Finally, MTV redeems itself for putting Queensrÿche into heavy rotation: Liquid Television is a terrific weekly anthology showcasing new, eccentric little films, most of them animated. It's often witty and exhilarating, and most of this material isn't kid stuff.
Writer-director Peter Chung's Aeon Flux, for example, is a shrewd, erotic parody of superhero comic books in which a scantily clad woman mows down an army of men with a variety of automatic weapons. That's it no dialogue, just relentless action.
The widely praised illustrator-cartoonist Richard Sala offers an absurdist murder mystery called Invisible Hands; all of its hunched-over, slit-eyed characters babble in non sequiturs. And in Malcolm Bennett's and Michael Smith's extraordinary Rocky seen over the past year as the most startling of MTV's commercial ''bumpers'' an enormous thug grabs an innocent bystander by the throat, reaches into his mouth, and pulls out the man's entire skeleton, leaving a shapeless bag of flesh in the other hand. The speed, precision, and horror of the animation is repulsive and beautiful at the same time.
Liquid Television reminds you there's a world of animation that exists as underground art, never reaching commercial TV. The debut episode reaches its peak with Grinning Evil Death, a stream-of-consciousness tale in which a little boy's box of breakfast cereal comes to life and leads him into a battle with a giant steel cockroach I kid you not. As overseen by Mike McKenna and Bob Sabiston, Grinning Evil Death is a stunning display of clashing animation styles, including state-of-the-art computer-generated and good old-fashioned drawing.
With all this artistry crammed into a half-hour chunk each week, Liquid Television certainly entertains, but it also does something that MTV isn't exactly famous for: It provokes thought. A-