Wondering what happened to that cool looking animated movie “Igor”
? You know, the one with John Cusack
and Steve Buscemi
doing voices in it about a land of Evil Scientists
(capitalized and bolded for the superior Mua Ha Ha
factor) and the Igor
who strives to be more than just the guy who ‘pulls the switch’
? Looked kinda neat to me. Next thing you know, it went from trailers in the theater to the Netflix
queue. What happened? I’ll tell you what happened. It pretty much sucks.
) is one of many Igors
in the village of Malaria
, a town that had to change it’s industry from farming to holding the world at hostage with evil inventions when the skies mysteriously became perpetually covered with dark storm clouds. Igor
works for an evil scientist (briefly played by John Cleese
) doing the menial Igor
jobs and generally being abused. He’s smarter than his scientist though and has even secretly built two friends/inventions of his own (Buscemi
as an immortal rabbit and Sean Hayes
as a not-very-smart brain in a jar). He dreams of being recognized for what he actually is but the village won’t look past his hunchback and views him and all of his ilk as stupid and disposable. When his scientist dies in an experiment and the town’s Mayor
) shows up demanding something really spectacular for the next Evil Inventions Fair, Igor
sees his chance to shine and tells the Mayor
that his scientist is currently unavailable but he plans on presenting artificial life at the Fair. With the pressure on, Igor
builds his own Miss Frankenstein
, who names herself Eva
) but Eva
isn’t Evil. Due to a mishap with a brainwashing machine, she thinks she’s an actress. Which in my book probably WOULD make her kind of evil but don't listen to bitter old Cyrus
. As the current reigning evil scientist plots in the background, the cleverly named Dr Schadenfreude
has to make his monster more like the evil creation she was meant to be before the fair or his entire plan will fail. But (and forgive me for sounding once again like the back of the DVD box) is it what he really wants?
was made by a new contestant in the animated feature film field, Exodus Film Group
. The animation company also is a first-timer, the French group Sparx
. The script is by Chris McKenna
, one of the writers for the show American Dad. Nobody
is not to blame here. I’ll even blame the actors for choosing a film with such a tedious script (albeit, with a fun concept). The characters all look like rejects from “The Nightmare Before Christmas”
(especially the Mayor
from that movie) and the designs and backgrounds all are tired retreads of the sorts of pseudo-goth stuff we’ve seen again and again.
I could forgive everything if it was funny. Buscemi
playing off each other? How can that not be funny? Here's how. Almost every gag is a predictable and overused play on classic monster movie themes. The only moments that made me chuckle at all involved Buscemi
’s existentialist rabbit trying fruitlessly to kill himself (often bloodily), and those aren’t gonna be real cool to show the youngest kiddies. But hell, what do I know? There were probably twenty kids under 10 at the Friday the 13th
reboot screening we saw. My definition of what’s probably acceptable for young tykes and what the Wal-Mart
Moms think are apparently diametrically opposed concepts.
I’m usually a sucker for these types of CG movies, even the mediocre ones, but "Igor" doesn't even come close to qualifying. Did I mention it had some tiny sympathy casting for Christian Slater
and Arsenio Hall
? Seriously. I thought Hall
had gone off and found some wacky religion or something. Slater probably needs to find one. Only way I can think of to excuse his career since, well, since before a lot of you were born. Poor guy. Even Leon
's prosletyzing for his recent TV show
couldn't save it.
Extras? Not really. We've got some design sketches, a director/writer/producer commentary and an Alternate Opening Scene that doesn’t add anything to the beginning except a slightly more speedy expository voice over. Even the direct-to-dvd Disney sequels have more bonuses than this. I think somebody in distribution exasperatedly threw his hands in the air when most of the people involved agreed that maybe it was just better to move on.
While "Igor" may have some interesting political and social subtext for some, an animated family movie has a job that comes first: to be entertaining. I resisted all the way through but in the end, "Igor"
is a monster that never comes to life.
You see what I did there? Oh man, I feel like I write the movie reviews for Entertainment Weekly
. Somebody let me write up a cover story on 90210: The Next Generation
in a serious and 'edgy'
tone. I'm a big boy journalist now.
Click Here to Buy Igor [Blu-ray]