- Hexxus — just... where do we begin with Hexxus?
- To start with, there's his whole character concept: he's the Spirit of Destruction, the ultimate embodiment of corruption, decay and annihilation. Worse, despite the film's otherwise anvilicious nature, he's not humanity's fault — indeed, it's subtly implied that the devastation he caused when he spontaneously decided to kill off everything thousands of years ago led to humanity going astray from being in union with nature. So yeah, he ruined paradise and set off humanity's fall from grace, making him essentially Satan. He's an Omnicidal Maniac who wants to destroy everything, seemingly just because he thinks it feels good.
- When he's first released from his prison, it's in the form of a shapeless, squamous mass of oily gunk, something vaguely serpentine that seeps, squirms and crawls its way through the leveler's innards. It's just nauseating, especially when it takes a moment to suck effluence from the leveler's pipes, slurping and bulging obscenely as it does.
- Then, having fed enough, Hexxus decides restore his former glory. This takes the form of a skeletal arm ripping out of his blob form out of nowhere, joined by a second such arm. These clutch onto pipes and haul a slime-dripping, jet-black human skeleton partially out of the puddle of muck. This gooey bone form jolts as electricity arcs across it, then explodes in a cloud of smoke — out of which then pushes a smog-like lantern-jawed humanoid.
- This is followed by his "Toxic Love" song number, which contains all manner of disturbing images, such as Hexxus splitting into multiple floating heads that then devour each other, a chainsaw-armed Hexxus tearing down a tree, Hexxus spewing fire over a leveled forest, and Hexxus laughing madly in the flames, even as fire rushes through him and out his own mouth.
- As the film advances and the leveler feeds, Hexxus keeps on getting bigger. And bigger. And bigger. His smog-genie form isn't so bad on its own, but when it's turned into a stories-tall monstrosity gloating as the jungle around him is destroyed, it's surprisingly freakish. No wonder the leveler's crew split when his gigantic mug leers at them through the front windscreen.
- Finally, when our heroes shut off the engine and end the flow of smog, Hexxus reaches deep into the depths of the leveler and dredges up all of its oil and grease to go One-Winged Angel. In a mass of eerie, purple-hued flame, an enormous mass of sludge erupts out of the leveler, fire rippling around its base and billowing through its core. This then resolves into a giant black abomination, a naked skull and open ribcage contrasting muscular arms and covered in a shroud of dripping muck, fire bursting out of its eyes and mouth as Hexxus catches his breath. Flames blaze inside its ribcage, mouth and throat as it looks right at the viewer and gives them a gaping-jawed malevolent grin. And this form, pictured at the top of the page, is basically what Hexxus wears through the rest of the film.
- Oh, and once he takes this form? The one amusing thing about him, his hammy voice done by Tim Curry, goes away. He just stops talking, with the only sounds he makes being roars and demented laughter.
- And then, finally, there's Hexxus' well-deserved death-scene, where he is consumed from the inside out by a tree magically coaxed to grow inside of him.
- Listen to the "Batty Rap" and let your imagination wander as to what Batty Koda must have been through in that lab.Batty: "They used and abused me, Battered and bruised me, Red wires, green wires, stuck em' right through me!"
Batty: "I've been brain-fried, electrified, infected and injectified! Vivisectified! And fed pesticide! My face is all cut up 'cuz my radar's all shot up!"
- The scene where Batty sings that line about the wires is rather disturbing. It's only about 5 seconds, but you see the wires glow under his skin, and he's making a motion like he's trying to rip them out (or slash his own wrist).
- "All of our cosmetics are non-carcinogenic-" *ZAP* "AAAAAHHH!!!!"
- As with "Toxic Love", the "Batty Rap" heard in the film is actually cut down. This time because the uncensored version was deemed too scary.
Alright, if you could just put him- strap him down, if he moves, medicate him. Medicate him. MEDICATE HIM! MEDICATE MEEEEEEEE!
- One line from the uncensored version has a doctor directing people to remove Batty's skull cap. Just what were they doing to him!?
- The line where Batty mimics one doctor saying that the students can see animals really don't feel pain, only to cut himself off by shouting in his own voice that they "get used to it!" will haunt more than a few children's nightmares
- The most disturbing thing about the song is that what the scientific study was about is unclear. Several parts imply cosmetic chemical testing, but the wires and several other things imply seemingly pointless mutilation, and one particular line directly states that it was performed by graduate students, with moral objections no less."I don't care what you think! You're a graduate student...JUST DO IT!!!"
- A possible logical explanation for this is that the laboratory was carrying out multiple tests and Batty is either remembering snippets of dialogue he heard in passing related to experiments on other animals, or was unfortunate enough to have gone through several studies himself. Both options are still quite sobering, as the latter puts Batty's suffering in a whole new context, and with the latter comes a very chilling reminder that unlike Batty, most of these animals never got to taste freedom again.
- And then, to top it all off, it becomes pretty clear that the doctor leading the whole thing clearly belongs in a mental asylum.
- Note how the song has scary imagery for the kids, along with every line they can understand about the experiments Batty suffered, but only adults will understand the more complex terms Batty uses in his song, all of which add heaps of horror to an already scary song. Speaking of scaring kids and adults, in the uncensored version of the song a slightly discordant music box starts playing "Rock-A-Bye Baby". Great!
- How about the scene where Crysta and an unconscious Zak are almost devoured by the leveler? If Batty didn't show up to save them at just the right moment, then the two of them would've been goners.
- The first tree that Hexxus is trapped in. It's a baobab tree without leaves, black in color, with gnarled branches, and a bulbous body; it's the floral equivalent of the Uncanny Valley. You can feel the evil festering inside of it just from seeing it on the screen. The music that plays when it's on screen helps too: loud horns, cymbals and an eerie ghostly wailing in the background. The unearthly wails continue even as the tree is being sliced into boards. Hexxus is a Grade-A Eldritch horror, make no mistake.
- The Disney Acid Sequence where a shrunken Zack finds himself chased relentlessly through the forest litter by a perversely sexual goanna who sings about how much he wants to eat Zack. The psychedelic visuals, freaky lyrics and primal fear of being eaten alive all combine into something that haunts dreams. And unlike either "Toxic Love" or "The Batty Rap", this sequence was left uncensored! A snail gets eaten whole right on screen, the one Zak was just stuck to, and the poor thing's shell fragments can be seen.
- The more frightening thing is just the implication of the scene. Not two seconds after separating from Crysta (and only a few minutes after being shrunk) Zak runs into something that's ready to eat him, runs into several others throughout the song and is basically helpless. It's only at Crysta's insistence that the goanna lets him go because seemingly every animal in the forest respects the fairies, with Zak seemingly left unmolested by the animals after this only because he's always palling around with either Crysta or Pips from then on. If Zak didn't befriend the fairies (or worse he angered them and they choose not to protect him) he'd not have lasted 2 minutes in Fern Gully before being eaten by something. Kind of makes the place look terrifying.
Nightmare Fuel / FernGully: The Last Rainforest