No question about it: there has never been a band as determinedly warped as the Residents. Over the course of a career now deep into its third decade, the quirky quartet have never revealed their names or their faces. But... more » what they have shown, aside from a predilection for titles like "Duck Stab" and "Santa Dog," is a consistently unique and compelling musical and especially visual sensibility. It's all here in Icky Flix, an extraordinarily comprehensive DVD that brings together some 17 pieces spanning the group's career, from 1976's "The Third Reich 'n' Roll" to recent items like "Burn Baby Burn" and "Bad Day on the Midway." And not only is there visual content galore--in 2000 they also rerecorded the music for almost every piece, with users given the choice of listening to either the original or the new track. (The new versions are a little smoother and better produced, but essentially the same--i.e., dissonant, jarring, strange, a bit like Captain Beefheart without the Delta blues flavor, referencing everything from "We Are the World," "Holy Holy Holy," and "Wipe Out" to James Brown and John Philip Sousa.) The visuals defy literal description, as the Residents and their various directors undertake a dazzling multimedia journey, combining film, video, still photography, computer animation, and more to create images that range from dark, surreal, and grotesque to funny, endearingly wacky, absurd, and even beautiful (it's not a bit surprising that some of this stuff now resides in New York's Museum of Modern Art). There's only one Residents--and while that may be a good thing, so is this remarkable, fascinating document. --Sam Graham« less
Hunter Westfield | Marietta, GA United States | 01/24/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, this is a DVD. NOT a compact disc. It contains videos for: The Third Reich 'n' Roll, Constantinople, Moisture, Perfect Love, The Act Of Being Polite, The Simple Song, Kick A Picnic, Songs For Swinging Larvae, He Also Serves, This Is A Man's World, Harry The Head, The Gingerbread Man (concentration), Jelly Jack, Just For You, Stars And Stripes Forever, Where Is She, Burn Baby Burn, Hello Skinny, Bad Day On The Midway, and Vileness Fats. It contains 2 different soundtracks you can listen to: the original works or new versions of the old songs. All in all there is 60 minutes of video and 120 minutes of music. All of the videos are great and the new 17 minute version of Vileness Fats makes more sense than the old 32 minute version."
Solo Goodspeed | Granada Hills, CA United States | 02/04/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a treat for enthusiasts of the mysterious Eyeball Ones! The reclusive Residents are approached with the proposal of releasing a DVD collection, which they oppose at first ..... until they concoct a way of using the DVD technology to create a new concept around some early videos. The result: an interactive chronicle/gallery of many remastered videos, films and digital media created by this most curious, fascinating and slightly disturbing ensemble. Using the DVD's alternative soundtrack capabilities, you are given the choice of hearing the original recordings, or new treatments of the songs, which they probably did to make the project more interesting than a sort of "best of" rehash anthology. Like that would matter to us. The collection is astounding: Almost two hours of pristine Residential archives, all rerecorded with new soundtracks that you don't have to listen to if you're a purist. Of particular interest is the Songs for Swinging Larvae section, with their interpretation of material originally done by British counterparts Renaldo and the Loaf (whose recordings now seem tragically on the vanish). Their tendency towards "concentrations" of their lengthier works is put to good use, in the case of Vileness Fats (their first ever created project, this is actually the 3rd version of the original soundtrack, which was never released due to poor quality), and the software titles The Gingerbread Man and Bad Day on the Midway. Fans of the latter title will greatly appreciate seeing the digital masters, beautifully clear, touching on familiar elements of the story, just enough to tease the unfamilar viewer, as well as taking outrageous liberties with the game guidlines. See, with The Residents there are no rules as we know them .....There are also selections from Freak Show (their premiere CDrom venture), the Commercial Album (the extraordinary One Minute Movies), the legendary Hello Skinny, a reworked video of Constantinople and other previously unseen videos, a sumptuous serving of smirky surreality by this anonymous collective consciousness .... which has for nearly thirty years kept a select few of us vastly entertained and with overall greater hope for humanity ......The Residents are not for everyone. Their video realizations, like their recorded material, takes many dark and disturbing detours; the techno/naive music is both mesmerizing and jarring, and utterly orginal. Fans of Sugar Ray and Britney Spears are not likely to care for it; fans of Primus, Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead and Marilyn Manson might. As for me: I'm a pants-down Residents fan, and I just bought me a piece of Video Heaven for a mere twenty bucks.We are simple, you are simple, life is simple, too. Icky Flix is simply superb."
AMERICA'S FAVORITE SINGING EYEBALLS CONQUER DVD!!
Wade D. Haynes | Minneapolis, MN USA | 01/31/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been a huge fan of the Residents for years and every release never fails to surprise me. Their music is unlike any I have heard before. Thier identities always masked, this strange group of musicians/graphic artists never fail to dumfound audiences worldwide through their spectacular performances. They not only pre-date punk rock/new wave by five to seven years (depending on how you count), but also (unknown to many) envisioned the concept of music video. They were among the first (if not THE first) musicians to fully immerse themselves in the CD-ROM medium and have now upgraded themselves for the DVD era. In doing so, they far surpass their mainstream musical competitors in utilizing the vast potential of this burgeoning technical medium. As noted in previous reviews, this is not a CD. It is a DVD, and what a DVD it is!! There are two separate audio tracks (Dolby Stereo and 5.1 Surround) which both sound great and the visuals more than live up to the high standards that DVD technology demands. Even the older pieces - Vileness Fats, Hello Skinny, Third Reich and Roll - though grainy, have a cleaned-up feel to them without losing the gritty ambiance of the original film stock. Audio tracks can be switched at any time during playback to reflect the viewer's tastes. However, the thing that I love most about this DVD are the bonus features. Instead of storing all bonus footage in a designated "bonus" section, like most DVD producers, the Residents elected to hide special "easter eggs" all throughout the disc. These extras include: material from Pee Wee's Playhouse, a special performance with Conway Twitty (!), various concert footage including appearances with the famous Snakefinger, a French ballet company's interpretive dance to a well-known favorite Rez tune (I won't tell you which!), and a slew of more fun stuff. You can find them everywhere in the menus of the interactive "Flix Cube" navigation system. Here's a hint: "Keep your EYES peeled for them in the MORE INFO sections." In addition to the "Flix Cube" navigation, the viewer can choose to watch the videos in sequence. There are hidden treats here as well. In between each video are randomized assortments of gleefully gross Rez shorts created just for this DVD that tickle the funny bone as much as they do the retina. All of this (and more) on a single-layered DVD! Truly amazing! As far as the content is concerned, this is nothing short of an astounding compilation of legendary Residents video. Old and new fans alike will delight in the marvellous collection of surreal black comedy contained herein. Among my favorites are the Gingerbread Man Concentrate, Hello Skinny, One Minute Movies, Bad Day, and Constantinople. I would recommend this DVD to 1) any fan of the Residents (casual or obsessive), 2) anyone who appreciates the surreal, horrific and ridiculous, 3) anyone who loves watching cutting edge performance art, 4) any tech-head audiophile DVD geek, 5) anyone who enjoys innovative computer animation . . . oh, hell. I recommend it for everyone!"
PARDON THE PUN - "The EYES have it!"
G. Ulbrich | Spring Hill, WV USA | 08/25/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having always had an extremely open mind to music that 'strays' from the typical, I'm ashamed to admit that my first exposure to The Residents wasn't until this year. I had certainly been aware of them - "hey, it's that band with the eyeballs for heads!" - but simply hadn't made myself available to their music, or better, art. Oh what a sheltered life I've led.....this stuff is absolutely AMAZING! I'm not going to try to describe it; I don't believe anyone's review could do justice to the sheer 'twistedness' of their work. If you were the kind of kid that got a kick out of "Mad" or "Cracked" magazine, you'll love this. If you're a Zappa fan, you probably already love them. If not, give this a try....you'll see..."
Steev Proteus | nowhere in particular | 08/25/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In addition to their groundbreaking musical output, the Residents are famous (and infamous) for their equally bizarre and innovative experimental film work. ICKY FLIX collects almost all of these films, providing new soundtracks for every piece as well. There are some real surprises here: "Vileness Fats", the abandoned Residents epic; a new video for DUCK STAB's "Constantinople"; the "GINGERBREAD MAN Concentrate"; and a wealth of really great hidden videos, ranging from an Australian TV show appearance to a piece of live "From the Plains to Mexico". "Freak Show" and "Bad Day on the Midway" are represented here as well, in "concentrate" form (how I wish Amazon carried the Roms!).
Of course, their most famous works are here: "Third Reich and Roll" (which tells the story of the rise of rock music beutifully and with humor); "Hello Skinny"; "One Minute Movies" (four songs from THE COMMERCIAL ALBUM); and "Songs for Swinging Larvae" (by incredibly weird British band and Residents pals Renaldo and the Loaf).
Some of these are interesting mostly for Res fans: "Where is She?" is as disturbing as it is funny. This goes double for "Just for You", the last movement of a piece called "Disfigured Night" (a clever play on Schoenberg's "Transfigured Night"), which was conceived for a German television show. Even funnier than the Residents' weird stage presence are the facial reactions of some of the audience members (one girl has her eyes closed tightly, her hands clasped together as if in prayer... that reaction never fails to make me laugh out loud).
So, my overall verdict: if you're not a Residents fan, don't buy it. If you're not, though, I wouldn't imagine you'd even consider spending the money on it. So if you are, it's a good investment. God knows how much music there is here: original songs, plus remakes, plus the hidden bits... it's a dream come true! And don't miss the "commercials" between songs; they're great!"