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Prayers are futile.

The final form of MAD GOD isn't the film itself, but the memory after you watch it. It's bringing you to that moment just after waking up from a dream, frozen, exploring fragments of your feral mind before they fade back into the shadows. That's the moment. MAD GOD is just a way to get you there.
-Phil Tippett
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Mad God is an ongoing series of Surreal Horror videos created by Phil Tippett, a Stop Motion animator who has worked on Jurassic Park, The Empire Strikes Back, and RoboCop. It tells the story(?) of a mysterious gas-masked, coated figure, called The Assassin in the paratext, traveling through a nightmarish underworld.

Tippett began design and concept work on Mad God back in 1990, but for budgetary reasons, it didn't get off the ground until 2010, with a successful Kickstarter campaign. The first episode went online in 2013, and since then, two more episodes have been made, with a fourth one underway. Each episode can be downloaded from the website at a small fee. It's worth it. It is now being made into a feature length film using the first 3 episodes and 60% new footage.


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Tropes:

  • Ambiguously Human: The Assassin may look human, but in episode 3, when he is being vivisected, he had not only had organs in him but objects like coins, pearl necklaces, books, and worm-like larva, indicating he could be a Mr. Seahorse.
  • Ambiguous Situation: So far, the goal of The Assassin. He seems to be following a map and going to a specific place, and we can infer that he may be planning to assassinate someone when he gets there, but who and why is still unclear
  • Artistic License Palaeontology: Part 1 has some inexplicably-huge fossils of a Triceratops and what seems to be an ammonite the size of a skyscraper.
  • Crapsack World: Sometimes literally. The world of Mad God has no logic or reason to it.
  • Fat Bastard: The inhabitants of the city featured in Part 2 are disgusting flabby monsters that do nothing but eat and shit all day. Supplementary material refers to them as "Butt Sergeants".
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  • Gas Mask, Longcoat: The protagonist of Parts 1 and 2.
  • I'm a Humanitarian / Monstrous Cannibalism: In Part 1, a sort of ogre-like creature that sounds like a camel kills another creature and eats it. Neither could really be called human, but both seem more or less sentient.
  • Mad God: Implied by the title. Tippett's explanation in this interview is that the Mad God is the ideas that drive the project, and that he is the "abbot" of the god.
  • Medical Horror: The third episode is set in a nightmare version of a maternity ward, and ends with a newborn being offered to something in a Black Cloak that probably Eats Babies.
  • Mind Screw: Phil made this series specifically because he wanted a break from conventional narrative cinema, and having to squeeze his ideas into a coherent narrative. Since this project is so much more freeform, he can really go wherever his ideas take him. That's the Mad God of the title.
  • Off-the-Shelf FX: Some of the sets are made of miniature buildings that Phil buys at his local hardware store. Others are old leftover props from movies he's worked on, being re-purposed for use here.
  • No Name Given: Everybody, since there's no dialogue.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: Most of the creatures in it are very hard to describe.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: Although Stop Motion is the preferred medium of the series, there's a bit of live action here and there, such as a pair of tiny gnomes in Part 1 and the terrified nurse in Part 3.
  • Silence Is Golden: There is no dialogue in the entire series so far.
  • Shout-Out: A statue of the cyclops from The 7th Voyage of Sinbad appears in the first episode, along with what seems to be ED-209 from RoboCop. The latter may be more of a Creator Thumbprint, since ED was very much Tippett's own creation, while the cyclops is more of a conventional homage to stop motion legend Ray Harryhausen.
  • Surreal Horror: Nothing makes sense and everything is horrifying and/or disgusting.
  • Talking Poo: Well, not talking, but the second episode features a city where all the labour is done by what appear to be golems made out of poop. Supplementary material refers to them as "Shit-Men".
  • The Hero Dies: For a definition of Hero anyways, but the Assassin is seemingly captured, killed, and vivisected in part 3

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