Writer/director Joe Badon describes The Blood of The Dinosaurs as “an Adult Swim style surrealist Kids’ Show for deranged adults,” and that feels like a fair assessment of his own work. But only one aspect of it. The short, which runs twelve minutes, certainly includes an alarmingly unnerving segment of a children’s show hosted by Uncle Bobo (Vincent Stalba in an disturbingly impressive uncanny valley), but it also offers sequences that play like digital video art we might see in a museum, a YouTube poop, a clip show, a stop-motion prehistory lesson, and a meta movie about movie making.
That this all holds together, not in any narrative way, but certainly as a singular aesthetic piece, is likely the short’s greatest feat. Which really says something given that each of the disparate aspects is wonderfully executed.
The acting from Stalba along with the strange half in the world of the show, half behind-the-scenes view of the kids’ show makes the sequence horrifying in that way that Adult Swim shorts often do. The YouTube Poop and clip show segments are incredibly well edited together with some shocking match cuts. The digital video art recalls the trip sequence from 2001: A Space Odyssey and the stop-motion is beautiful in its simplicity. The meta aspects add humor throughout, and maybe even a little thematic touch as a conversation about the symbolic meaning of birth between Badon and actor Tiffany Christy plays over the end credits.
Though to be fair, the kids’ show aspect also lends some significant heft as Uncle Bobo explains how we use the blood of dinosaurs as fuel to Purity (Stella Creel). Uncle Bobo is aided in his explanation by a puppet that looks like Nosferatu named Grandpa Universe and a not quite stop-motion series of images of dioramas.
The Blood of The Dinosaurs is a delight for anyone who likes to feel wrong, but more than that, it’s an incredibly artistically dense short that’s worth watching for anyone interested in creativity. It’s certainly an unnerving watch, but there’s so much more than just that going on here.
If you’d like to read more of Kyle’s work, you can check it out here!