Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Fantasia ’18: Crisis Jung

If you thought Heavy Metal magazine was insufficiently violent and sexualized than this is the animation you have been pining for. Now please seek professional counseling. The gender-bending might lure in a different class of viewer, but boy will they be sorry. Hopefully all in attendance were prepared for some lurid gore when Baptiste Gaubert & Jeremie Hoarau’s French web-series Crisis Jung (trailer herescreened feature-style during the 2018 Fantasia International Film Festival.

Jung (now there’s an archetypal name) and Maria are lovingly gamboling in the fields when an army of space demons swoops down, engulfing the world in darkness and installing their leader as the cruel overlord. His name would be Petit Jesus, which should tell you all you need to know about where this film/micro-series is coming from and what its intentions are. Being a cruel bastard, he kills Maria and utilizes her severed head as cornerstone of his temple.

Thanks to his rage, Jung becomes a superhero, but before he can defeat PJ, he must overcome his own mental hang-ups. Each time the evil Jabba’s minions beat him to within an inch of his life, he is sent careening into another surreal therapy session, in which an unseen headshrinker helps him work through his emotional issues.

If Gaubert & Hoarau really wanted to be subversive, they would have made the psychoanalyst a strict Freudian. Be that as it may, the shock value of Crisis Jung quickly grows tiresome. If you have seen one evil henchman with a chainsaw phallus, you have pretty much seen them all. Watching the episodes back-to-back, their opening and closing credit sequences included, also reinforces how much they all follow the same, repetitive template.

Gaubert & Hoarau probably think this is all very edgy, but until they redub their Galactus-like supervillain “Petit Mohammad,” we’re just not impressed. They maybe have the germ of something in the outlandish analysis sessions, but the characterization is stilted and much of the sexual violence is gratuitous and counterproductive. Totally unnecessary, Crisis Jung probably will not leave much of an international footprint after screening at this year’s Fantasia.