By Merle Bertrand | February 6, 2002

There’s something inherently creepy about being buried and becoming “worm food.” Natural though the process may be, after spending a lifetime trying to look as good as we can, we just get ticked off at the notion that we’re all eventually destined to become fertilizer. Those with a real hang-up about this unavoidable fate should check out director Rene Castillo’s marvelous animation “Down to the Bone.”
In the world Castillo’s created, a body descends from its coffin and enters a literal underworld; a wild and rambunctious eternal nightclub populated by the denizens of the afterlife…in their skeletal forms. Bony is beautiful here, the flesh an unnecessary excess. And, in this world, “Swallowing the worm” — a toothy, ravenous, carnivoric flesh stripper, takes on a whole new meaning.
“Down to the Bone” is a raucous good time, even as it creeps you out a little bit. The animation is superb; Castillo’s world a colorful cacophony of clattering characters. Life here may not include the tender warmth of caressing soft flesh, but it’s an afterlife nonetheless. And that sure beats the heck out of the alternative.

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