TC's fourth return to the world of S&M, and as ever, it runs the total range from the sublime to the ridiculous (in both good and bad ways), mixing new entries with old "favourites". Quotes used advisedly: let's be honest, it's time for No Neck Joe and Hut Sluts to retire gracefully. While at the crap end of the spectrum, Sickcom proved it is possible for a 3-minute short to over-stay its welcome, Mama, I'm a Thug managed to be even less amusing, and Ninjews took the one joke of its title and stretched it thinly across a lengthy sequence of poor-quality claymation.
Fortunately, among general mediocrity, a few gems stood out - that's why we keep going. Here are the TC medal-winners among the new entries (Billy's Balloon remains a favourite otherwise), and a few other worthy contenders.
Tip of the TC hat: Cane Toad, Peepshow, Stubble Trouble.
Bronze. Big Abandoned Refrigerator Adventure. Two evil dolls go on a crime spree before meeting their nemesis in the shape of the titular appliance. Imagine Bride of Chucky: The Wonder Years.
Silver. Happy Tree Friends. A merchandising juggernaut now available at Hot Topic (the screaming pinata particularly appeals...), the shorts depict cute, furry critters meeting death in a variety of brutal ways. Heh-heh.
Gold. Here Comes Dr. Tran. A fabulous satire on cinematic consumerism, transforming an unwitting Vietnamese kid into the ultimate action hero (right); the 3D sequence alone is worth the admission price. I liked this so much, Dr. Tran now graces my desktop. What higher praise is possible?