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Every Revolutionary Just Wants to Get Laid

An Essay on 'Fritz the Cat' (1972), a Film by Ralph Bakshi

By Tom BakerPublished 12 months ago Updated 12 months ago 5 min read
Top Story - May 2023

Inside every revolutionary is a horny dog just wanting to hump (to sort of quote the inimitable Frank Booth) "ANYTHING THAT MOVES!" Fritz the Cat, an animated creation based on the work of famed underground cartoonist R. Crumb, is no exception. He's a cute little feline fellow with a folk guitar, in a crumbling, dystopia NYC in 1967 or thereabouts, gathering in the park with a hundred and sixty-five million other animal-people with folk guitars, all vying and trying to get a little poontang by appearing "hip," "radical", and "with it, man." He of course has a little competition there.

A trio of animal people, cat girls, or what-have-yous, meanwhile, patronize a slender, crow-like crow character representing an old black man, who tells the "woke" (by modern parlance) sisters, "I ain't no jive..." And I can't use the word he uses, because, in 2023, you just can't go there anymore, dig?

At least, not on social media platforms.

Chaos ensues when he invites them to an orgy with him in a bathtub at some hippie squat, and everyone, bird and beast alike, joins in (matter of fact, they are all cartoon birds or beasts or cats or rats), and then two "pigs" (just guess) turn up to bust the joint, and like an old Keystone Cops feature, chaos ensues.

We next get a scene with a bunch of cartoon rabbis that ends up like something the SPLC would put on their "Hatewatch" map if it were released in the modern era. It's all humor, I understand, but what is it trying to say? Is it a legitimate lampoon of social stereotypes? Is it to be taken at face value for what it is? Is it just an attempt to offend? Crumb channeled through Bakshi (who is Jewish) is an inscrutable experience.

Fritz prattles on about "finding himself," ditching all the intellectual shit, wherein pretentious (forgive the expression) cunts play the bourgeois game of trying to sound like some other big-time intellectuals. He burns his papers and sets out on a personal quest to discover his radical, spur-of-the-moment hippie, black, "wokeness" (again by modern parlance; to ditch straight, white, heteronormative (well, maybe not that) values in favor of life by the seat of his revolutionary pants).

There's plenty of cartoon sex here. Plenty of animated blood and violence. A nightmare of animals portraying racial stereotypes (not to be taken, obviously, at face value as racism, but a lampoon of racist tropes), and this leads him to Harlem, to a pool hall with a wise old black hustler, to starting a racial riot by tubthumping on top of a car; to chasing, while tripping, a huge [1] black woman who blows poor Fritz out of the water by telling him, as he exposes himself, "You ain't black enough!"

He takes up with a hippie chick (actually, she looks more like a rodent) in a VW, but it breaks down on a cross-country trek, and Fritz, noble of spirit that he is, ditches his girlfriend out in the desert, hops along for a ride with a massive titty dancer and her zonked, biker boyfriend, and then takes up with a group of nihilistic, anarchistic, even Satanistic lizard people in a cemetery. They want to blow up a power plant to kick off the revolution. The anarchists beat the titty dancer mercilessly, and Fritz very lamely protests (Fritz, if you'll forgive the pun, is a bit of a "pussy"). Fritz seems to have not much in the way of kitty cajones, or a moral sense of purpose.

However, he protests to the lead lizard anarchist (or maybe she's a snake) limply while climbing up the side of the powerplant to plant the TNT. The snake woman then lights the fuse and says, "So long, Fritz!" before driving off. He says, "Far out," before being blown to kingdom come.

Like every good cartoon ending, Fritz doesn't die but ends up bandaged from head to toe in the hospital. The three chicks from the opening scene, the trio of woke witches patronizing the by inference black "crow" at the beginning of the film, come in and start to lay down some heavy rap on him. Fritz suddenly bursts back into life, hops up and down in bed, grabs all three of the chicks, and ripping their clothes off, starts to orgy with a wild, untamed, gone insane look on his furry face. The End.

(So the pussy just wanted a little pussy after all.)

The movie opens, even before the credits roll, with three construction workers sitting on a scaffold high above the dirty, crumbling city, talking about what utter shits the kids are today. Eating their lunches (one is a pig, the other a hippo, but I can't remember what the third one is off-hand). Anyway, one of them stops to tinkle off the side, and his piss droplets shine like golden spurts against the blackness of the opening credits. Which, on the whole, seems appropriate here.

[1] All of Crumb's characters, the females at least, bear the tell-tale signs of his particular fetish for women with huge legs, feet, and massive rear-ends.

Note: The trailer to the original "Fritz the Cat" features simulated cartoon sex, nudity, and a racial expletive. In other words CAN'T LINK IT HERE. Instead, this is the trailer to the sequel, "The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat", but they seem so similar this will give you a good idea of what the original is like if you decide to view it.

movie review

About the Creator

Tom Baker

Author of Haunted Indianapolis, Indiana Ghost Folklore, Midwest Maniacs, Midwest UFOs and Beyond, Scary Urban Legends, 50 Famous Fables and Folk Tales, and Notorious Crimes of the Upper Midwest.:

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

Top insight

  1. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (13)

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  • Scott Christenson7 months ago

    That's a funny title. An probably so true. I had read a Haruki Murakami book where he also said every revolutionary protester in japan in the 1970s were also just trying to sneak cute women into private "study" sessions. I think he might have also mentioned Fritz the Cat, I will have a watch.

  • Excellent review, sorry I missed this , love Raph Bakshi

  • Nice💖😉🎉🎉Congratulations❗

  • J. S. Wade12 months ago

    Great review! Gonna check Fritz out 😎. Congrats on Top Story 🥇

  • Purple Praise12 months ago

    Nice work

  • Chisi limi12 months ago

    damn bro its good

  • Dana Crandell12 months ago

    I watched at the x-rated Drive-in theater back in the day!

  • Brenton F12 months ago

    I can remember this bad boy form back in the day. It was able to raise a few gasps even then. Your article is well written and shows just enough leg to get those bums on the seats again! Well done.

  • Cathy holmes12 months ago

    Good review. Congrats on the top story

  • Loryne Andawey12 months ago

    Woah. Never heard of this movie before. It definitely did not show up on my morning cartoons!

  • Congratulations on your Top Story

  • Kendall Defoe 12 months ago

    I have seen the film many times, and it is a shame that people are so offended by things that they only admit to themselves. Glad to see this up here (as a black West Indian Canadian, nothing offends me jive turkey). ;)

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