Fantastic Fest Review: TENACIOUS D IN POST-APOCALYPTO Is For The Children

In which Scott gets his immature brain melted (and loves it).

Lemme ask you this: how you feel about dick jokes?

OK, well, how do you feel about a lot of dick jokes? How do you feel about the comedy stylings of Jack Black and Kyle Gass, best known in some nefarious circles as Tenacious D? How wouldja feel about an extremely low-fi cartoon, one hand-drawn by Jack Black, which operates not so much as a sequel to 2006's Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny as it does an even weirder, more nonsensical expansion of the Tenacious D mythos? And, again, I have to ask: how do you feel about dick jokes?

If you answered in the affirmative to any of the above, there's a strong chance that Tenacious D in Post-Apocalypto is right for you.

That teaser above's a pretty good indication of what you're in for. As advertised, the series (comprised of half a dozen 10-minute episodes, all of which will be rolled out via Tenacious D's YouTube channel starting on September 28th) was completely drawn by Jack Black, which means this is less an animated feature than it is a very rough animatic. I knew this going in, and prior to seeing it in action I struggled to imagine how that might work: wouldn't the whole thing come off like a glorified PowerPoint presentation?

Well, kinda, but I have two responses to that: one, Black and Gass' vocal performances (and their songs, to be compiled and released as an album on November 2nd) more than make up for the low-fi aesthetic; and two, the jankiness of the presenation absolutely worked for me in context. This is a deeply silly, deeply childish piece of work (again: so many dicks), and the look of the thing only accentuates that. Much like the material itself, you'll either be onboard for it or you won't. I was very much onboard, and by the time the first episode ended I wasn't even thinking about how frequently static the thing looked.

So, what's Post-Apocalypto about? Well, most of its twists and turns really should be left for you to discover on your own, but I'll say that it mostly concerns Tenacious D battling their way through a post-apocalyptic hellscape. There's a Terminator (with a very familiar accent), time travel hijinks, a quick jaunt into space (complete with space pirates), a creature known as the Crackalackadingdong, and even more full-frontal nudity than you'd expect. Elon Musk gets dragged repeatedly, but he's not the only real-world personality to make an appearance (I'll give nothing further away except to say: before Post-Apocalypto wraps, things do take a turn for the political). I laughed my ass off throughout and I was not ashamed.

And yet, Post-Apocalypto is a hard thing to review. Those who embrace it will likely already be Tenacious D megafans, while newcomers are almost certain to be either baffled or horrified by the shenanigans it contains. If you consider yourself a fan of this band's work in general - if, for instance, you are proud to know every word to "Kielbasa" - or know that your tastes lean towards the childish, then Post-Apocalypto will almost certainly be up your alley. Look for it when it starts rolling out on September 28th.

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