Mercano the Martian | Chicago Reader

Mercano the Martian

Barbed and subversive, this 2002 animated feature about a martian stranded in Buenos Aires evolved from a series of shorts director Juan Antin created for Argentine music television. Mercano, who looks something like a cactus in a space suit, boosts a laptop during a store robbery and via the Internet befriends a Trekkie whose corporate-executive dad is plotting global consumer enslavement. From the crude animation to the pervasive violence and absurdist humor, the movie's debt to South Park is obvious, though the laughs here are more sardonic, presenting a gallows take on Argentina's economic morass and social ennui. In Spanish with subtitles. 72 min.

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