Mad God Teaser Offers a Promising Nightmare from Phil Tippett

Explore the horrors in Mad God.

The flood of imagery conveyed in the trailer for Phil Tippett’s Mad God is stunning. There is no way to prepare a viewer for what they are about to witness. That’s often the case with legitimate nightmares. They come in fast, hit hard, and leave whomever they rip through dazed.

This Mad God teaser requires more than one viewing to properly harvest the overwhelming spectacle. However, the whole thing could be summed up as a post-industrial feast of frights. The combination of live-action and stop-motion conjures an unsettling hellscape sure to intrigue some while repelling others. Yet even those put off may find themselves curious.

Few real details are offered as far as plot. The Locarno Film Festival, where Mad God is premiering, offered hints saying, “A corroded diving bell descends amidst a ruined city and the Assassin emerges from it to explore a labyrinth of bizarre landscapes inhabited by freakish denizens.” However, I prefer the teaser tossing out scenes seeding impressions of machinery and other assorted horrors. Nightmarish as it may be, it all combines into an enticing spectacle. Mad God promises a rich world full of vivid depictions and weird wonders.

what appears to be a row of electric chairs visibly zapping several people simultaneously.
What horrors are lurking in the realm of Phil Tippett’s Mad God?

Tippett Studio describes the film as “an experimental stop-motion film set in a Miltonesque world of monsters, mad scientists, and war pigs.” The possibilities within that description are appetizing alone, and the trailer helps it ring true. Mad God seems poised to take a position next to other cerebral fantasies like The Green Knight. All this coming from the mind of Phil Tippett is reason enough reason to buy a ticket and take the ride.

For those unfamiliar, Tippett is an Academy Award-winning visual effects artist. He rose to prominence bringing the early Star Wars movies to life. His innovations brought stop-motion animation into a dazzling realm of realism. However, referring to Tippet as a stop-motion FX artist would tragically limit the perspective. He’s a puppeteer, and the importance of that distinction is the guarantee this film will feature more than mere motion. His input is partly why Jurassic Park still holds up effects-wise. It’s why there’s a disturbing reality conveyed by the creations in Mad God’s teaser.

Kathleen Kennedy, quoted in the trailer, put it best saying, “Phil brings humanity and empathy to every character he creates.”

So, it won’t simply be strange stop-motion that looks disturbingly real, there’s a prospect of this being a moving story as well. Phil Tippett described the movie as a passion project. It’s something he’s been working on for almost thirty years. That makes Mad God a magnum opus in an already legendary career.

All that said, the trailer stands alone. Granted, it shows a master at work, but the visuals are enough to meat hook any eye, compelling a viewing. By offering no plot details, it’s almost a dare: will you be able to survive the spectacular insanity of Phil Tippett’s Mad God?

A release date is expected after the Locarno Film Festival premiere.

So what do you think of the teaser trailer for Mad God? Let us know in the comments! And if you’re looking for horror trailers we’ve got you covered!

Written by Jay Rohr

J. Rohr is a Chicago native with a taste for history and wandering the city at odd hours. In order to deal with the more corrosive aspects of everyday life he writes the blog and makes music in the band Beerfinger. His Twitter babble can be found @JackBlankHSH.

One Comment

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  1. When I think deeply about film, I’m always baffled. How does anyone want to make something like this?

    Where does the imagination and chutzpa come from?

    “Listen, I had this nightmare! No listen. I’m going to make it a reality. So everyone can have it too.”


    “It’ll take years and years to make. And hundreds maybe thousands of people to help me.”


    “And then! I’m going to sell it.”

    This conversation is how I imagine every movie production going. Whether it’s Mad God or Sleepless in Seattle.

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