This review was originally published on July 23, 2011…
“Bobby Yeah. He done a bad thing…”
I’ve said time and again that Surrealism can’t work unless there’s something of substance behind all the smoke and mirrors. Robert Morgan, the writer/director of Bobby Yeah, understands this idea quite well, and with his new short film tells us the seemingly simple story of a criminal who commits a crime and is then haunted by the fear of getting caught.
Simple perhaps, but Morgan twists this into a nightmarish world of darkness, rape, flickering lights, tentacles, mutation, transformation and birth defects. In fact, you can’t really imagine what kind of sights you’ll see in this. It is mad beyond all belief. Remember the last few minutes of Eraserhead and how you didn’t sleep for a week after that? Morgan’s short is nothing but that sort of horror upon horror, and he is a far superior filmmaker than Lynch has ever been, and I sincerely mean that even as a great admirer of Lynch.
What I especially like about Morgan’s work is that no matter how bizarre it gets you’re never lost as to what you’re supposed to be seeing. You always understand what the characters are feeling and what they’re doing. A lot of surreal stuff gets away from you eventually because it’s so damn weird at times that it becomes nothing but random images on the screen. Eventually you forget that you’re watching a movie because the filmmaker’s point has outrun your intellect and everything has devolved into grotesque stuff happening for reasons you can’t quite fathom. Morgan’s work isn’t like that because he is well aware that his films have to maintain a certain level of coherence if he’s to succeed. So no matter how utterly bizarre things get, you always know where you are in relationship to the storyline. That, in and of itself, is the work of a genius.
Bobby Yeah is made with stop motion and there is not one identifiable human “being” in it, yet the main character of Bobby generates a huge amount empathy despite being a hideous little clay figurine with deformed rabbit ears. It’s mostly in the eyes. Morgan’s a great artist and knows how to play to an audience and get the right reaction. He’s so good, in fact, that he’s done the impossible and has even made a weird mutated afterbirth creature look absolutely adorable. The sheer depth of sights in the film is amazing. You have never seen anything like this outside of a fever dream.
Seriously, this is a must see. In fact, I’ll put it in simplest possible terms and come right out and say that no one can consider themselves true film buffs if they’ve never seen one of Robert Morgan’s films. He is brilliant and that is all there is to it. I don’t feel this way about everything and everyone, but Morgan captures the feel and logic of the dream world so perfectly that he’s in a class by himself.