I Married a Strange Person! (1998)
I Married a Strange Person! (1998)

Genre: Comedy and Fantasy Running Time: 1 hr. 15 min.

Release Date: August 28th, 1998 MPAA Rating: R

Director: Bill Plympton Actors: Charis Michelsen, Tom Larson, Richard Spore, Chris Cooke, Ruth Ray, J.B. Adams

 


 

T

wo birds copulate mid-flight. In actuality, it’s more along the line of bird rape, with the brown male aggressor going at it so unyieldingly that the joined avians crash into a satellite dish and burst into a ball of feathers and electricity. Two weeks later, the owner of the house, Grant Boyer (Tom Larson), tries desperately to finish some paperwork, but he can’t manage to stop his new wife, Keri (Charis Michelsen), from distracting him with her unsubtle flirtations.

“It’s been a very weird day for me.” Hilariously, several nonsexual concepts are morphed into sexual ones through deliriously unusual ideas. A pencil sharpener and receipt tape are but two objects that transform into substitutions for a phallus and ejaculate. Sound effects are perfectly utilized here to make the couple’s activities just that much more inappropriate, while a series of songs adds additional humor through inventively visualized crudeness. Writer/director/animator Bill Plympton openly embraces bad taste; or, rather, he happily dispenses with good taste.

Later, the Boyers visit Keri’s parents for an uncomfortable meal – one in which complaining, awkward silence, and noisy soup-slurping dominate the small talk. As they dine, the in-laws experience some very unnerving hallucinations – or manifested nightmares, as if Grant has superpowers (or as if he has enrolled in a magician’s school). Though Keri grows increasingly agitated and distraught at Grant’s erratic behavior – threatening at one point to leave him – he manages to land a spot on the Jackie Jason television show, where his expanding paranormal abilities save Solly Jim’s stand-up career, while also proving mighty entertaining with his own personal act of illusions.

From the extreme violence at a SmileCorp communications network meeting, to rampant cursing during a prayer, to a vengeful blade of grass attempting to mow down its owner, to Grant twisting Keri’s breasts into balloon animals, to inanimate objects having sex, “I Married a Strange Person!” is rife with weirdness. It even has social commentary and criticisms of the military. Alternating between disgusting, hysterical, and outrageously creative, the film is an absolute mind-trip, wherein unimaginable boorishness comes to brilliant yet fevered life. It might play better as a short, but the feature-length runtime never feels specifically overlong, and it certainly never bores.

Plympton’s simple animation is particularly effective with this subject matter, as continual distortions, mutations, abstractions, and odd perspectives occur almost naturally in a world of frequent bizarreness. Any and all elements are at Plympton’s disposal; his absurd, surreal, perverted, obscene imagination knows no limits. Just when one might assume it can’t get any more outlandish, it most certainly does. And it’s all utterly enthralling and hilarious – in a demented, gruesome, aberrant, twisted sort of way.

– Mike Massie

  • 9/10