Liquid Television

Discussion in 'Other Media' started by Boreas, May 2, 2015.

  1. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Anyone a fan of the Aeon Flux animated shorts that used to air on MTV's Liquid Television in the early 1990s? I used to sneak down to the living room at midnight when my parents were asleep to watch Aeon Flux and The Maxx. Both of these shows were mind-bendingly weird.

    Aeon Flux
    was positively sexual in its imagery and completely non-linear in its story telling aesthetics with the earliest, very short episodes. The spy/assassin Aeon would often die at the end of episodes as she tried to complete some mission in this seriously bizarre future: one half utopian, the other half dystopian. Aeon Flux was an original animation by Peter Cheung.

    The Maxx
    really pushed the boundary in exploring the fantasy aspect of a physically and psychologically abused woman whose mind/self would transport itself into a subconsciously created alternative universe, similar to the Outback in Australia, where she was a powerful warrior queen or something. I later learned that The Maxx was based on Sam Keith's comic under the Image imprint, and the comic fleshed out the story properly (if I remember correctly, the animation never finished the story).

    While there were other programmes on Liquid Television like Beavis and Butthead and some Art Spiegleman stuff, it was AF and TM that really caught my imagination.

    Does anyone remember other underrated and strange animated shows like these?
  2. Jack Brewhouse

    Jack Brewhouse Well-Known Member

    I remember Liquid Television. My favourite was 'Speedbump, the Roadkill Possum'. In one episode he found a torch, shone it into his eyes and was dazzled by it, stuck in place as cars whizzed around past him. When the battery finally gave out a car hit him. Good stuff. Not much makes me actually laugh anymore.

    Talking of under-rated shows, do you remember a future super-hero cartoon, very close to AF in style. I think it was 'Phantom' or something like that. It was very surreal. I remember an episode with a form shifting robot made of grains of sand who carried his brain around in a suitcase.
  3. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I don't remember ever seeing Speedbump, the Roadkill Possum, but I just checked it out now on Youtube and it seems like the stuff they'd have had on Liquid TV. By Phantom, do you mean Phantom 2040? I never watched all of it, but I did like it a lot. Can't remember if I saw it on Liquid TV, either. It most definitely was surreal and damn cyberpunk (and with great biotech)! Peter Chung did the designs for this show, too. It was great, they took an old pulp comic character, put him in a future context and science fiction-ed the shit out of it.

  4. Jack Brewhouse

    Jack Brewhouse Well-Known Member

    That was it. It had some brilliant ideas, the kind of originality you rarely see anymore. I did download it some years back but the quality was terrible and I couldn't get very far through it.
    Do you remember a bit about a house that shrunk itself down and hung out with the guy who lived in it, going to the beach and stuff? Pretty sure I didn't just imagine it.
  5. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I'm afraid not. My strongest memories seem to be with Aeon Flux. Even The Maxx is just a blur except for a few images of him running through a high-grassed Outback to the beck and call of a semi-clad, savage warrior queen. What I remember most strongly from Aeon Flux is this scene where she exchanges an electronic device (maybe memory?) through kiss as depicted from the inside of mouths as tongues swirl around each other, and as she's skydiving! But her parachute didn't work properly and she went splat. Obviously the high (and freaking weird) eroticism of Aeon Flux had an impact on my 11-/12-year old self.

    I'd like to re-watch all three of these titles.
  6. Jack Brewhouse

    Jack Brewhouse Well-Known Member

    I remember bits of an episode where she had to keep going back over and over again to do the same thing. Did you ever see the movie adaptation. Considering what they had to work with, which was almost no story of any kind an a completely ambiguous character, it actually wasn't that bad.
  7. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Is that episode where at the very end everything gets flooded and she dies? I did in fact see the movie, but I've forgotten everything about it. I though it was terrible at the time, but I'm not averse to giving it another go at some future point.
  8. Jack Brewhouse

    Jack Brewhouse Well-Known Member

    I think it was. The movie was hit and miss, as they often are but I thought the story wasn't too bad.

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