So it’s come to this: The Larva Island Movie just hit Netflix, labeling itself as a “sequel” to the series of deranged Larva Island animated shorts, when it’s actually a clip show. Perhaps, from a certain point of view, a regurgitation of the cartoons you’ve already seen linked by an
umbrella narrative consisting of a few snatches of new
footage is appropriate, considering how the Korean
series is obsessed with barfing, farting, pooping and
other miscellaneous and sundry bodily vulgarities.
To confirm the crass repackaging of previously released material, I watched a few of the old episodes so, as they say, you didn’t have to — and don’t ever say I’m not a VERY SERIOUS JOURNALIST who always does his doo-doo diligence./
The Gist: Before we get to the stinking guts and heart
of The Larva Island Movie, I’ll recap the storied history
of this scurvy franchise.
First, there was Larva, the urban adventures of two grubs, the angry and diminutive Red and his larger, dumber best pal Yellow.
Larva Island followed, with Red and Yellow farting around (in the most literal sense) on a tiny deserted island occupied by shipwreck survivor Chuck (voice of Eddy Lee);
the movie repackages a bunch of these episodes so we can relive the glory of the one episode where Yellow ate some blue mushrooms and spent the majority of the run time blasting vile gastrointestinal emanations from his anal port, one of the very few features of his nigh-formless body.
So it makes sense that the opening sequence of The Larva Island Movie features a dung beetle rolling his little turd along the dangerously busy streets of New York City.
Chuck nearly steps on it, but avoids killing the disgusting little creature because he once was genial palsy-walsies with similar disgusting little creatures.
He sits down in a restaurant with a journalist who
wants to publish his amazing, unbelievable,
hallucination-ridden survival story.
His anecdotes cue flashbacks to episodes of extreme
hunger and loneliness, debilitating mental illness,
spirit-crushing failures to build boats and rafts, fire,
rain, freezing cold, scorching heat, mating rituals of
the Atlantic pollock and that yellow worm’s GOD DAMN FAHHHHTS!
The journalist lady blink-blink-blinks at Chuck’s stories, but soon, everyone in the restaurant is enraptured by his tales of his worm buddies, their fight over a female worm’s love, their tangles with a seal named Clara and a blue-footed booby named Booby, their adventures with a nonsense-being known as Crabsformer, how all life on the island was nearly eradicated by typhoons and an erupting volcano, etc.
Example: There was this one time Red made porridge for everybody and everybody loved it and it turned out not to be porridge at all because it was actually barf. My theory is, everyone in the restaurant is astronomically high.
What Movies Will It Remind You Of?: The Larva Island
Movie is Cast Away meets Veggie Tales meets video footage
of your colonoscopy.
Performance Worth Watching: Well… I… I just… no.
Memorable Dialogue: Chuck’s profound takeaway from his adventures: “Turns out bugs are just like little slimy people.”
Sex and Skin: Only the implied schtupping of Atlantic pollocks.
Our Take: First off, Red and Yellow are undoubtedly the Abbott and Costello, the Laurel and Hardy, the Ren and Stimpy of maggot-based comedy.
Their dynamic is simple: one flatulates, the other screams, and when the one isn’t screaming, it’s also farting.
Neither speaks a language intelligible to humans, prompting one to wonder if they communicate via intricate combinations of rectal harmonies.
This movie’s FPM (farts per minute) index is so enormous, we need Alan Turing to calculate it.
They fart, therefore they are; they are, therefore they fart.
I am not anti-flatulence. Son of Stimpy is a truly moving 23 minutes of holiday-themed television.
The Rodney Dangerfield “stepped on a duck” scene in Caddyshack is timeless.
Blazing Saddles elevates the fart to art.
But Larva Island leans on fart-based humor like
Blake Lively clung to that rock in The Shallows.
Farts are its go-to, its constant, its lifemate.
A running joke is one thing; mindless repetition is another.
And its farts aren’t just momentary bursts, they manifest
on screen as noxious yellow-brown clouds pooting directly
out of a visible hole in Yellow’s bottom end, and he frequently
uses his buttsplosions to propel himself across land and
through air and water.
It gets old quick. Even my five-year-old stopped laughing halfway through.
I hereby use a fan (and Febreze) to clear the air for further assessment: The animation isn’t great, but isn’t terrible either.
It’s simple and colorful.
When it’s not gross, it’s violent.
Characters have a trait or two at most.
The blatant rehashing of old footage seems like a way of gaming the Netflix metric that counts a “view” as someone who watches a piece of content for at least two minutes.
Stretching the Larva Island joke formula to 90 minutes is an endurance test.
Maybe someone out there yearns for the sentimental addendum this movie tacks on to Chuck’s previously established closure arc
(he said with a totally straight face), but that someone has a tolerance for toot-elage the likes of which I cannot abide.
Our Call: SKIP IT. The Larva Island Movie is almost preferable to a point-blank beaner-blast to the face. Almost.