– CIM #1013 – “Sausage Party” – 89 mins. – release: August 12th, 2016 –
I arrive at the lab early, with the promise of a free lunch before processing. Primarily a wiener roast, this barbecue consisted of cooks in white lab coats firing up hermetically sealed meats over the grill and my fellow tweaker lab rats chewing ferociously. Alas, I am a vegetarian, so I nibble on some generic potato chips and sit idly in anticipation for this week’s cimulation- the computer animated comedy Sausage Party. This cim seems perfect for a kid’s meal toy tie-in, but the trailer is blasted with an “Rated R” stamp guaranteeing an adult-oriented, raunchy, innuendo-fueled frenzy. Sounds tasty.
The cim begins and I’m on display at the front of the grocery mega-store, Shopwell’s. This market is stocked to the nines with a plethora of personified products and food, and I quickly realize that I’m one of them. A hot dog, stuffed in a pack of ten, I’m my own worst vegetarian nightmare in the flesh. But it’s actually not so bad. There’s plenty of conversation to be had with my edible neighbors, and every morning we sing and pray for the shopping gods to select our package as the chosen ones and take us to the great beyond. In the meantime, us frankfurters are usually busy lusting after a nice set of buns.
What can I say? Every pig needs a blanket. Take Frank, Barry, and Carl for example, three rowdy dogs parked a bundle ahead of me, usually cussing like fuckin’ sailors and itching to slip into some dough. Front and center, they’re likely to be purchased next along with the exceptionally fine bunch of curvy bread babes sitting beside them. They all end up doing the horizontal mambo, but Frank’s got a thing going on with Brenda, the leader of the pack of buns. They were made for each other, but if the right god doesn’t come along and buy them both, Brenda and Frank will be separated forever.
Fortuitously, Frank and Brenda’s packs are plucked by a god and stuck in a shopping cart together, but this would be just another normal day at the store if everything didn’t go horribly wrong. In the cart, Frank learns from Honey Mustard that all of their engrained religious beliefs may be false, and in a subsequent freak accident, a few of the goods fall loose into the store. Frank, Brenda, Sammy the bagel, Lavash the flatbread, and Douche the… douche… are all thrust onto journeys, seeking truth, revenge, or a return back to their home on the shelf. Luckily, Shopwell’s s a pretty fun place for an adventure.
Each product has a life of its own, embodied with cleverly fitting characteristics, humorously centered around cultural norms, ethnic stereotypes, or obvious physical properties. Because the gods don’t see us as more than mere sustenance, we are freely uncensored, often flavored with overtly rude and crude attitude. Some are more nefarious than others, like Douche, or the Nazi-esque Sauerkraut, but it’s always hilarious. From my spot on the shelf, we’re all on the same menu. Can Frank change that fate?
I walked away from Sausage Party full of countless silly food puns and dirty jokes yet was still hungry for more. Props to story creators Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and Jonah Hill for taking a classically youth-geared medium and saying “Fuck it, let’s make a mature cartoon.” Not every laugh is gourmet, but most hit the spot. The final act involved one of the most outrageous series of computer generate images ever brought before my eyes, and for that alone I’d recommend a taste test. If you can stomach hard R-rated humor, you’ll likely find Sausage Party to be a deliciously naughty little treat.