Sausage Party (2016)

  • Time: 83 min
  • Genre: Animation | Adventure | Comedy
  • Directors: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon
  • Cast: Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig, Paul Rudd, James Franco, Edward Norton, Salma Hayek


An animated movie about one sausage’s quest to discover the truth about his existence.

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  • This film’s unprecedented profanity points to its primary purpose — to reject and dispel the debilitating delusions of the supposed sacred.
    The Shopwell supermarket products here express the human faith in some unproved heaven that will justify their self-denials in this lifetime. But when a honey mustard returns from The Great Beyond he reports his discovery: the supposedly beneficent gods are really violent demons bent upon consuming and destroying these gullible humans/products.
    Hero Frank — the wiener who will take all — confirms that truth when he visits the liquor aisle and learns firsthand from Firewater that the Imperishables invented the myths that form the culture’s religions.
    Honey Mustard himself embodies the human conflict: Is he a honey or a mustard? The question doesn’t bother him, just the naive Brenda who prefers simplicity so resists the reality as long as she can. Honey Mustard was saved by his ambivalent nature, but is so maddened by his discovery he kills himself.
    It’s a telling complexity. Are we flesh or spirit? The religious would have us believe we are spirits who should shun our earthly natures. This film asserts our meathood, our substance, our materiality in an unyieldingly material world, whose only fulfilment and service must be found on earth.
    The only human to discover the truth is the doomed druggie who shoots up on bath salts. Only then does reality come clean to him and he realizes the character of the peripheral life he has been mindlessly and compulsively consuming.
    And excreting. The film’s first word is “Shit!” The abundant scatalogical humour provides Jonathan Swift’s excremental view of humanity that no airy pretences can conceal. (Remember the fond swain’s shattering discovery that “Celia, Celia, Celia shits!”). The behemoth tied down in candy strips is an homage to Swift’s Gulliver, overwhelmed by another freakish world. Hence Peanut Butter bemoans the death of his wife Butt Nutter and the Chinese take-out comes from Pu Ping.
    When Cookies and Sandwich call for the gods to stop eating them, Toilet Paper chimes in: “And when he stops using us!” To the Chips’ “What did they do to you?” Toilet Paper backs away nervously: “You don’t wanna fuckin’ know!”
    In this excremental reality of course the arch-villain will be the Douche, the evil agent of a supposed cleanliness that is really antithetical to the proper, i.e., sexual, injection. Here’s Douche: “I’ll tell you who eat shit, Gods do, bro! I’M A FUCKING GOD!” When the human Camille Toh (cp. her tight-pant crotch) reports dropping some stuff she denies she’d taken him: “Sorry. I accidenatly dropped a few things back there. Except for that douche, I don’t know who’s that is.” But flattered, she forgets her modesty:
    Clerk Darren: Clean up on Aisle 2, this MILF dropped a douche.
    Camille: Ah, MILF! Thank you so much.
    As the narrative occurs on July 4 it points to America’s Independence Day, when all the wieners and the hot dog buns they yearn to pop into expect to be liberated. But Honey Mustard has learned what we already know: the Great Beyond they so eagerly anticipate is a cover for their death and destruction.
    The film’s celebration of a real independence is the independence from religion, specifically the delusions, divisions and self-denials promulgated in its name. The characters come fully alive when they cast off their superstitions, overthrow their murderous gods (i.e., the humans) and abandon themselves to an impassioned orgy.
    Even the Muslim pita, learning he won’t get those 72 Virgin Olive Oils on the other side, discovers a fraternal and sexual fulfilment with his mortal enemy Sammy Bagel Jr (Edward Norton as his pal Woody Allen). So, too, the militarized sauerkraut is determined to eradicate The Juice.
    Opposing hymns frame the narrative. The film opens with the morning prayer to The Great Beyond, celebrating the supposed gods of kindness and salvation. But it ends on an alternative prayer, Three Dog Night’s Joy to the World. That hymn evokes the heady counterculture of the ‘60s, when OT prophet Jeremiah is replaced by a bullfrog, who was a good friend of mine, and salvation is to be found in this world, through wine, love, community, sex, and not delayed for some hypothetical afterlife.
    In the spirit of that be-druggled understanding the figures also learn they are but cartoons. They exist amid a variety of realities, with no more absolutism in their existence than in their moral instruction.
    Hence the shimmering allusions to pop culture throughout the narrative. Meat Loaf plays Meat Loaf. The Stephen Hawking figure Gum’s shooting and remorph parodies Terminator 2 , down to its theme music. Firewater’s “Fuck me, right?” comes out of Seth Rogan’s Superbad. Honey Mustard’s brand is Bickles, after the violently divided Travis Bickle in Scorsese’s Taxi Driver.
    Frank’s big illuminating speech is a parody of Shakespeare’s Marc Antony:
    “Friends… Ramen… Country Club Lemonade… Lend me your ears of Corn. I’m Frank and I am a sausage… a little sausage with some pretty big news: Everything we’ve been led to relieve is a lie! When we get chosen by the Gods, they’re choosing us for Death! Murder! Automatic expiration! The Great Beyond is bullshit!”
    This rejection of religion allows no sentimentality. Potato is singing Danny Boy when his skin is peeled off and he’s popped into boiling water. “The pipes, the pipes are calling” is truer than he thought.
    Of course the film defines the spectrum of sex, from coarse Carl — “Look at these big ol’ buns, waiting to get filled with my meat.” — to Frank and Brenda’s true love: “I’m so happy, the Gods put our packages together….It’s like, we were made for each other.”
    The oppressive religion coarsens love by forbidding the union until the lovers’ end. The wieners sing “In here, we keep our wieners in our packages. That’s how it is.” The buns agree: “It sucks, but that’s the way our buns keep fresh in here. Baby, baby.” “But once we’re out the doors, it’s not a sin.” “For us to let you slip it in.” “In other words, we finally get to fuck!” “And love!” “And fuck!” “And hug!”“And fuck!” “And feel!””And fuck!” “And share!” The male wieners and female buns sing out the genders’ differing perspectives.
    Ashamed of her attraction to Brenda,Teresa retreats to religion: “Saint Chimichanga, I promise to be a good taco.”
    This film’s wildness is itself a celebration of the sensual, the forbidden, the indulgent, in the face of religious and any other prissy decorum. Good stuff.

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