After 30 years, Phil Tippett’s stop-motion opus Mad God is finally complete

As such, these projects often take a long time to finish, but thirty years is still an extremely long time relative to the industry standard. Share this


Charles Bramesco

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There’s no labor of love quite like that of stop-motion animation, requiring a painstaking amount of time and effort to pose and photograph each individual frame. After 30 years, Phil Tippett’s stop-motion opus Mad God is finally complete

The animator’s long-awaited fusion of handmade sci-fi and horror will premiere at the Locarno Film Festival. A trailer appeared online just last night to offer a dizzying tour through the creepy world Tippett has laboriously constructed by hand, as dazzling and detailed as could be expected from an artist of his stature. There’s a whiff of evil in the air, but also a sense of reverent wonder, as in the shot of a pterodactyl (perhaps a nod to his past in the Jurassic-verse) gliding overhead a ground-level perspective. Published 28 Jul 2021

Share this That’s how long it’s taken master animator (and one-time collaborator on Star Wars and dinosaur supervisor for Jurassic Park) Phil Tippett to complete his magnum opus Mad God, a three-decade struggle now ready for its premiere next month at the Locarno Film Festival. The clip below eschews plot and dialogue for pure imagery, showing off a vortex of skulls, mutant beasts, and Boschian hellscapes. Between the creator’s pedigree, the astounding visuals on display, and the co-sign from connoisseur of the weird Guillermo del Toro, this will be on the radar for genre enthusiasts through the rest of the year; a slot in Toronto’s still-to-be-announced Midnight Madness section is all but assured. The most salient information comes from the film’s Locarno page, where it’s described as being “set in a world of monsters, mad scientists and war pigs.” The synopsis continues: “A corroded diving bell descends amidst a ruined city and the Assassin emerges from it to explore a labyrinth of bizarre landscapes inhabited by freakish denizens.”
Through dank caves and fiery wastelands, this menagerie of strange and frightening creatures crawl, slither, and perambulate unencumbered by dialogue.

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