Earlier this year, we reviewed the animated fantasy flick The Spine of Night, and found it to be spectacular. The film received acclaim when it debuted at the 2021 South by Southwest film festival for its stylized animation and impressive voice cast. (Being pretty dang violent also didn’t hurt.) Thankfully, it’s got a distributor and will be released in theaters by RLJE Films later this month. If you want to stay safe, don’t fear: it’s also hitting same day digital HD and on demand.
Written and directed by Morgan Galen King and Philip Gelatt, the film sees Tzod, a witch voiced by Lucy Lawless, find an ancient flower on top of a snowy mountain. Described as the “last light of the gods,” the flower has incredible power, and its Guardian (Richard E. Grant) will kill anyone dumb enough to make a play for it. Instead of violence, though, Tzod regales the keeper of the flower with her life story, which also spans different generations, heroes, and villains.
There’s a lot going on in the trailer above, and it all looks pretty striking. Instead of the typical CG or anime art styles that we’ve become used to for animation over the last few years, Spine is rotoscoped and looks like something you’d see late in the evening on Adult Swim. It makes the blood spilling and dramatic moments all the more powerful, and the more fantastical moments all the more horrifying. And with a voice cast that also includes Patton Oswalt, Betty Gabriel, and Joe Manganiello, Spine may just be a film you’ll end up loving if you get the chance to see it.
The Spine of Night will hit theaters, on demand, and digital HD on October 29.
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