What do the AT-AT walkers and the tauntauns in The Empire Strikes Back, the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, to the robots in RoboCop, and the bugs in Starship Troopers have in common? They were all made with the integral contributions of VFX legend Phil Tippett. But amongst all those legendary creature effects, Tippett has worked to get one project off the ground. The ambitious stop-motion horror film Mad God. 30 years in the making, the film focuses on a mysterious character called "The Assassin" who emerges from a corroded diving bell into a ruined city and explores a labyrinth of bizarre landscapes inhabited by freakish denizens. A hellscape of Tippett's worst nightmares with increasingly deranged imagery and creatures. At least, that's what the official trailer shows ahead of it's released on Shudder on June 16th. Check it out below:
The film is a magnum opus for Tippett who began filming the project during production of Robocop 2 though he shelved the project after his work on Jurassic Park led him to believe the days of stop motion were over and the film was shelved. Yet, with the encouragement of members of his studio, Tippett began working on the project after twenty years later. How he pulled it off? He utilized crews of volunteers to assist him on weekends, some not even that experienced which is why he did most of the planning during the week. With funding coming from the Kickstarter campaign, he was able to make the first three sections (which make-up about half of the film) before getting additional funding.
The film has received critical acclaim in early reviews (currently holding a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes). With it's access on the streaming service Shudder, any who wish to dive into the darkness that is the life's work of Tippett will be able to next month. Stay tuned!