By Kim Tae-jong
A strange, radical local animation film "Aachi And Ssipak
" finally opened in theaters last Thursday, portraying a hilarious world fueled by human feces. It took eight years to produce.
"Of course, there are some flaws and some parts that we think we could've made better in the animation", said animation producer Kim Seon-koo. "But most of all, we are so happy to have completed the work and (to be releasing) it at last".
No one thought it would take eight years, especially given the high expectations of the film when its unconventional story idea was first introduced to the public. When a three-minute flash animated clip was introduced as an Internet sneak preview in 2001, millions of people were fascinated and expected to soon see the feature length animation.
With a strange and radical theme, the film promised action-packed scenes and jokes never seen before by audiences. Who could possibly think of an animation about a futuristic world where human feces is the sole energy source?
But for the production team, things were tougher and more challenging than expected than expected.
Many investors simply found it risky, and the situation got worse as other local animations, which had drawn much attention before their release, turned out to be commercial flops such as "My Beautiful Girl, Mari
" (2001) and "Wonderful Days
The production was regularly on the verge of cancellation due to lack of financial support. Investors were hesitating to support them, deeming the work risky. The production team halted work on the animation for almost a year.
But their initial plan did not change. They didn't tone down the movie to make it suitable for general audiences. They stuck to their initial idea, tried hard to persuade investors, and believed in the potential of their idea.
The first idea was simple: to make an interesting and fun animation different from other Japanese and Disney-made animations. They strongly believed that there were people who wanted to experience something different and unconventional.
As the title "Aachi And Ssipak
" implies boldness, (the two main characters in the film are named after shortened Korean slang for "bum" and a cuss word, respectively), the film begins with a powerful and spectacular car-chase action scene.
Human feces are important in the story. The government implants a microchip into each of its citizens' anuses to check their bowel movements for stable energy supply, rewarding good performance with addictive popsicles.
But the drug-like popsicle produces serious addicts and popsicle trading gangs on the black market.
Two friends Aachi (Ryoo Seung-bum
) and Ssipak (Im Chang-jung
) are street gangsters who steal popsicles and sell them.
One day, they meet Ippuni (Hyun Young
), who has dozens of microchips in her anus implanted by a notorious gang and, as a result, receives dozens of popsicles as she passes a stool. They try to take advantage of her in dirty business practice.
Some might say the film has a critical message on capitalism and totalitarianism. Kim simply says, "our goal is to entertain you".
To produce hilarity, the film parodies scenes of popular films such as "Pulp Fiction", "Akira", and the "Indiana Jones" series. It will be fun to see how voice actors Ryoo and Im perform.