Less genuinely disturbed than developmentally arrested, the latest "Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Animation" omnibus (early champion of Beavis and Butt-head and South Park) lives up to its name about as well as any eighth-grade boy with access to cable and porn mags. Let's call him Ike: an angry, sullen sort who likes to draw and set things on fire. Ike has recently discovered gutter-mouthed gangster movies, yet remains attached to the fables that pleased him as a child (hence Walter Santucci's Pussy da Rednosed Reindeer). Ike channels his nascent homophobia through superhero comics (Nick Gibbons's Radioactive Crotch Man). Ike likes to torture his younger sister by forcing her Barbies to engage in s&m and alien anal probes (Roy T. Wood's Wheelchair Rebecca). Ike has watched enough Aardman films to infer a material kinship between Claymation and most bodily excretions (Sloaches Fun House, from Chicago's Clayboy Enterprises). Ike is working at sublimating his urges toward animal abuse (Dave Lipson's Stinky Monkey).
Ike has three similarly inclined buddies: One's a sensitive sort who might grow up to be Mike Judge, the other two are lithium candidates who will definitely grow up to be Al Goldstein. Don Hertzfeldt's Rejected is a stick-figure pileup of non-sequitur "advertisements" that catalogue the spiraling nervous breakdown of a blocked animator named Don Hertzfeldt. (The film rivals Chocolat as the year's most improbable Oscar nominee.) And Jeff Pee and Chris Graphenberg's Birth of Abomination, with its incongruously cheery Crayola palette, documents one night in the life of two brothers born joined at the mouth; separated in a botched surgery, lanky Mute sports a scar where his yap should be, while stout Motormouth has a pelican rictus he uses to swallow pizza slices whole. A chance meeting with a very pregnant junkie 'ho results in low-key, casually racist mayhem. Blowjobs coincide with childbirth. Babies are eaten. Babies are vomited up. Umbilical cords are employed as crack conduits. For what it's worth, Birth of Abomination is the only truly sick and twisted entry herenot least because the credits thank both "Our Families" and an apparently vengeful "God."
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