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Mad God (2022) – A Sensory Blasting Experience From Phil Tippett

July 18, 2022

Quick Thoughts – Grade – A – The Phil Tippett directed Mad God is a visual masterpiece that features an insane amount of memorable monsters. You won’t want to blink while watching because there’s so much to look at. 

After 30 years of work, it’s cool that Phil Tippett was able to finally complete Mad God and get a big push from Shudder. If you’re not familiar with the name, You’ve definitely seen Tippett’s work on movies like Jurassic Park, Robocop, Starship Troopers, Willow, Piranha, and Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back. He’s an absolute master who created the holochess board in A New Hope, and the Rancor in Return of the Jedi (my all-time favorite monster). If you’re looking for a visual masterpiece (I feel comfortable using that word) that is loaded with slightly horrifying visuals, bloody entrails, monster babies, and a bunch of mud people being squished, you will love this film. I have a feeling that there are several visuals (a tiny santa claus being squashed under a boot) that will live long in my memory. 

Mad God revolves around a steampunk-esque character named The Assassin being dropped into a hellscape where nobody is safe, and there is always a monster around the corner who will drag you to a place where you are dissected alive. The narrative is extremely loose, but the main goal of The Assassin is to deliver an explosive world-destroying suitcase deep into the bowels of the dangerous wasteland that is filled with deadly battlefields, dangerous alleys, and dungeons filled with pain and terror. While on the mission, the Assassin comes across minotaurs, witches, alchemists, floating creatures, torture victims, and a hospital where cruel tortuers dissect their victims in front of large crowds. It’s an absolutely insane world, and of all the horrible cinematic creations ever created, it’s the place where I would never want to find myself exploring (Freddy’s Kreuger’s boiler room seems chill in comparison).

What’s great about Mad God is that it feels handmade, and that’s because Tippett painstakingly molded it over 30 years. He worked so hard for each frame that toward the end of the project he had a psychotic snap which forced him to stay at a psych ward while he recovered from the stress of the project. In an interview with Inverse, Tippett explained the film by saing “If Mad God is about anything, it’s about scale and process. That’s the backbone. It’s much more pictorially and sound-art-oriented than a typical Hollywood theatrical feature.” This quote is spot-on as Mad God is a sensory blasting experience that relies on sights and sounds to wow the viewer. I hate that Tippett went through some rough times to create his passion project, but I’m glad his obsessive nature allowed to make this unique visual experience. 

Final thoughts – If you are into sensory blasting experiences that showcase absolute brutality, you will love this movie.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 18, 2022 10:23 pm

    That looks cool! Somehow I have never heard of this one. Added to my watchlist, thank you.

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