Ever since Wonder Showzen aired I’ve been a huge fan of PFFR, and lapped up everything they’ve made or produced from Xavier Renegade Angel to Delocated, The Heart She Holler to the obscenely funny Final Flesh, with Vernon Chatman’s Mindsploitation: Asinine Assignments for Online Homework Cheating Industry being one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. So when Adult Swim commissioned a pilot for their new anthology series The Shivering Truth I couldn’t wait to see it, and as with their other fare it was beautifully insane comedy. They were given a full series which begins on December 9th but yesterday a new episode appeared on youtube entitled The Nurple Rainbow (though sadly it’s now been removed) and it’s joyful stuff indeed. At least if you find joy in comedy that’s beyond bizarre.
The Shivering Truth is a kind of fucked up version of The Twilight Zone (or in there own words “A miniature propulsive omnibus clusterbomb of painfully riotous daymares all dripping with the orange goo of dream logic”), with each episode a stop motion animated selection of stories which apparently are loosely linked, at the very least thematically if nothing else. This episode contains four different stories and each is a deliciously mental delight. It starts with a man in bed who awakes and discovers a peculiar object inside his ear which he pulls out and it looks like a mix of membranes and a condom about two foot long. Because this is PFFR and the gross and the strange walk hand in hand. It becomes apparent that his roommate is responsible for putting it in there, who then removes the top of his head and pulls out a six foot sausage. So you probably see what I mean about them being a tad unusual. And that’s just the pre-opening credits sequence, and next we’re presented with a story about the world’s greatest peek-a-boo player, where no one can see a little girl when she covers her eyes and plays the game, with death and misery soon ensuing.
This is followed by a skit where war journalists inject chicken blood in to their veins so that they’re still alive when beheaded by terrorists, who then both go in to a career in comedy, before we return to the man in the first segment who now has something horrible giving birth inside his head. It’s not weirdness for weirdness’s sake though, there’s a skewed logic to their work, so it still makes sense. Well, as much sense as PFFR ever make. Throughout each segment it’s apparent that they’re skilled wordsmiths and clearly love to play with the idiosyncrasies of language, creating a mixture of the disturbing and the silly, there’s plenty of examples I could cite but the following particularly amused – “Police rounded up every pervert in the area, torturing them for information, which naturally the perverts loved, they undulated orgasmically for more. The cops were all too happy to oblige, nipple twisting, purple nurples, blue nurples, every nurple in the rainbow turned up a steaming pile of zilch”. It has to be heard within context to get the full effect, but they skilfully pull off such odd material with aplomb.
As you might have guessed by now their work is admittedly an acquired taste, but if you like your comedy to be outlandish and unsettling but also incredibly funny than you’ll love it a great amount. In some ways it’s like watching a fever dream, but one which makes you laugh at the insanity of it all, and I can’t wait to see the rest of the series now as if it’s as good as this and the pilot are it’s going to be some pretty astonishing tv.
You can watch the episode on Adult Swim’s Official Site here.
And you can watch the pilot episode here.
Our review of The Shivering Truth – Fowl Flow.
Our review of The Shivering Truth – Tow And Shell.
Our review of The Shivering Truth – Constadeath.
Our review of The Shivering Truth – Ogled Inkings.
Our review of The Shivering Truth – The Magmafying Past.