Really, it was bound to happen. You don’t host an underground comix-themed film series—as the Trylon Microcinema is currently doing, trotting out this month a medley of animated flicks, both high brow and low—without dipping into the debauched. The medium just has too much camp to pass up.
Sure, we’ve seen Persepolis (The Trylon screened it last week). We’ve watched The Triplets of Belleville. We’ve read Maus. But we’ve also smirked our way through Cool World. And had our childhoods irrevocably damaged by Tales From the Crypt. For every poetically wrought think piece about the Iranian Revolution there’s about a dozen trashy gems involving vampires or topless valkyrie.
Or, if you will, a stoner feline hellbent on copping feels.
Of course we’re talking about Fritz the Cat, the pointedly puerile adaptation of Robert Crumb’s famously raunchy 60s comic strip of the same name. It’s the first animated film to ever receive an X rating. It’s also the most successful indie animation of all time, grossing over $100 million worldwide.
The movie, about a twentysomething cat in hippie-era New York City, tripped out on sociopolitical consciousness and horny as eff, is a satire. The idea was to lampoon the flaky excesses of 60s counterculture, as well as to lob water balloons at pretty much every weighty political issue of the day. But most will remember it for its goofy sex scenes. Or its ham-fisted puns; the pigs are actually pigs, and the expression “chasing tail” becomes literal in the case of female kitties.
At any rate, it’s a romp—a delightfully dated, poorly aged relic from an era that seemingly dodged good taste at every turn. In other words, it’s a hippie flick. Keep on trucking, baby.