It’s a combination we would never expect: original French dialogue is translated to English and juxtaposed against elements of Japanese anime thrillers. If that isn’t peculiar enough, the whole thing takes place on the gritty, graffiti-laden streets of East LA.
From the legendary animation stylings of Shojiro Nishimi (Akira, Batman: Gotham Night), Mutafukaz is a rare diamond-in-the-rough of copy-paste animation varieties afflicting the current film industry. Stylistically astonishing and chock-full of subtle social observations, even the massive screens of movie theatres are not enough to truly appreciate this fast-paced, evocative escapade.
Our protagonist is a round-headed, wide-eyed, pizza delivery guy named Angelino living in the slums of Los Angeles’ fictional “Dark Meat City”. After being hit by a truck as he distractedly gawks at a woman walking down the street, the resulting head injury awakes a terrifying, unknown trauma from the inner depths of his mind. He begins seeing images of tentacled monsters and mysterious suited men, triggering the start of his upcoming adventure.
Tenacious government agents begin to hunt Angelino and his flaming-skull roommate Vinny, and the remainder of the film shifts between Grand Theft Auto-style gangster manhunts, and apocalyptic, government treachery. Billboard advertisements towering above the streets of Dark Meat City read “submit” and “stay asleep” as the director-illustrator of the comic, Guillaume “Run” Renard, sprinkles hidden social commentary throughout the movie.
Even without the excellent positioning of subliminal messages on the state of government and society, the aesthetic appeal of Mutafukaz is unparalleled. Reminiscent of the espionage comedy series Archer and the manga-influenced African-American satire The Boondocks, realistic backgrounds are merged with traditional animation styles to produce a contemporary masterpiece.
Extraordinary Japanese animation and French ideals against a backdrop of all-American dystopia is just a portion of the exhilarating uniqueness that Mutafukaz brings to the big screen.
MFKZ is released in select cinemas on 11th October 2018.
Watch the trailer for MFKZ here: