THE SPINE OF NIGHT (REVIEW)
Dir. Philip Gelatt, Morgan Galen King
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
An animated sci-fi fantasy in the vein of GRR Martin mixed with magic and gallons of blood is probably not the first appeal to many horror fans but the beautifully written anthology of stories that collectively tell a lengthy tale of survival is actually a surprisingly gripping film.
With an impressive call sheet of acting talent including Richard E. Grant, Lucy Lawless, Patton Oswalt and Joe Manganiello make this hard to ignore and while none are new to fantasy and animation, it's a stellar line up for something so gory.
The catch and selling point to THE SPINE OF NIGHT's success will be for the visceral. There is no ignoring the ugly animation, and against some beautifully painted backdrops it feels like chalk and cheese. It's a hard sell but Tzod's (Lawless) story to keep the magic in safe hands travels beyond time, rulers, treachery and vengeance with a lot of heart. The violence is eye wateringly brutal and unforgiving.
Somewhere between the motion realism of A SCANNER DARKLY and the flash animation of SALAD FINGERS the animated story is marmite but the characters and emotion transcend beyond that to really bring to life a tale with so much depth and folklore it's hard to ignore.
With only 4 animators and taking over 7 years to complete, this is an epic tale with a story as far reaching as the time it spans.