"A Town Called Panic" DVD Movie Review

7/24/2010 Posted by Admin

"A Town Called Panic"

DVD Movie Review

By our guest blogger, Jeremy Wilkinson

"A Town Called Panic" is a 2009 stop-motion Belgian film based on an animated series by the same name. Even without seeing the series, it's easy to jump right into the movie. This is not thanks to a crew who knows how to make a movie for people who haven't seen prior entries, however. It is due to the fact the movie is, essentially, one giant non sequitur.

Cowboy, Indian and Horse are our three protagonists, and they all live in the titular town. Most characters have the same naming convention where names are based more on occupation or species than anything else. After finding out that it is Horse's birthday, Cowboy and Indian decide to build him a barbecue. But, they accidentally order 50 million bricks and this inundation of building material ends up leading to the destruction of their current home.

This tenuous set up leads to the three having a long, wacky adventure where almost nothing follows logically. The plot summary sounds a lot like a weird internet video your friend might send you when you're suffering from a bout of sleeplessness.

If that description does not stop you, you'll find "A Town Called Panic" to be a fun-filled, albeit strange, film that manages to make you grin more often than not. Its high energy and humor make it difficult to not enjoy.

Those who love stop-motion will find the animation simple, but still well done. Any hiccups only serve to underline the tone of the film. Silly is the key word here, as you'll be treated to a talking horse, furniture being repaired by blowing them up with air, a giant penguin robot, and a music school for animals.

While the craziness of the movie works, it could be the biggest turn off for some. Many might find "A Town Called Panic" to be a little too quirky. Indeed, it feels as if the film is trying too hard during some parts.

The film also suffers from the same problem that plagues many movies based off of television shows: it feels like one long episode. This reviewer hadn't even realized the film was not stand alone, and I still got that impression halfway through.

Not much can really be said about the characters, except that they work for the movie. Impressions are certainly left after the credits role and they all have their own personalities, which is probably the most you can say for a story as off-the-wall as this one.

Though it could be seen as silly to the point of triviality, "A Town Called Panic" is an endearing oddball if you allow yourself to be taken for the ride. It is worth at least a single viewing if you're a fan of surreal humor.

Grade: B-

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