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Sausage Party - DVD Review

Sausage Party

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

THERE’S a moment, about halfway through Sausage Party, where a stoned character asserts: “Once you see that shit, it’ll fuck you up for life!” It’s a sentiment that audiences are likely to agree with once they’ve seen this outrageous film.

By turns hilarious, offensive, thought-provoking and crass, Sausage Party is as audacious a piece of filmmaking as you’re ever likely to see in the mainstream. Perhaps more so because it’s animated.

The plot sounds simple enough but it’s a jumping off point for endless ideas – some of them bitingly satirical, others just plain gross.

Frank (voiced by Seth Rogen) is a sausage who spends his days – along with his fellow supermarket foods – pining for the day he will be chosen to be taken to the great beyond, where he can hopefully be united with the love of his life, curvy bun Brenda (Kristen Wiig) for some serious sex.

But once a returned product – a mustard – hints that life outside of the supermarket is, in reality, nightmarish and short, prompting an aisle spill that leaves a core group of foods separated from their friends, it’s up to Frank to discover the truth and prevent a near-certain massacre.

So far, so out there. But what follows has to be seen to be believed.

Yes, taken on a purely visual level Sausage Party offers a wild ride in which a disparate group must put aside their differences to embark on an incredible adventure (a la Toy Story really). But this is one journey that’s most definitely not to be undertaken by kids or even grown-ups of a sensitive and/or easily offended disposition.

Rogen, along with writing pals Jonah Hill and Evan Goldberg, toss in F-bombs like candy drops, cartoon violence to make your stomach churn and sex (lots and lots of sex) to leave your jaw on the floor.
And yet there’s also biting social observation in there too, taking on everything from religious extremism to racial tolerance (Israel’s relationship with the Jews is a particularly ripe target), not to mention politics and consumer gluttony.

If that weren’t already enough, co-directors Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon also serve up a visual feast designed to pay homage to classic horror cinema and even a certain Omaha Beach sequence from Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan. Indeed, it’s quite striking just how consistently dark Rogen and co are willing to go.

The now infamous vegetable and sausage massacre (seen in the trailer) is reminiscent of everything from Hostel to Scream via the notorious Italian cannibal film’s of the ’70s, while an outrageous orgy (yes, you read that right!) is as gross as the climax of cult horror movie Society.

Again, this is not a film for the faint-hearted – but it is ferociously imaginative in virtually every frame.

Unfortunately, this only makes some of its failures all the more difficult to digest. Primary among these is Nick Kroll’s completely OTT (and arguably unnecessary) villain, who quite literally grates the longer he is on-screen.

But some of the more juvenile humour seems puerile and relentlessly profane for the sake of it. You can have too much.

And then there’s the nagging questions surrounding the taste of some of the content. There’s a line that Rogen and company don’t so much tip-toe along as stamp all over. The Omaha sequence, while brilliantly realised, is nevertheless mining laughs from one of the most harrowing events of WWII, while there will almost certainly be those who find pot-shots at extremism too close to the bone. In laughing along so giddily, are we also becoming de-sensitised?

But then maybe Rogen is posing this question subconsciously too. As for sheer ballsy originality, Sausage Party is hard to beat. It is this summer’s gutsiest offering, worthy of its must-see status even if you may not be able to easily shake some of its more revolting images from your head in a hurry!

Certificate: 15
Running time: 89mins
UK Blu-ray & DVD Release: December 26, 2016