Okaaay. So, there’s Fiddlestixx. Hmm. How does one describe? If you’ve ever wanted to make a delicious entertainment sandwich with H.R. Pufnstuf, Requiem for a Dream and a dash of Japanese game show mashed together, this would be your snack of dreams. Will it fill you up? Yes. Could it make you sick? Yes, too. Some may consider this worth it. I’m not sure yet.
Fiddlestixx is in its infancy over at Atom with only three episodes, so maybe it’s too small a taste to judge this peculiar trifle. Filmmaker magazine recently named creators the Zellner Brothers to the 2008 25 Filmmakers To Watch list. That’s decent press.
Sooo, Fiddlestixx? Let me try again.
The show is basically a psychadelic romp showcasing a gibbon and starring the Zellners and Willis (the Gibbon). Willis plays(?) Fiddlestixx, an ape with magical powers. He can make you eat your grandmother’s ashes or make your eye lashes grow really long. He can time travel. That’s just episode one.
Episode two involves some sly references to the Scopes monkey trial. What passes as plot (who am I kidding – what plot?) is intercut with some of the most disturbing imagery this side of House of a Thousand Corpses. Okay, the Pee Wee’s Playhouse side of House of a Thousand Corpses.
By the end of episode two, the viewer may be having seizures like an epileptic after an episode of Pokemon. Before I could swallow my tongue, I settled into episode three, a quite bizarrely clever take on Barry Lyndon involving bananas and more homoerotic tension than a Joel Schumacher movie (watch Lost Boys again).
I can without a doubt tell you this: Kubrick is more likely to rise from his grave and give A.I. the finger than the Fiddlestixx “Lary Blindon” episode. Now, that’s subversive.
And I think, in the end, that’s the goal of Fiddlestixx: be subversive and as trippy as the scattered trippy things I’ve listed in the above (throw in some Homestar Runner, too). With puppets. And a laugh track. If trippy is your thing then Fiddlestixx will be, too.
The Zellners are either brilliant or they just have access to a gibbon. I admire the energy of the series even if it freaks me out. The Zellner Brothers seem to be experimenting a bit with the format and that’s great. Also, considering their references, they have some intellect going on behind all the greenscreen chicanery. So, bring it on Zellners. I’ve decided I like Fiddlestixx in all its f’d up glory.
The Internet is a magical place, a party in your brain hole and everyone is invited. No one said all web series had to make sense. Some are purely visceral. Some people just want to check out for three to four minutes. I welcome Fiddlestixx to the web. Ooh, I’ve got it! If it becomes too much for a delicate viewer, turn the sound down and put on Their Satanic Majesties Request by the Rolling Stones. It will be better than The Wizard of Oz with Dark Side of the Moon or Weekend at Bernie’s with Enya (that second might just be me). Trippy.