Sausage Party :: Sex, Racism and a Bubblegum Hawking. What’s Not to Love?

Cineville - Sausage

I was really looking forward to Sausage Party, mostly because I'd seen Snowden, Citizenfour and Shadow World in the space of ten days and I really needed to lighten the mood. At the same time, however, as well as looking forward, I was fully expecting to be distinctly underwhelmed. Imagine my pleasure, therefore, when I was, for the most part, thoroughly whelmed.

Sausage Party is an ugly, cheap-looking animated film wherein supermarket food items, household objects and in fact, all inanimate things are portrayed as animate, and indeed totally sentient - unbeknownst to the humans who eat and use them. As it happens, they're also foul-mouthed, sex-obsessed, petty and violent. It's basically the Secret Life of Food.

The reason I thought I'd be disappointed is that I was expecting a slew of swearing and sex jokes and little else, but while there is definitely more than enough swearing and sex jokes, there's also definitely lots more going on besides. Much of it connected with religion or race.

Cineville - Sausage

The film starts from the idea that food can't possibly believe that when it leaves the supermarket, it's killed and eaten by human beings, so instead it believes in 'The Great Beyond', where the gods (humans) care of you 'and all your wildest and wettest dreams come true'. From then on, there is a barrage of irreverent gags about world religion and people who believe in the most outlandish things. There are references to the Israel/Palestine conflict, the plight of the Native Americans and the Holocaust. Then there is a giant gang bang.

With an irreverence that owes an awful lot to South Park, Sausage Party is delightfully obscene and about as subtle and sensitive as a snuff film. Having said that, the gags come thick and fast and for every one that falls flat and leaves an unpleasant taste, there are another half dozen more that land squarely. It made me laugh a lot, and much more than I expected to.

It's not for everyone though.

If, for example, there is nothing remotely amusing to you about the idea of Ed Norton channelling Woody Allen to play a bagel called Sammy Bagel Junior, or Stephen Hawking represented by a piece of chewed gum in sunglasses, then this film may very well be beneath you.

Cineville - Sausage

I kind of loved it.


Cineville - Sausage


The Viewing

So there was a problem with the computer at my second visit to LAB111 and they couldn't print me a ticket out. I explained to the chap how sad I was and he said if he got the computer working while I was in the cinema, he'd leave the ticket behind the bar. Sadly that didn't happen, but I'm almost certain he wasn't just humouring me.

Zaal 1 at LAB111 has a big old screen, so much so that I eschewed my usual seat in the second row and found myself a place halfway up the fairly steep bank of 15 rows or so. (So my memory tells me, but my memory isn't great at that kind of thing.)

It seemed for a moment like I might actually be the only person in the cinema for Sausage Party, but then two Dutch women joined me, sitting a couple of rows behind me. It was only then, as we sat there in the quite harsh light with nothing yet on the screen, that I realised I was a bit of a mess.

I had come straight from the gym. Actually, that's not true. I'd been home after the gym but I hadn't bothered getting changed, so I was still wearing sun-bleached blue trainers and my slightly-too-short-in-the-leg grey jogging bottoms from C&A. My socks weren't great either. And my athlete's foot started playing up just as I sat down. So I was visibly scratchy. 

I thought of my London friend Fay Weat, who if she spied me lounging around in a public space in my sagging jogging bottoms, would pull a face of such withering eye-rolling disgust that acid would seep out of her skin.

Fuck it. Next year I'll buy some nice clothes. 

About the Author

I am Karl Webster. I wrote these words. If you liked them, you'll be overjoyed to know that there are plenty more where they came from. So you should definitely sign up to my newsletter if you haven't already.

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