"Creeping from the halls of the maze brain, corruption and terror is woven by devils born from the denied errors of mankind."
Madhouse Mitchel is a mix of stylistic influences. While it takes inspiration from horror, it verges more into surrealism. With the presentation, it’s largely a comic in film form which also makes reference back to kamishibai, a form of Japanese street theater that focuses on drawn images and narration to tell a story. Part of the atmosphere comes from the lack of subtitles for most of the characters. Like listening to foreign music or watching a foreign film without knowledge of the language, it allows the brain to fill in the blanks with its own creative language.
We live in a time where political satire and genuine politics are melded and malformed to the point of being interchangeable, and Madhouse Mitchel is my representation of the tonal chaos which we are forced to live through every single day. Militarization skyrockets over the general health and well being of the citizenry, and we seem ever on the precipice of war decided by incompetent, reactionary right wing politicians. These politicians, blinded by ego, immaturity and corporate dollars, disdain addressing grotesque disparity of wealth and global climate change that threaten a hell-on-earth for many.
While I do find the concept of hell fascinating as a story, I believe whole-heartedly that it is a man-made concept. In Madhouse Mitchel the plot revolves around a hierarchy of power using hell to control the powerless with threats of eternal suffering and earthly torture. Hell becomes the meaning of life, a path to enlightenment. But when plague strikes, the priests and police of this living hell are also left lost, searching for a new method to manipulate the masses who begin to doubt and rebel against fear that endlessly generates fear, terror that endlessly generates terror.
While death could be considered a villain, it is just a mindless machine that claims everything in its path. It has no intent but to move forward, not motivated by power, ambition, or any human desires. Living in a culture where everything is dominated by the fear of the demonic, Mitchel Hugo, driven to madness, unable to come to terms with his own thoughts against the church, that which has terrorized him, unconsciously creates the Varnpango, the ultimate byproduct of the town of Koaon, obsessed and fueled by violence and death while also representing doubt in the primitive, walled culture that has ruled them all.