MONSTER ROAD Brett Ingram
Documentary 80:00 Video 2003 Chicago Premiere
Monster Road explores the dazzling and fantastic worlds of legendary underground clay animator Bruce Bickford.
Entirely self-taught, the 57 year old Bickford works alone in a small basement studio in his house near Seattle. His films, especially the dark and magical clay animations he created for musician Frank Zappa in the 1970s, have achieved cult status worldwide, even though very little of his 40 year body of work has been edited or released to the public.
Monster Road explores this vast collection of animation, and also presents glimpses of the real life from which his fantastic imaginary worlds sprang.
The film journeys back to Bickford’s childhood in a competitive household during the paranoia of the Cold War and examine his relationship with his father, George, a retired aerospace engineer who is facing the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Combining verite footage, interviews, home movies, childhood drawings, and never-before-seen animation, the film explores the remarkable combination of family and aesthetic influences that propel Bruce Bickford to work, and that continue to fuel his cinematic visions and nightmares.
Along with a glimpse into the world of a true visionary, Monster Road reveals a story that, like childhood itself, is at once scary and funny, sad and baffling.
“I went from being amazed, to sad, back to amazed, on to giddy with laughter…and in the end, just plain excited to know that artists like Bruce Bickford still exist and documentary filmmakers like Ingram are still around, a filmmaker who knew that there would be plenty of us out here who needed and wanted to see a creation such as “Monster Road.” – Film Threat