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My name is Mok


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ROCK & RULE - 2 Slimes
Rated PG
Copyright 1983 Nelvana
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 28 May 2008

Capsule Review:    

World War III always leaves our planet a twisted mess, you know that? Case in point: "Rock & Rule" is set in the future, after Mankind pressed the button and removed himself from the music scene. Instead of people, the movie is populated by anthropomorphic dogs, cats, rats, and other animals. They inhabit cities built atop (or among) the ruins of humanity's sullen memorials. Sadly, the evolved pets and vermin do not seem to be interested in anything besides Rock & Roll. That makes sense, if they are all teenagers.

Angel, Omar, Dizzy, and Stretch are a band that is just beginning to come together. They are torn apart by Mok, a musical icon in this decaying world of jamming animals. Mok looks like Mick Jagger, sometimes with a David Bowie wig (maybe he is supposed to be a lion), and he wants Angel's voice. With her, the power hungry rocker can summon a demon. Now, Angel does not want to sing something out of Hell, but Mok "persuades" her. An initial attempt to bring forth the hordes of Hades fails and destroys the venue.

Radio City Music Hall, the obliterated location of Mok's failed concert of damnation, is located in "Nuke York." WWIII never ends happily for America's largest metropolis.

Frothing at his failures, the evil magician of music makes another attempt to summon his demon in the rock & roll capital of the (post-nuclear war) world: Ohmtown. It works, and the voracious visitor from Satan's suburb starts munching on screaming fans. Omar charges to the rescue; together he and Angel are able to create a melody that banishes the demon back to the pits from whence it came. Everybody lives happily ever after.

Well, except for Mok; we all know what happens to those who summon demons when the evil incarnations are banished. Another notable exclusion is humanity, because we stupidly nuked ourselves into extinction before the movie even started.

The animation is uneven, and has its share of problems, but when it's good the film is amazing and outrageous. I liked it. Anyone with an interest in animated films should give it a whirl. The worst thing I can say about the movie is that it reminded me of a Don Bluth production too often. Roller skating thugs and the horribly patched in "We aren't the bad guys, are we?" segment screamed Bluth at me, and I rarely refer to him in a complimentary fashion (this is not one of them). What about Don Bluth? Are you some sort of rabid fan? In my opinion, he often mucks things up. Look, you prove to me that Rasputin had an army of singing bugs and a trained bat, then we'll talk.

There are two versions of this feature. Both feature surprising voice talents, such as Lou Reed, Deborah Harry, Cheap Trick, and Iggy Pop (though all he does is scream - go figure).

B-Movies That Rock

The B-Movie Film Vault sponsored a jammin' roundtable!



Things I Learned From This Movie:  

Green Dot Space Invaders make excellent personal assistants.
Green Dot The secret to looking imposing, while wearing a pink shirt and roller skates, is mass.
Green Dot Elizabeth Taylor avoided loud noises for a reason.
Green Dot Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall both look the same to a dog.
Green Dot The electric guitar is more closely related to the battle axe than its acoustic cousin.

Stuff To Watch For:  

Green Dot 14 mins - "I'm a dog, and you're a cat...thing. It gets a little freaky at times."
Green Dot 22 mins - Thank goodness that the orb causes a contact high. I was afraid that Omar was going to have to swallow it.
Green Dot 36 mins - Dogs built that? To what end? Most of the structure is too high for them to pee on it.
Green Dot 47 mins - There are three places you can experience a dance club this funky: "Rock & Rule," "Lensman," and the real New York.
Green Dot 59 mins - Is that a bed or plate of ravioli?

Quotes:  

Club Manager: "I loved it! And so did a warm, personal, and influential friend of mine. The only Ohmtown rocker to have a record go gold, platinum, and plutonium in one day!"

Zip: "Can you tell the difference between good and evil?"
Mok: "Zip, try to realize there is no longer black or white, good or evil. We've evolved beyond that."
Zip: "But Uncle Mikey says..."
Mok: "We all must have our own personal view of right and wrong."
Zip: "But, is what we are doing evil?"
Mok: "Of course not. Remember, Zip, evil spelled backwards is live, and we all want to do that."


Buy It Now Online:  

Buy it from Amazon.com   (United States)

Buy it from Movies Unlimited   (United States)

Buy it from Amazon.ca   (Canada)

Buy it from Amazon.co.uk   (United Kingdom)


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Comments:Write CommentPages: [1] 2 3
Re: Rock & Rule
Reply #1. Posted on May 28, 2008, 05:49:12 PM by AndyC
I remember seeing this the first time it aired on TV. I was a little young to get some of the subtler bits, but I liked it. Wouldn't mind seeing it again.
Re: Rock & Rule
Reply #2. Posted on May 28, 2008, 07:44:51 PM by Andrew
I remember seeing this the first time it aired on TV. I was a little young to get some of the subtler bits, but I liked it. Wouldn't mind seeing it again.

The last few minutes of the movie are fantastic.  Well, except for the goofy stuff with Dizzy and Stretch, and the skating goon who wants to be "good."  Still, Omar and Angel facing the demon, Mok screaming from his floating control booth, and the wild images and music was great. 

I imagine it was intense and memorable for a younger lad, especially if you were a preteen.  I wonder if the silly Bluth-ness wouldn't seem so bad to someone that age.
Re: Rock & Rule
Reply #3. Posted on May 29, 2008, 10:32:52 AM by AndyC
At that age (I must have been 12 or so), it seemed pretty edgy for a cartoon. I always put it in the same league as Heavy Metal, but that's because Heavy Metal made a similar impression on me when I saw it years later. I'm sure it's apples and oranges. Given that I haven't seen R&R in over 20 years, I'm sure I'd probably see the Bluthiness much more. I'm going to have to see if I can find a copy for rent. It would bring back some memories. I remember laughing my butt off at the Uncle Mikey show.
Re: Rock & Rule
Reply #4. Posted on May 29, 2008, 10:51:48 AM by AndyC
Just checked to be sure Nelvana, the Canadian company that made R&R, wasn't connected with Heavy Metal. According to Wikipedia, they were invited to contribute, but declined, because they were working on an animated feature of their own (guess which one).

Nelvana made quite a few animated films that stand out in my memory as being just a bit more edgy and weird than most of the cartoon fare aimed at kids at the time. Nelvana produced the Devil and Daniel Mouse, Romie-0 and Julie-8, Cosmic Christmas, the Boba Fett cartoon from a certain holiday special I will not name here, and a whole bunch of other stuff. Mind you, that was their earlier work. They produced a lot of cutesy stuff later on, like Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake. Looking back, it's actually surprising how much that one company contributed to the cartoons I remember.
Re: Rock & Rule
Reply #5. Posted on May 29, 2008, 11:15:54 AM by HarlotBug3
If it's a cartoon, I want to see it. Animation is really the one medium I never tire of. I sat down expecting this one to be stunningly awkward and dated. It was. Maybe I would have been more inclined to keep it in my library if the music hadn't struck the wrong chord with me song after song. I still strongly recommend it to other animation fans, of course.

It does make me sad that anything between Disney and Anime seems doomed to obscurity, even if this one deserved it.

Btw, if the Don Bluth haters out there still haven't seen The Secret of Nyhm, you haven't seen Don Bluth.
Re: Rock & Rule
Reply #6. Posted on May 29, 2008, 12:01:58 PM by Andrew
Btw, if the Don Bluth haters out there still haven't seen The Secret of Nyhm, you haven't seen Don Bluth.

That and the original "Land Before Time" are a toss-up for my favorite of his works.  For a while, my group of friends had nicknames from "The Land Before Time."  I watch it (or "Nimh") today, and they are still very good films.

The problem with Bluth, for me, is that he is so uneven.  The movie will be very serious, with an interesting plot and inventive visuals, then suddenly something goofy happens.  Goofy even to a ten year old.

Nelvana made quite a few animated films that stand out in my memory as being just a bit more edgy and weird than most of the cartoon fare aimed at kids at the time. Nelvana produced the Devil and Daniel Mouse, Romie-0 and Julie-8, Cosmic Christmas, the Boba Fett cartoon from a certain holiday special I will not name here, and a whole bunch of other stuff. Mind you, that was their earlier work. They produced a lot of cutesy stuff later on, like Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake. Looking back, it's actually surprising how much that one company contributed to the cartoons I remember.

The 2-disc collector's edition DVD, which is what I link to in the review (and what I own) has "The Devil and Daniel Mouse" included as an extra.  It was neat to see that again, because I remembered it from my childhood.
His Name is Mok, Thanks a Lot
Reply #7. Posted on May 29, 2008, 09:14:48 PM by ShifterCat
According to the DVD notes, Mok's last name is Swagger -- however, due to objections by Mick Jagger's lawyers, his last name is never mentioned.

Mok is a very interesting character. He clearly doesn't believe in magic, even though he uses "magic" imagery in his self-promotion; he says that summoning the demon will be "a triumph of science". But the real reason why he's summoning a demon? It'll make an unforgettable stage show and thus prop up his sagging career.

The demon itself was made by photographing ground hamburger, then painting over the cels.
Re: Rock & Rule
Reply #8. Posted on May 30, 2008, 11:09:09 AM by SynapticBoomstick
Ug, I feel like I've seen this movie before but I can't recall anything about it. It feels so familiar, I can't stand that feeling!
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