Alberto Vázquez / ES, FR, 2022 / 80 min.
Honour, pain and cuddles!
An utterly grim, grotesque and graphic journey into the heart of darkness, Alberto Vázquez's Unicorn Wars is an anti-fascist fable depicting a holy war between cuddly candy-coloured bears and mighty unicorns. Imagine a gory 18+ version of Care Bears in which the bears have been programmed to shoot and kill. The entire fantasy epic feels as if sadistic Happy Tree Friends have invaded films like Full Metal Jacket, Apocalypse Now and Annihilation. You get it ... Unicorn Wars is pure midnight-movie mayhem with a surprising exploration of the origins of evil.
For ages, teddy bears have been in a deadlock with the unicorns in the Magical Forest. In a military bootcamp, recruits are trained - let's change that to "brainwashed" - with the mantra "Good unicorn, dead unicorn". Two brother bears, Tubby and Bluey, couldn't be more different. But both bears are part of a new squad that must trek into the forest to search for a missing scouting group. From there on, Vázquez's truly fucked-up premise evolves into one of the bleakest animated features in recent memory. It's like a faux-cute slap in the face, a knife - or rather a unicorn horn - in the stomach. And with every turn, the film turns darker, uglier en bleaker.
Based on his own short project Unicorn Blood, filmmaker and illustrator Alberto Vázquez's latest feature uses tropes, colours, and characters we cherished as a child to make a misanthropic examination of militarism, authoritarianism, and religious zealotry. We're not sure you will want to hug your teddy bears after this movie is over.
Mark your calendar, set the alarm… March 30th through April 2nd. Let yourself be immersed in the animation world during Kaboom Animation Festival. The festival can also be followed online until 2 April.
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