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Case Number 16645: Small Claims Court

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Animalada

Synapse // 2001 // 94 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // June 19th, 2009

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson is sheepish.

The Charge

I don't think Woolite is going to get that stain out.

The Case

From: David Johnson
Sent: Thursday, June 04, 2009 8:26 AM
To: Daryl Loomis; Loomis, Daryl
Subject: Animalada and Rosarigasinos

Daryl. How's it going? So when I opened my copy of Synapse's Rosarigasinos and stuck it in the DVD player, what were my eyes met with but a title screen featuring an elderly Spanish gentleman making googly-eyes with a sheep. Turns out, due to, I suppose, a disc pressing error of some sort, I ended up with Animalada, which you were originally assigned to review.
—Dave

--—--—--—-- -

From: Loomis, Daryl
Sent: Thursday, June 04, 2009 10:31 AM
To: 'David Johnson'
Subject: RE: Animalada and Rosarigasinos

Hey Dave, I hope things are good with you and you haven't suffered too much damage. Imagine my surprise at sitting down to watch Animalada. I've been around the weirdest of weird cinema, and I know you have too, but I was intrigued by the idea of a man with a sheep. Just think of the possibilities. So, as the menu screen came on with two old Argentine men sitting on a dock, I had the strangest sensation. I had so expected to be freaked out by farm boy and his wool fetish that I was almost offended at the lack of offensive material.

While it took me a little while to work through that bout of unfulfilled masochism, Rosarigasinos is pretty good. This Argentine comedy, directed by Rodrigo Grande, begins with two old men at their release from a thirty-year stint in the joint. It the standard tall and thin/short and fat duo we've come to love in comedy, as Tito (Federico Luppi, Men with Guns) and Castor (Ulises Dumont, Dirty Little War) start trying to figure out how to make it in a 1990s Argentina. They have three missions: meet their old gang, play a little tango, and go get the stash of money they left in the lake all those years ago. The first two plans come off fine, but there's no money in the suitcase. Now they're broke and the scheming begins.

So Dave, what's with Animalada, anyway? Is this Lamb-anova all he's advertised?

Daryl

--—--—--—-- -

From: David Johnson
Sent: Thursday, June 04, 2009 11:26 AM
To: Daryl Loomis
Subject: Animalada and Rosarigasinos

Daryl. If your movie was about two old men and their release, mine was about one old man and, er, his release.

What makes Animalada so bizarre and more than a little off-putting is that it's not a comedy. Or maybe it is a comedy and the wry delivery got lost in the dubbing. For my money, I think this thing was played as a straight love story, and there was nothing remotely light-hearted about the tragic ending.

Here's how this thing spools out: there's this gent named Alberto (Carlos Roffe). He's a well-to-do landowner, married with two grown kids. Life doesn't seem to be too shabby for Alberto, but it's obvious he's not reaping emotional satisfaction from his relationship with his wife. A random trip to the sheep farm on his property, however, changes everything. See, it's there that he first lays his eyes on Fanny the ewe (not making this up).

From that point, the two enter into a passionate affair. Unbeknownst to his wife,Alberto slyly creeps off to the barn in the cover of darkness, where Fannie awaits him, sprawled out on the hay, lust in her eyes --

You don't want me to keep going, do you?

-- Dave

--—--—--—--—--

From: Loomis, Daryl
Sent: Thursday, June 04, 2009 10:31 AM
To: 'David Johnson'
Subject: RE: Animalada and Rosarigasinos

Maybe in private, Dave, but not right now…yikes.

Oddly, Rosarigasinos may technically be a comedy, but it winds up pretty un-funny. Much of the action takes place in flashbacks from before their stint in the clink. We learn about what sent them to prison and the story of the money and, you know, it's not too happy a tale. Rodrigo Grande pulls a kind of bait-and-switch, swiping the rug out from under the odd couple beginning and leaving us with a depressing tale of revenge. When it was over, I seemed to remember laughing in the beginning, but I couldn't remember what was so funny.

Rosarigasinos is good stuff. With some very animated performances from all involved and a hot tango soundtrack, I certainly recommend you take a look at it.

I guess my big question about Animalada is whether it's going to be worth the time to seek out. I mean, without going into sordid details, how far to Alberto and sweet Fanny take their relationship?

--—--—--—-- --

From: David Johnson
Sent: Thursday, June 04, 2009 1:07 AM
To: Daryl Loomis; Loomis, Daryl
Subject: RE: Animalada and Rosarigasinos

Brother, Alberto and Fanny swing for the fences.

But before we get into the emotional trauma, can I just point out that "Rodrigo Grande" just might be the greatest name ever. I suppose other professions available to him in life were Nightclub Bouncer and Villain Henchman in James Bond Movie.

Your movie sounds semi-entertaining and while Animalada is so bat-@#$% nuts that there is amusement in just watching the ridiculous spectacle unfold before your eyes, I would assume that, at least, Rosarigasinos didn't make you want to jump in the shower immediately after watching it and scrub the sin away.

I'm telling you, this film moves along just like a Lifetime Original Movie: man is happily unmarried/ man falls for another woman/ man engages in sexual intercourse in a barn one night with other woman/ man and other woman continue their affair in secret/ wife finds out about affair and goes crazy and tries to kill her husband. Just exchange "sheep" with "woman" in that synopsis and that's Animalada for you.

As I mentioned the atmosphere is so humorless that it just can't be looked at a comedy; Daryl, it is a straight-up erotic romance with livestock. And to answer the questions that are dancing through your mind: yes there are sex scenes involving the sheep. With unending gratitude to the Most High I'm happy to report that they're not vivid.

Ewe-rotic Scene 1—Alberto's first tryst is a tight zoom on his pajamas, unfortunately accompanied by some moaning.

Ewe-rotic Scene 2—A neighborhood punk gets drunk at a bar and apparently instead of getting angry or depressed, he feels the urge to go out and sexually assault sheep when intoxicated. Again, more implied than showed, but what was shown was more than enough, some sweaty guy clutching a farm animal and grunting in ecstasy

Ewe-rotic Scene 3—Alberto and Fanny do something behind the couch, which, thankfully, obstructs our view.

I know those may be more sordid details than you wanted to hear, but I kind of hold you responsible for my experience with Animalada. At least the zoophilia-phobes out there can breathe a little easier since they'll be spared from the hardcore stuff. Tell me, Daryl, what are your thoughts on our unfortunate disc swap now?

-- Dave

--—--—--—--—--

From: Loomis, Daryl
Sent: Thursday, June 04, 2009 2:28 PM
To: 'David Johnson'
Subject: RE: Animalada and Rosarigasinos

Well, Dave, at the risk of revealing the truth behind my depravity, I have mixed feelings about our little switcheroo. I enjoyed Rosarigasinos from start to finish, and I likely, because of its generic cover and difficult to pronounce title, would have skipped over it. I'm glad I saw it. Animalada, on the other hand, sounds like an experience that doesn't come around every day, unless you're on the farm, of course. Rosarigasinos has a lot of value, but that value is certainly not of the shock variety that I crave sometimes.

As it goes, in spite of the disc snafu, Synapse has done a decent job on the picture and sound, but no extras.

I accept the responsibility for whatever emotional damage you have inflicted but, admit it, you have neither seen anything like, nor are you soon to forget it. You have to thank me, at least a little bit, for the inadvertent exposure.

Daryl

--—--—--—-- -

From: David Johnson
Sent: Thursday, June 04, 2009 3:02 PM
To: Daryl Loomis; Loomis, Daryl
Subject: Animalada and Rosarigasinos

Yeah, you got me. As much as I make a scene about how deranged this all is, you're right—it's so out-there there's a twisted allure to it all. Coming from someone who's been submersed in all manner of digital insanity, Animalada stands out as a top-tier entry into the Pantheon of F-ed Up Sh*t.

And for what it's worth, like all Synapse titles, Animalada is a technical winner, sporting a slick 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and a serviceable 2.0 stereo mix (in Spanish). Alas—or maybe, thankfully—there are no extras.

Well, Daryl, it's been fun. Better luck next time, though perhaps this bizarre switcheroo was simply an act of fate; I fear the Gods of Brain-Stabbing Cinema may have it out for me.

The Verdict

Guilty of making me feel weird inside.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 80

Perp Profile

Studio: Synapse
Video Formats:
• 1.66:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Spanish)
Subtitles:
• English
Running Time: 94 Minutes
Release Year: 2001
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Cult
• Foreign
• Romance

Distinguishing Marks

• None

Accomplices

• IMDb








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