Directed by Lee Hardcastle
Cult takes in a Claymation treat...
Ghost Burger (2013 - UK)
Directed by Lee Hardcastle
Twelve years after the haunting playfully possession shenanigans witnessed in T is for Toilet (ABC's of Death) we revisit John as he prepares to spend summer with his cousin and uncle. His uncle is self-employed and struggles to keep his burger joint, Benedict Burgers, out of the red. With no foreseeable hope in sight (and no thinking outside of the box a possibility) he turns to his brother for help, again. Still somewhat withdrawn from the traumatic events in the bathroom John is struck speechless and strangely feels the need to sleep with a handyman’s tool to feel secure. Understandably he is yet to do any of his business in the bathroom (on a toilet).
As luck would have it an unexpected spectre visits John at night and gets a real life rendition of a track made famous by a parachute panted generic rapper for his trouble. In the morning John's cousin pops in to check on him and is aghast, also plainly excited at the grisly tableau before him. Struggling to keep their wits about them the two decide to hide the evidence (in plain sight), “with our luck some fat fucks gonna eat it!” This is when the movie gets very interesting. The burger joint (“we don't serve fries”) suddenly takes a turn for the miraculous due to some very tasty mystery meat. Where is the meat coming from? Can John and his cousin find more? Why is there an abandoned ghost train with so many crimson tainted rumors associated with it? Why do dead ghosts look like King Kong sized spermatozoa? Will John ever get to pull the chain on a proper toilet? All, ok probably not all, are burning question that will be answered as this short splatter fest plays out but none spoiled by yours truly.
What makes this so much fun? There are so many reasons why I found myself hooked. To be bluntly honest the claymation isn't top notch but it doesn't matter in the slightest as the story is fun, to call it outlandish is nowhere near describing it then again this claymation follows on from a haunted (potty training) toilet segment so you really have to cut it a great deal of slack. The spoken dialogue is brilliantly hilarious as is the interaction between many of the characters in oft bizarre situations. What makes Ghost Burger infinitely funnier however is the fact that the uncle has no idea what activities (mostly highly illegal) his son and cousin are embroiled in in order to keep his abruptly-crazy-busy business afloat.
Ghost Burger's finale is top notch and although you may anticipate it arriving from miles away it still titillates the sense and delivers in aces. There's even a few nods to the original in both dialogue and action (without counting John's frequent, vivid techni-color, nightmarish visions). Bringing the idea of normalcy to a situation that is so far from it “Call the plumber now!” again tops my list of favorite quotes as it did in the original for the very same reason. Another reason this (short) feature stood out for me was its overall vibe, playful yet serious (in an adolescent way) displaying youngsters seemingly unaffected with the idea of brandishing firearms to blast away at the bad guys (just like in platform games). I was also very pleased with the way that scenes of suspense and tension were handled. One scene in particular reminded me of the face ripping mirror scene in the original Poltergeist. Lighting was used to very good affect as was copious amounts of luminous material (and a chainsaw) in a boss disposal set piece.
Why are scenes of claymation carnage so delightful? I have a few ideas (some of which are utterly nonsensical), the foremost of which is that so much can be done with this graphic art medium as to make the possibilities (in bloodthirstiness and grue) seemingly endless. My personal interest in this style of film started with the chaotic and unexpected finale to the original Evil Dead, not since this scene in fact IMO has claymation been this much fun, outrageous or gruesome. So utterly mind blowing was this scene at a young age that it has affected me until this very day (probably tomorrow also) no wonder therefore that I've always been a fan stopping whatever I'm doing to watch great examples of it whenever I'm able. Fun gruesome and full of absurd hilarity, what more could one ask for? A sequel perhaps???
A must see animated feast for the eyes.
Ghost Burger can be found on YouTube (below) for those that want to experience its sheer impressiveness. Take a look at T is for Toilet from ABCs of Death also below.
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