright and multi-breasted leader of the women. The trouble with this is, unless you're impressed with the shock value Picha went out of his way to employ, you're not likely to be too captivated by a succession of zanily blue jokes. More frustratingly, you can see that he is talented and has inspiration to spare, yet it's channelled into these wild and woolly potshots at society's hypocrisies. Music by Roy Budd.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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