Next up in my (unintentional) review series of French films showing at Fantasia Int’l Film Festival 2018 is “Crisis Jung”. Why is it in quotation marks instead of italics, you ask? Because it’s episodic. Perhaps it’s a show, though I have no idea what kind of programming block it would fit into. I guess I’d know if my French was more than elementary because then I could read the press kit. Oh well. Let’s get into it, shall we?
Jung and Maria have a beautiful relationship in a beautiful countryside setting. But as soon as we’re introduced to the two, a bizarre apocalypse transforms the world into a barren wasteland ruled by the ironically-named Petit Jesus (because he is tres grand). PJ’s first act as supreme ruler is to tear Maria apart and use her head as the capstone of his pyramidic palace. The comparatively pathetic Jung tries to fight back but is swatted away only to be caught by an Olympic swimming pool-sized hand at the end of a proportionately huge forearm. Thus begins both Jung’s journey to reunite with Maria’s head and the cycle of battle, defeat, giant hand catch, introspection, and transformation into a enormous-breasted, pink-eyed embodiment of violence. His foes all represent different virtues – charity, compassion, fortitude, etc – and Jung must find a way to supplement his 10 punch attack to defeat them. Perhaps it involves shooting plasma breastmilk from his beachball-sized post-transformation breasts. Or maybe it’s eating someone who possesses the virtue that he is deficient in. Also, every character is a man. Even the women. Except Maria.
I hesitated to watch/review “Crisis Jung” at all. First, it’s animated and I’ve never reviewed animation before. Second, it would be a stretch to call it horror. Third, it’s episodic. But when I watched the trailer, I was convinced. This show is bonkers. Bon. Kers. It’s very hard to convey just how crazy and violent this thing is, but try to consider what you might get if you put Fist of the North Star, Bad Taste, Visitor Q, “Aeon Flux”, Heavy Metal, “Metalocalypse”, and porn in a blender. The result might get you somewhere close. It has copious amounts of blood and guts, monstrous villains, gender non-conformity, casual cruelty, and psychoanalysis. (you know, milquetoast stuff) In every episode, themes and sequences are repeated (sometimes cel for cel). Jung and company make a bit of progress along the (literal) blood road leading to Maria and come across destitute villagers, Petit Jesus shits out an egg that births a virtue-themed monster, Jung gets defeated by said level boss, is caught by the huge hand and gets psychoanalyzed, then he calls upon Violence and transforms into a glowing-eyed, HUGE-breasted hulk and defeats the virtue-themed boss. (sometimes there’s some eating thrown in) Every episode is nearly identical, which sounds like a drag but it just adds to the awesome weirdness of the show. And that weirdness dips into horror territory more often than not. The monsters are gross or uncanny or deformed or injured (by their own hands and/or by Jung’s) and their defeats are always extremely violent. The amount of destruction in the show is glorious. So, despite being episodic and animated, I’m happy to review it – it’s fucking nuts. Check it out!
The Final Cut: “Crisis Jung” is a show that seems almost as if some 13 year olds wrote it while trying to outdo each other with each bizarre and violent idea and somehow they stumbled into genius. (like those infinite monkeys writing Shakespeare)