Tsui Hark, writer/producer/director plus visionary, seemed hardly content with his contribution in 1987 to the gnarly adaptation of Qing dynasty novel Strange Tales From A Chinese Studio. A decade later he saw fit to realise the true scope of the collection of fables within the supposedly boundless limits of animation. With the original already a groundbreaking hit in special effects that spurred on a nascent cult film appreciation scene in Hong Kong & China, what could its cartoon counterpart bring to the table beside being another outlet for Hark's incredible enthusiasm & self-belief? It is a strange tale indeed, filled with spirits, romance, musical numbers and explosive exorcisms, pitting two rough & ready productions against each other in an eerie encounter from which only one will emerge drawn or alive!
Sunday, 29 August 2021
Sunday, 1 August 2021
Arch-villain Brian Smith is unleashed to cast a wiser eye upon the awkward transitionary phase of the Adult Swim darling in our second retrospective chunk, comprising series 2 and 3. While we get a better sense of the cartoon it would become, and the ambitions of Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer for it beyond an outlet for coarse humour, The Venture Brothers still had a lot of growing up to do. The good news is you get a whole lot more: more dumb-voiced duos! More genuine pathos! Ever more oblique cultural references! And more to come way down the line with the prospect of a movie to cap off the whole lot. It's bigger, it's louder, and it's got an appetite for a Post-Podcast Repaste to match!