It’s understood that films are viewed with our eyes and heard with our ears but Scavengers is proof that you can also implement taste and smell into film, even if the smells and taste are absolutely disgusting.
The title, Scavengers flew over my head even after the opening summary that states that the main characters of the film were left stranded on a strange planet after communication from VESTA-1 (a spacecraft) was lost.
As the animation takes place we learn that the VESTA-1 was destroyed except for a few small pods that have landed on another planet. This planet is similar to Earth in the sense that there are organisms, liquids, and air.
At night we’re introduced to two characters, male and female who are out scavenging for food (as it seems at first). They seem to be a bit familiar with the planet already which gives the idea that they’ve been stranded for a couple weeks now. The detail in the drawings of the plant life and environment are beautiful and contrast greatly with the lack of detail in the humans who are the main characters.
The woman and man wake up an animal due to the smell of a plant they smashed. While we anticipate what these two scavengers are up to, we pan out to different animals and plants. The noises these creatures make made me cringe, as I continued watching, realizing that each creature holds the key to another animal.
As time progresses, it becomes day and more creatures are captured by the scavengers and manipulated to reveal the particular species and how to eat and use them. I can’t get into such detail about each animal because the details are given in the noise and actions these creatures take with the scavengers.
As uncomfortable as it was to watch the film, I needed to know what the point of the film was. I paused this film multiple times to give myself a break from the slime, noise, and animals.
The scavengers go to great lengths to acquire certain pieces of animals to bring forth the ‘egg’ of a flying creature. When the scavengers enter their head into they are given a moment to view their old lives in a city.
The only sense I can make of this film is that the film is a trailer for Adult Swim’s Toonami. This short film is a trailer to the Scavengers series. You’re entered into another world with two characters and the question of how did this man and woman get stranded on this distant planet? How did they learn about the creatures and substances of the planet? Why did they go to such lengths to have a short moment in their old world via animal ovum?
The animation of Scavengers is what makes the film so interesting. The gooey noises would not work so well if the film had actual scenery and actors. Bennett and Huettner succeed in capturing the attention of the viewer and establishing a relationship with our ears and tongue while the scavengers attack and search for creatures that bring forth other animals for consumption.
I may be more sensitive to noise and death than most people but for those of us who can’t stomach blood and murder easily this film may test your other senses. Blood is replaced with blue goo and knives are in shape of discs that still cut open the organisms of this world.
Scavengers, will be aired for Toonami on Adult Swim and will fit perfect in the world of Toonami.