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Western Animation / Mutafukaz

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Mutafukaz note  is an adult animated science-fiction film that was a co-production between French and Japanese animation studios (Ankama Animations and Studio 4°C respectively). It was based off a comic series of the same name, and was directed by Shōjirō Nishimi and Guillaume "Run" Renard.

The film follows Angelino, a young man living in the rough, crime-ridden Dark Meat City. He lives a mostly normal life with his friend Vinz and oddball Willy. However, an innocent glance at a captivating girl leads to him being involved in a scooter accident with an oncoming car. Recovering with bruises and a killer headache, Angelino begins to notice strange things happening around him: people with sinister shadows and men in dark suits following him wherever he goes. When he and Vinz are attacked at home by masked, heavily armed police, they then find themselves on the run.

Very quickly, one out-of-the-blue scooter crash propels Angelino into the plots of a race of aliens called the Macho, who are intent on invading the planet.

Oh yeah, did we mention this film was odd?

Mutafukaz was debuted at the AIAFFnote  on June 13, 2017. It was then released in France on May 23, 2018 and in Japan on October 12, 2018. An English dubbed version by GKIDS was released for a limited run along with Fathom Events on October 11 and 16, 2018 in the USA, Canada and the UK.

Beware of unmarked spoilers! It is better to watch this film without knowing too much of the plot details.

The film provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Abnormal Ammo: Crocodile, after being humiliated by Angelino earlier in the movie, tries to kill him with bullets that leave craters in the ground.
  • Action Survivor: Vinz, compared to Angelino, doesn't have the superhuman reflexes and speed. He still tries to contribute even if he's out of his depth. In the very first fight with Crocodile, Vinz throws a brick at him... which fails because he's not that strong. Though in the end, he's able to push a garbage container onto him; even without a lot of physical strength a heavy metal object like that is enough to knock him out,
  • Adaptational Name Change: Popeye is referred to Shakespeare in the movie.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: Exaggerated; Unlike in the comics, Popeye's entire character pretty much revolves around reciting Shakespeare quotes from his various works and nothing else.
  • Adolf Hitlarious: During the backstory explanation for the guardian wrestlers, a freeze frame shows one wrestler (complete in Masked Luchador style mask and costume) punching Hitler in the face while a group of Nazi soldiers look on in shock.
  • Aerosol Flamethrower: At one point, Angelino uses an aerosol spray and the flames on Vinz' head to create a makeshift flamethrower. It's just as nuts as it sounds.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Downplayed. While no one will spare a thought for Crocodile, watching him lying on the van with a gunshot wound, coming to the realization that the helicopter is going to fall on him, is pretty hard to watch.
  • Alien Invasion: The Macho aliens have been gradually invading Earth by impersonating humans and taking positions of authority, including the Presidency. The potential Sequel Hook (or not) shows Mr K has given up on a gradual invasion and is about to start a full-on violent takeover of the Earth.
  • Animal Motifs: Cockroaches for Angelino. They seem to be his favorite animal and his care for the one's living in his apartment leads to them going to save him and bringing the wrestlers. When Angelino starts to embrace his alien nature he contorts his body and crawls on the ceiling much as they do. Naturally, Angelino proves himself to be hard to kill, much like the roaches.
  • Apathetic Citizens: Everything is completely back to normal only two months after the events of the movie in spite of all the chaos and destruction that happened.
  • Art Shift: The film does change its artstyle at certain dramatic points. A particularly note-worthy example is when the animation suddenly changes to detailed, comic book style illustration with Limited Animation.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • One of the first people that the heavily armed police kill is Angelino's neighbor. It establishes their brutal Leave No Witnesses M.O. but the neighbor was an unpleasant nazi who won't be missed.
    • Let's just say nobody is going to feel bad for Agent Crocodile when a helicopter crashes on him, especially after he and the machos waged war on the gangs, with the Grapz being the first.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: Crocodile mentions torturing animals when he's a kid and threatens to shove a firecracker up Willy's ass if he wants to get festive.
  • Battle Intro: Only Shakespeare, a gangbanger who named himself after a poet whom's lines he memorized well, could turn a simple line of his into something intimidating.
    Shakespeare: [Brandishing two machine guns] All the worlds a stage, [camera zooms in] and all its men and women merely players; action!
  • Battle Strip: Bruce strips to the waist to fight Angelino even though it's snowing.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: Bruce uses a fancy golden revolver as his main weapon.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Most of the main conflicts have been resolved, but the credits roll just as soon as Mr. K sends an army of aliens to Earth from a secret base on the moon.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The Mr K brainwashes Angelino into letting go of his humanity and killing Vinz. Angelino nearly goes through with it, but snaps out of it just in time.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Sometimes huge chunks of text will fill the screen to show what Angelino is feeling at that moment, such as: "Why are these strange men chasing us?" Played for Laughs.
  • Bulletproof Vest:
    • The heavily armed and armored police have especially tough bulletproof vests. When Angelino takes one of their guns and unloads a clip into him the audience can see where the vest absorbs the blow and where the gaps in the armor allow the bullets to enter him. One even takes a point-blank shot to the mask and survives even if the mask is smashed. When the wrestlers engage them they use a pair of defeated troops as Bullet Proof Human Shields as their kevlar and bodies can tank any of the shots.
    • Bruce also wears a bullet-proof vest though it's smaller and fits underneath his clothes. It saves him from several gunshots but he strips it off when he wants to go hand to hand with Angelino. He's ultimately killed when Shakespeare's gang riddle his chest with bullets. Though seeing as Shakespeare was able to land an impressive headshot beforehand the vest wouldn't really have helped him in the end.
  • Butt-Monkey: Agent Crocodile just cannot catch a break. Every one of his attempts to kill Angelino ends in humilation/near death experiences. You might even start feeling bad for him, until he mentions off-hand that as a kid he enjoyed torturing animals. After that, you won't feel so bad when he gets shot then crushed by a helicopter.
  • Captain Ersatz: The 2 major gangs in the movie, the Grapz and the Limz are clearly stand ins for the Crips and the Bloods. In the comic, they are almost explicitly the actual Crips and Bloods, with the same colors as their real life counterparts.
  • Casting Gag: The wrestler with a tiger head named El Tigre is voiced in the English dub by Jorge Gutiérrez. He is also one of the creators of the Emmy award winning cartoon El Tigre.
  • Combat Tentacles: The Macho aliens including Angelino when he gets brainwashed gain black tentacles when their human form is badly injured.
  • Cultured Badass: You gotta give Shakespeare credit where its due, turning the actual poet's lines from various works of his into meaningful statements depending on the situation.
  • Deranged Animation: If the character designs didn't clue you in already.
    • Studio 4°C are also known for Tekkonkinkreet, which has a similarly trippy aesthetic style.
  • Deuteragonist: Vincent "Vinz" Scavo.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: The whole plot is kickstarted because Angelino is too engrossed in staring at Luna to notice the large van heading his way.
  • Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion: The weakness of the aliens is cold weather. When it becomes too cold, the Macho turn blue and can't move until they freeze to death. Angelino is affected slightly by this, being a hybrid.
  • Eye Scream: A few people are shot in the eye or have their eye dangling out of the socket throughout the film. There is also a close up shot of a crow plucking an eye from a dead rat.
  • Expy: In the original comic, the Grapz and the Limz were based off the Bloods and Crips respectively. In the movie however, they take after the color schemes of the Ballas and the Families from Grand Theft Auto.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Mr. K and Bruce have a disagreement over Angelino because he is half Macho. Mr. K wants to give Angelino a choice to embrace his alien heritage or die while Bruce feels they should just kill him out right. Mr. K wants to give Angelino the choice even if he'll kill him if he chooses wrong, because they are of the same species and he believes that the lives of other Macho are sacred.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Bruce, courtesy of Danny Trejo, has a deep and menacing voice.
  • Feathered Fiend: A crow stalks Angelino and Vinz throughout the film, and whenever it finds them The Men in Black arrive soon after. It is possible the crow is also a Macho, see Voluntary Shapeshifter.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Vinz clearly dislikes Willy, and Angelino barely tolerates him, and its clear why. He's obnoxious and cowardly to the point of running away at the climax when Angelino is getting beaten within an inch of his life while Vinz tries to actually do something. Even so, Angelino considers him close enough that he doesn't feel comfortable leaving Willy to die, and Vinz ultimately is the same way, even though he only goes very grudgingly.
  • Gambit Roulette: The Machos' plan to set a trap in Pipo's diner and use Luna as bait relies on the assumption that, instead of shoplifting from a grocery store or going to any other diner in DMC, Angelino and Vinz would return to that specific shop.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Angelino is a hybrid of human and Macho.
  • Hero of Another Story: The luchador guardians rescue Angelino and build a weather-altering rocket to wipe out the earthbound Macho. The film doesn't focus much on them beyond establishing that they exist and the few points their story intersects with the main cast.
  • Humanoid Aliens: Sort of. The Macho take human form to blend in with the rest of humanity, but their real forms resemble black tentacled slugs.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Zig-Zagged. A key part of the Macho's infiltration is working with corrupt humans who seek power like Bruce and Crocodile. Even the major scene of them clashing ideologies ends up with Mr. K showing standards Bruce does not. However, it's ultimately humanity that ensures it's survival with Lino choosing his human morality over his Macho one and even the gangsters have their loyalty and determination shown as a positive force against the Macho allied aliens.
  • Implacable Man: Bruce. He is superhumanly competent at his job and not very easy to take down. He’s still a human though, so hundreds of bullets being shot into his body by the Bangers gang finally puts him out.
  • Interspecies Romance: Mr K, the leader of the Macho, finds any romantic relationship between a human and Macho to be disgusting. However, Angelino was the outcome of such a relationship, making him a hybrid.
  • Karmic Death: Bruce getting his eye shot out by Shakespeare and then all the gangs gunning the former down is nothing short of poetic justice; especially since Bruce shot Shakespeare's eye out and caused a war between law enforcement and the Grapz and Limz.
    Shakespeare: An eye for an eye, motherfucker!
  • Karma Houdini: After Angelino and Vinz return to rescue Willy, he abandons them while they were getting nearly killed by Bruce, and he later becomes a famous rapper at the end of the film. Lampshaded by Angelino at the end of the film, who states that Willy's "karma is probably fucked".
  • Made of Iron: Angelino gets in a head on collision with a truck while riding a scooter. He walks away with little more than a killer headache.
    • Shakespeare survives taking a revolver round to the face, coming back later with an eyepatch. On the same note, Bruce also seems to shrug off getting one of his eyes shot out, though he doesn't do so well against the hail of gunfire that occurs immediately after.
  • Masked Luchador: The guardian protectors of Earth, who are descendants of Aztec warriors who have guarded Earth for centuries, work as professional wrestlers in day to day life. The narrator claims they do this to stave off existential boredom. After all, the Earth doesn't always need protecting and they are waiting for their time to protect it.
  • The Men in Black: Angelino and Vinz are chased by them throughout the film. You can tell they're the Men in Black because they have MIB on their car number plates.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer makes it look like Angelino's collision with a truck kickstarts the plot of the story. It happens within the first 5 minutes of the movie, and he walks away from it mostly fine. It does cause him to start seeing the true shadows of the macho.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Bruce dispenses one of these to Angelino, since he's a musclebound hunk and Angelino is toddler-sized.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Whilst Angelino, Vinz, and Willy are cartoonishly designed, most of the villains and background characters have more realistic proportions. Luna in particular looks like she came from an anime.
  • Older Than They Look: Angelino and his friends look like they could be children, especially due to all the other adults in the setting being normal adult sizes and shapes compared to them. But Angelino is 20 years old and his friends are presumably about the same age.
  • Portent of Doom: One of the guardian wrestlers has a vision of a fiery skull on his sandwich, and finds a stain that resembles a cockroach. The audience knows that these omens do relate to the main characters, but the other wrestlers are a bit more cynical.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Bruce and Mr. K run into a difference of ideologies when Angelino is caught. While Mr. K wants Angelino to choose his fate and then kill him if he chooses to stand against the Macho, Bruce asks why they bothered giving him a choice and just killed him right then and there.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: One of the guardian protectors of Earth, Feliz, wears a pink luchador outfit. Doesn’t make him any less of a tough wrestler though.
  • Scenery Gorn: Dead Meat City is beautiful, disgusting and disturbing all at the same time.
  • Shirtless Scene: Vinz has to take off his shirt when he enters Palm Hills since it's green (the color of the Limz) and ends up spending most of the movie without one. When he does get a new shirt, he leaves it unbuttoned.
    • Angelino and Bruce also have shorter shirtless scenes.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Space Base: At the very end of the film it turns out the Big Bad has a base on the Moon and is about to start a Macho alien invasion of Earth. Cue the end credits.
    Angelino (on seeing this): Oh..ok
  • Speaks in Shout-Outs: The morbidly obese leader of the Grapz, fittingly named Shakespeare, quotes the Bard for practically all his lines. Doesn't do him much good when Bruce shoots him in the face.
    Bruce: "To be or not to be? That is the question." I can quote Shakespeare too...bitch.
  • The Shadow Knows: After his accident, Angelino notices that some people have tentacled, non-human shadows.
  • Symbolic Wings: When Angelino sees Luna for the first time, we cut to his visualization of her, which shows her sprouting tiny white wings on her back to make her look angelic.
  • Unusual Pets for Unusual People: Angelino's pets are cockroaches. Swarms of them.
    • Vinz is disgusted by Angelino feeding them, but this attention pays off as the cockroaches later follow Angelino and come to his rescue.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The fact that Vinz literally has a skull on fire for a head, or that Willy is an anthropomorphic bat with braces, or professional wrestlers are guardian protectors of the Earth, is never commented upon in a serious way and just adds to the overall insanity of the film.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifter: The Macho can take the form of humans, and possibly other creatures. Angelino's father took the form of a large black dog when he saved his son from being killed as a baby.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The Macho freeze solid in cold temperatures. The luchadores' rocket brings about an unnatural winter, causing disguised Macho across the country to suddenly turn blue and fall over dead.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The crow that is all but stated to be spying on Angelino for the Macho disappears after the shootout in the Grapes' territory.
  • White Mask of Doom: The heavily-armed Macho police sent after Angelino all wear expressionless white masks.

Alternative Title(s): MFKZ