Fritz the Cat
Ralph Bakshi's infamous slice of 1972 pop-trash stands up well as a curious artifact of its times even if, as an entertainment, it's hard to discern why anyone would want to watch it. Based on characters created by the inimitable R. Crumb, Bakshi's X-rated cartoon pushes all of the hot issues of the day's counterculture (excepting, oddly, Vietnam) through a sausage-maker of infantile humor and crude stereotypes: drugs, racism, anti-authoritarianism, religion, fascism, etc. If there is a point-of-view to the loose, informal narrative of college-age clueless hipster Fritz turning on and tuning out through a series of misadventures, it's that everything is bogus except sex. Running at just under an hour and 20 minutes, Fritz lags and stutters along, with not nearly enough material to fill its allotted time, but the music is groovy and some of the animation especially the expressionistic transitions are beautiful. Still, unless one has a particular predilection for humanoid animal figures with monster calves and gigantic tits jumping out of their poorly stitched blouses, most are unlikely to dig Bakshi's scene. MGM presents Fritz the Cat as part of its Avant Garde Cinema collection with an attractive anamorphic transfer (1.85:1) and one of the best Dolby Digital 2.0 mono mixes around. Trailer, keep-case.