Finding something as beautiful and haunting as Junk Head 1 doesn’t happen often, and the only reason for my stumbling upon this was due to the wonderful Twitter community. This half an hour stop motion animation is one of the most original, imaginative and capturing pieces of work I’ve ever watched – better than the majority of high-budget films I’ve seen.
Set in the distant future, the human race has invented a way to become immortal – by using electrical pulses, human heads survive by being attached to mechanical bodies. Even though life is eternal, the ability to reproduce is lost, therefore forcing the humans to create clones using human patterning. Years after the rebellion of the clones – whom reside underground whilst the humans live on the surface – our protagonist is given a mission to delve into the underground and find a clone with the possibility to reproduce.
Such a complex and intriguing idea was constructed by the genius that is Takahide Hori. What is so astonishing about Junk Head 1 is that Hori created the whole animation by himself, over the course of four years, using only his spare time. What Hori has achieved is a horrific underworld of unimaginable creatures and a diminishing pretentious human race.
Before we find out about the protagonists mission and who he is, we’re shown three characters who give this film a humorous edge. They remind me of the lovable minions from Despicable Me, but they’re the dark versions, which live amongst worms that gauge on anything that touches their squirming red vines. From here we see other characters such as grotesque doctors and terrifying deformed fleshy animals with friendly human characteristics. The protagonist in this film is submerged in this unknown, frightening world where he embarks on his mission, but is lost within the deadly mazes, full of carnage and gore.
If you’re looking for something that oozes with both the sci-fi and horror genres, then this is it. Not only is this an extremely well made animation – that’s gripping and disturbing – it’s also a tribute to true passion and devotion.
Fortunately, Hori was kind enough to upload his masterpiece to YouTube – so you can watch it for nothing!