Bootleg Beck and the Internet Pirates comes from the mind of writer/director Alec Castillo who just about takes the title very literally. A trio of incel pirates goes out in search of treasure that promises to repair their broken childhood. However, during their voyage, Bootleg Beck (Brandon Vargas), Chumbo (Richard Pizarro), and Sea-Dog Roger (Pizarro as well) encounter mermaids (Jenny Lorenzo) aka thirst traps which will put their mission at risk.
This animated short does more than just poke fun at all of the modern stereotypes of technology. The filmmaker goes after Millennials, Gen Xers, the film industry, and even mental health to some degree. So yeah, nothing is safe in this one. Two out of the three main characters are classic-looking pirates – eye patch, black beard, hook, beanie, and striped shirt. The third resembles someone we have all come across – an overweight male with glasses, a five o’clock shadow, and a ponytail (the comic book guy from Simpsons comes to mind). The mermaids are designed to resemble ditzy social media models.
“A trio of incel pirates goes out in search of treasure that promises to repair their broken childhood.”
So, the way I felt about Bootleg Beck and the Internet Pirates is a bit strange. I get the humor, as I understand the references, and I did agree with most of it. But, with that said, I did not find myself actually laughing at this short, not even one chuckle. Even though I got all of the jokes, it just came down to it not being my kind of humor.
When it comes to the animation, I realize that a lot of animated titles these days (mainly series) have very strange-looking art. I always wonder why the animation of a lot of today’s hit series is not the most appealing, which also makes it hard for me to watch most of them. That’s the case with this short as well. It’s not terrible, but it is not visually the most eye-catching. It did kind of remind me of the animation from Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android” from the 1990s, which isn’t a bad thing, but we are in 2022, so it just feels somewhat dated.
If you do watch Bootleg Beck and the Internet Pirates, it will likely be one that you do not forget for one reason or another, and that is always a good thing.
"…will likely be one that you do not forget for one reason or another..."