Film, DVD, Blu-Ray & Streaming Reviews - By Fans For Fans


Directed by Oskar Lehemaa and Mikk Magi.
Starring Oskar Lehemaa, Mikk Maga, Jaagup Kreem.
Animation, Estonia, 88 minutes, certificate 15.

Released in cinemas in the UK 2nd June by 606 Distribution.


“Well, that’s just wrong!” remarks what can only be described as a robotic, bovine kaiju as an even more grotesque and surreal sight lumbers across the screen in this Estonian stop-motion animation extravaganza. What that sight is, I won’t spoil and even if I wanted, I would not even know where to begin. What I can say is that it is just one of many such sights in this bizarrely funny cartoon that warns of the dangers that will take place when you don’t milk your cow enough.


Apparently, according to the film's black and white prologue, failing to milk a cow every day can lead to the animal’s udder expanding and swelling at such a rate that it will explode in a vast and milky mushroom cloud that would give Hiroshima a run for its money. It only gets more bizarre from here, and hilariously so. The plot involves a set of three children, Aino, Priidik and their little brother Mart being dumped in the country at their grandfather’s farm. Their grandfather is a local celebrity for his milking skills that provide for his neighbour’s dairy habits. Thinking that he is working his prized possession too hard, the children set the cow free, only for them to be enlisted in a race against time after being warned of the dangers of an unmilked cow by Old Milker, an elderly, disgraced and lactosally disfigured figure who knows all too well of the catastrophe that could occur.


If all this sounds a bit niche, then I doubt there is little here I can do to convince you otherwise, but for fans of crude, surreal animation in the vein of South Park and Ren and Stimpy this is must-see entertainment. As silly as the plot sounds, it gets a lot sillier as it goes on. Horny tree gods and a bear with an intestinal system are every bit as roomy as the interior of the TARDIS is just a couple of the other far-out and puerile sights on display here. Animated in a crude style that only adds to the film's charms and frenzied energy. To get an idea of the style of the film, just imagine if Nick Aardman abandoned his meticulous animation style just so he could fit in more close-ups of a hilariously bulging udder in all its grotesque glory.


It could be argued that the film could be making a point about animal welfare or even the joys of introducing inner-city youths to the joys of nature, but by the time you get to one of the characters being introduced to a real-life Estonian rock star stranded in a woodland animal’s intestinal tract is there any point in looking for such meaning? Possibly not, but when the film is as funny as it is, it hardly matters. Films as silly as this are all too rare and the news that one Oskar Lehemaa is already working on a sequel is great news. Just as good to hear is that co-director Mikk Magi is working on a horror film. Again, much in the same style as the beginning of this review, I would not even know where to start describing his synopsis of it. I am sure that many more people will be exclaiming, “that’s just wrong” once more, so it might be best to prepare yourself by watching what is likely to be one of the best Estonian stop-motion films about milking a cow that you are likely to see for quite some time.


Iain MacLeod.


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Film, DVD, Blu-Ray & Streaming Reviews
By Fans For Fans