I have 491 movies in my Netflix Instant queue. I tend to watch one thing for every five that I add, but now my library is close to being full and I have to make room. So, every Monday I’m going to pick a random movie out of my queue and review the shit out of it. But (like Jesus), I’m also thinking of you and your unwieldy queue and all the movies in it you want to watch but no longer have the time to now that you’ve become so awesome and popular. Let me know what has been gathering digital dust in your Netflix Instant library and I’ll watch that, too. One Monday for you and the next for me and so on. Let’s get to it.
What’s the movie? Fire and Ice (1983)
What’s it rated? PG for constant partial nudity, man thongs and a plethora of stabbings.
Did people make it? Written by Roy Thomas and Gerry Conway. Characters created by Ralph Bakshi and Frank Frazetta. Directed by Ralph Bakshi.
What’s it like in one sentence? Incredibly gay and incredibly straight at the exact same time.
Why did you watch it? Seti’s persistence made this one happen.
What’s it about in one paragraph? The good guys are fire, the bad guys are ice. The bad guys steal a princess and the good guys go after her. There’s more to it than that, but you’ve heard the story a thousand times before.
Play or remove from my queue? It’s worth a play. The film was pretty hard for me to get into at first, but after about 20 minutes, I was hypnotized by Frazetta’s backdrops and Bakshi’s rotoscoping technique. The plot is paint by numbers Tolkein (and very similar to what Bakshi would do later with Wizards…and Lord of the Rings), but the pretty epic voice acting and sexyness make this a damn entertaining 90 minutes. Even with a plot hole so large you could drive a country through it (I’m thinking of the gigantic Deus Ex Machina that closes the film), I still found myself caught up in the adventure of it all. Also, Darkwolf is so ridiculously badass, that you ignore the fact that the main protagonist is a Rocky Horror looking bodybuilder in a thong.
Plot holes and zero skin texture shading aside, the other issue I had with this film was the tone. It really wants to be adult with the almost graphic nudity and violence, but it constantly pulls itself back from the edge and then tries to be a kids movie. If it had gone full steam ahead in either direction, it would have worked a lot better than it does. It’s the never-nude strip club of animated films. But I can’t fully hate on it, either. I did have fun watching Darkwolf scream at the top of his lungs and bumrush a group of cavemen (the evil army are cavemen instead of orcs) and chop them to pieces. I enjoyed watching the top heavy princess crawl around on her hands and knees for what felt like the entire film. I enjoyed that the villain, Lord Nekron, looked like an albino David Bowie mixed with a blind Steve Railsback. But, most of all, I loved seeing everything happen in the foreground of some incredible artwork by Frank Frazetta. If this film wasn’t comprised of Bakshi’s batshit insanity and Frazetta’s gorgeous design, then it might not have worked at all.
Do you have a favorite line? Lord Nekron saying “Pig you are… and like a pig shall you die” made me unreasonably happy.
Do you have an interesting fun-fact? Thomas Kincade, the painter of light, was one of the background artists on the film. Can you imagine the conversations Bakshi had with him: “Goddammit, Thomas. I don’t need the fucking bushes to glow, just make it look like a bush.”
What does Netflix say I’d like if I like this? Thor and Loki: Blood Brothers (I tried watching this and it just never reached me), Fritz the Cat (haven’t seen this since I was 12), Iron Man: Extremis (on Episode 3 and I’m kind of loving it), Highlander (now I have to watch this again) and Krull (now I have to watch this again, too. I used to love the cyclops in this movie.)
What does Jared say I’d like if I like this? Heavy Metal. The comic not the movie. You’d also love the shit out of Wizards because that movie owns all.
What is Netflix’s best guess for Jared? 3.1
What is Jared’s best guess for Jared? 3.0
Can you link to the movie? I guess so.
Any last thoughts? Sorry my write up so short. My space bar has started to stick horribly and I just can’t bring myself to go another few hundred words about the shit that kicked ass about this movie, as it is starting to drive me insane. Next week I’ll talk more about the horrifically convenient ending and everything it implies.
Did you watch anything else this week? Limitless (underrated), Take Shelter (excellent, but overrated), A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas (pretty damn funny, plus it has Danny Trejo jizzing on a Christmas tree). Watching Martha Marcy May Marlene tonight.
Any spoilerish thoughts about last week’s film, Nine Dead? This is another case of letting a movie digest for a week and then hating it even more. Honestly, though, the ending must be seen to be believed. Literally the worst ending of all time.
Next Week? Amigo!