WFAC - Waterloo Festival For Animated Cinema 2004 - October 27 - 30, 2004

Monster Road

2004 - U.S.A. - 80 mins
English language dialogue
Rated PG (Parental Guidance)
© 2004, Bright Eye Pictures


Brett Ingram

Produced by

Brett Ingram, Jim Haverkamp


Monster Road explores the wildly fantastic worlds of legendary underground clay animator Bruce Bickford. Tracing the origins of his remarkably unique sensibility, the film journeys back to Bickford's childhood in a competitive household during the paranoia of the Cold War, and examines his relationship with his father George who is facing the onset of Alzheimer's Disease.

Bickford's films, especially the dark and magical clay animations he created for Frank Zappa in the 1970s, have achieved cult status worldwide. Entirely self-taught, the 56-year-old Bickford works alone in a makeshift basement studio in his house near Seattle. Bickford's father George, a retired Boeing engineer of the Cold War era, is the other main character. George's talent for maximising the space inside airplanes and missiles parallels his son's animations, which often contain dozens of inch-tall figures fighting battles on a tiny set. George's wondrous musings about the universe reveal a deep admiration for the implicit architect of such splendour, while atheism prevents him from admitting the possibility of a God. Along with the wonder of creation, George considers the pain of a life spent disengaged from his family and centred on the imperfections in those around him.

The film features music composed and performed by Shark Quest (Merge Records). Many of the ideas of their latest soundtrack were developed in the summer and fall of 2002 during their work on a musical suite written to accompany a screening of Bruce Bickford's animation.

Profile: Director Brett Ingram

Jim Haverkamp is an award-winning filmmaker and editor who lives in Durham, North Carolina. His short films have shown in festivals across the country, and he was awarded a Filmmaking Fellowship from the North Carolina Arts Council in 2000.

Growing up in Iowa City, Iowa, Jim made Super8 films in his backyard, and he still finds that activity relaxing today. He is a former organizer of the Flicker Film Festival in Chapel Hill, and also plays harmonium and guitar in the Durham band "The Holy Roman Empire."

Festival participation

Slamdance Film Festival, 2004 - Best Documentary
Ann Arbor Film Festival, 2004 - Michael Moore Award for Best Documentary Film
Independent Film Festival of Boston, 2004 - Best Documentary
RiverRun International Film Festival, 2004 - North Carolina Filmmaking Award
Sonoma Valley Film Festival, 2004 - Independent Spirit Award

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