Heavy Traffic Reviews

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Super Reviewer
August 11, 2013
The life of an unemployed underground cartoonist who lives with his shrewish mother and mobbed-up dad and lusts after a saucy Nubian bartender, told in a mixture of animation and live action (sometimes in the same frame). It's successful as a series of visual experiments, but there's not much of a story and what there is gets needlessly nasty (the only likable character turns into a pimp who pulverizes johns with a steel pipe).
Super Reviewer
January 17, 2012
To me, there's always been the Ralph Bakshi movie that everybody has seen (The Lord of the Rings) and then there are the rest that nobody has seen. Heavy Traffic is one of them, along with Coonskin and Fritz the Cat. These films are definitely not for everybody, but if you have a little bit of taste and perhaps an open mind, then you may just enjoy this trip. It's a very cerebral kind of movie, with a lot of visuals that you either get or don't get. The film also has a nice story to it: two people stuck in a ghetto looking for a way out. Along the way, they run into every kind of obstacle while we see it as nothing more than a game on a pinball machine. I know that's not a great description, but trying to describe this film is like trying to describe the color red. It has racism, sexuality and just true-to-life things going on in it. This definitely isn't a kids film, and Bakshi never intended it to be. It shocks me that these films ever got made in the first place, but I'm thrilled that they did. Oh, I'm still very curious about what was taken out of the X rated version of it.
Super Reviewer
September 5, 2010
A great animated film from Bakshi. It combines cartoon and live action actually. Plus, the story is really good, in that 70s realistic gritty style. I really liked it.
Super Reviewer
April 8, 2010
This film doesn't have the same cohesiveness or power as Bakshi's later work, Coonskin, but it's still an impressive vision. The influence of Selby Jr. is really visible here, in the style of language and the environment. Horrifying, surreal, surprising, and wholly entertaining. I'll take Ralph Bakshi's challenging, adult animated movies over fluff like Pixar's Up any day.
½ March 18, 2010
Strange, strange Bakshi movie that takes awhile to get moving, and then kinda just loses itself in it's own visuals. It's probably better if you're high when viewing this film.
I love seeing NYC circa the 70's and the soundtrack is pretty great as well. I'm not sure what the story itself was supposed to "say" to us the viewer. We get the poor seedy underbelly of NYC...and that's about it. As an experimental film, it's interesting to watch with the live action and animation as Bakshi was such an innovator of that style, but it still didn't win me over.

I'll be watching "coonskin" next...it's got Scatman Crothers so it's gotta be better.
June 23, 2007
Ralph Bakshi is a pervert, but he makes some damn interesting movies. Highlight: A character gets an erection and bounces on it like a pogo stick.
August 24, 2015
I think this is a well-constructed animated film, and while I did like it, it didn't stand out AS well for me as it did for others.
January 20, 2015
I own this movie for blu ray I just love this film like his two best films are fritz the cat and heavy traffic I love the background I love this film ralph bakshi is like walt Disney for adult cartoons
½ July 9, 2014
Heavy Traffic broke the rules of conventional cinema, standing out as an artistic masterpiece of the 70's. The characters were brilliantly drawn-out, and the animation style really helps in creating a world of shady characters and surreal pictures. The story paints an amazing picture, with moments that serve as genuine twists, as opposed to the kind of plot twists you might expect. This is not the kind of film you could easily predict, and it's certainly not for the closed-minded. For me, this film is a real work of art, playing with all sorts of images to create some kind of collage representing inner-city life. I highly doubt that we'll ever see this kind of film ever again, simply because it's too original for today's producers to take a chance on. If you want a film that thinks outside the box, you need to see this movie.
½ June 30, 2014
This film, much like Bashki's other work, is a feast for the eyes. I love the irreverence, the grit and the utter strangeness of this movie. The Maybellene scene is brilliant.
June 25, 2014
Heavy Traffic is another one of those nasty 1970s films - it a pointless and stupid look at absolutely nothing with awful characters, vulgar to the point of pornographic approach, pointless live-action sequences and lack of any characterization, substance or purpose whatsoever making Bakshi probably the most overrated animation director of all time.
½ March 10, 2013
Riveting in its attempts to make audiences completely uncomfortable. Heavy Traffic is brutally, unapologetically gritty. But beside all of that, you have a deep, emotional personal project by Ralph Bakshi. It's animation in its most socially poignant form. It's a work of art.
January 7, 2014
It's chaotic, it's loud, and it's absolutely over-indulgent, but damn does Bakshi have an impressive sense of style and an even stronger sense of place.
½ March 22, 2014
Ralph Bakshi, you are legend!
½ December 27, 2013
...just why....OH YEAH because its adult animation it doesn't need to have a story instead do things just for the sake to be fully adult as possible and all of it seems unnecessary *aside for making completely sure they got that NC-17 or X rating
August 13, 2013
Heh, heh, heh.... Nice movie for a rainy day....
August 6, 2013
Legitimate proof that animation should never be referred to as "kid-safe", "inoffensive", or "something-that-pleases-children-but-bores-adults", because this is unashamedly violent, profane, crass, and perverted, coupled with the fact that it's brilliantly animated and well-crafted by Ralph Bakshi.
June 10, 2013
Proof that you can trick people into an artsy film by filling it with bare breasts and crude humor.
½ April 29, 2013
A fascinating look at the counterculture of the early 70's, a social commentary of issues many would prefer to sweep under the carpet. The slapdash style of the animation will put many off, but it actually adds to the sleaze and seediness of the urban environment it portrays, one brimming with rot and moral corruption. The real life backgrounds add a gritty degree of realism to the film.
The pinball machine represents life as a game every phase of it using a new credit.
The violence in the film takes on a comical quality through the loose lunacy of the animated motion. Not a film for all tastes, sure, but looked upon in the timeframe of the society it's depicting makes for fascinating viewing.
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