This hilarious, grotesque, and unique adult animated feature chronicles visual artists Seth Scriver and Shayne Ehman’s trans-Canadian road trip as they encounter dull violence, rampant consumerism and unbridled eccentricity in small towns all over this wide, weird country.

Vanguard

Asphalt Watches

Shayne Ehman, Seth Scriver

Get ready for a bizarre and loopy road trip across Canada as it's never been seen before: filtered through the imaginations of visual artists Seth Scriver and Shayne Ehman. The duo has spent the past seven years turning their adventures hitchhiking along the Trans-Canada Highway into this hilarious, grotesque, and utterly original adult animated feature.

Meet Skeleton Hat (a scruffy grey dude in a burnt-out trapper's cap) and Bucktooth Cloud (a droopy-eyed transparent blob in a crumpled top hat). Setting off from a 7-Eleven near Chilliwack, they plan to trainhop but mostly catch lifts from passively menacing weirdos, ending up in bizarre places and facing near-death adventures.

Using flash animation, Scriver and Ehman transform real-life people and settings into surreal abstractions that are crude yet elaborately detailed. Characters range from sweetly creepy to downright gross and dangerous — like St. Nick, a chain-smoking, fast-food-obsessed ex-convict who is determined to give the pair "intensive Santa training." The film's experimental synth soundscapes are equally eerie and fun, drawing on a variety of music styles to produce unforgettable ditties like the slow-paced rap "Come Over for Some Boiled Hot Dogs."

More than this, Asphalt Watches is charming and sincere in its playful yet dark commentary on dull violence, rampant consumerism, unhealthy consumption, and the eccentricities of small-town Canada. Though their work may call to mind late-night animated fare like South Park, Adult Swim's Squidbillies and 12 oz. Mouse, Scriver and Ehman's vision is daringly experimental and vibrantly unique. As with the best road movies, it's not about where you are going, but the journey itself. Asphalt Watches is a trip in every sense of the word.

AGATA SMOLUCH DEL SORBO

Screenings

Mon Sep 09

Scotiabank 6

Industry
6:00pm
Tue Sep 10

Scotiabank 8

Regular
9:45pm
Wed Sep 11

Scotiabank 5

Industry
7:15pm
Thu Sep 12

Scotiabank 13

Regular
8:45pm
Fri Sep 13

Scotiabank 4

Regular
2:15pm