Sluggy Freelance (film) (2023)

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Sluggy Freelance is a 2008 American adult animated action comedy film written and directed by Pete Abrams, based on Abrams' long-running webcomic of the same name and starring an ensemble cast. It features the voices of Owen Wilson, Dave Foley, Lucy Liu and Ross Higgins.

Produced by Redcell Films and Solarmark Animation, the film had its premiere at Grauman's Egyptian Theatre on August 20, 2008 and was released theatrically in the United States by Warner Independent Pictures on August 25, and grossed $121 million on a $10 million budget, making it the eighth highest-grossing R-rated animated film. The film received mixed reviews from critics, who praised its humor but criticized its plot and runtime.

(Video) Sluggy Freelance, the video

At the 81st Academy Awards, Sluggy Freelance was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, whilst it won an Academy Award for Best Sound Editing. In 2021, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".


Sluggy Freelance begins with Torg and Riff as the latter is attempting to summon Satan online. Satan responds by installing Windows 95 on Riff's Macintosh computer. Riff attempts to exorcise Satan from his computer by summoning an archangel named Chuck to compete against him in a Quake deathmatch. When neither achieves a decisive victory over the other, Riff expels them both from his machine by playing an Alanis Morrisette CD, but is unable to shut it off after they departed. Riff gets rid of Morrisette with Gilbert Gottfried, casts out Gottfried with Carrot Top, then finally eliminates Carrot Top by deleting his props, though remnants of all remain in his machine. Riff then rejects a suggestion by Torg to try Pauly Shore.

A week later, Torg decides that the film needs a cute talking animal - so he gets Bun-bun. The gray and white minilop proves to have a violent and spiteful attitude. Bun-bun beats up Torg for threatening to have him neutered, and then annoys both Torg and Riff until they both come after him with a hammer and an axe. A representative from PETA comes to Bun-bun's defense, and Bun-bun beats up the PETA representative. Finally, there is the allusion that Torg tried to take Bun-bun to court to be rid of the bunny, but Torg ends up being kicked out instead.

(Video) Cultural Underground - Sluggy Freelance

Torg and Riff then searches for a cute talking animal, and introduces Teddy Weddy as the next candidate. Teddy Weddy, however, is a large, violent bear (with a pink bow). Torg interviews the bear, and three times in a row Teddy Weddy snarls and asks that if he does he "get the job or what". Torg hires Teddy Weddy, and Riff tells the bear to get rid of the old guy, referring to Bun-bun. Before the two fight, the representative from PETA returns, this time defending Teddy Weddy. Teddy Weddy eats the representative. Bun-bun emerges victorious by partially skinning the bear to make a small rug.

Riff finds a tome of ancient evil in his attic, and he and Torg decide to summon a demon. A mispronunciation turns Torg into a monster, but it wears off. Riff uses the Book of E-Ville to summon a demon in the middle of the highway (where he is promptly run over), and then one in the apartment. Before the demon can take over the world, Riff demands "the price": a case of beer and twenty bucks. The demon gives them the beer, but is a quarter short and is unsummoned.

Torg and Riff discuss the film's need for women as they wait for the Bikini-Suicide-Frisbee match to begin. This leads to the introduction of Zoë, who runs up to Torg and Riff asking for help because she locked her keys in her car with the engine running. However, another woman asks for their help getting her makeup out of the bushes at the same time, and Torg and Riff follow the second woman, appearing to act like cavemen. The woman's boyfriend beats Torg and Riff up. As Torg is apologizing to Zoë, Torg and Riff are invited to join the Bikini-Suicide-Frisbee match, and Zoë's wrist is sprained in the process. She is further injured by Bun-bun and trampled by the players in the Bikini-Suicide-Frisbee match.

(Video) Sluggy

Three weeks later, Torg joins Zoë on a retreat in Wispydale with her college friends, including her boyfriend Dex, his friend Max, Fay, and the strange Flaky. Torg is trying to break up Dex and Zoë, and gets help from Angela, Dex's on-and-off girlfriend, which in turn makes Zoë jealous. Unknown to the group, a great evil is running around - kittens that are the spawn of Satan, and which have already killed several people, including two of their caretakers. When the group separates due to a ploy of Dex to get some time with Zoë without disruptions from Angela, Bert, and Torg, a kitten kills two of the students, and when the group reunites, that kitten rips off Dex's arm. The kitten also chases Angela, who climbs on a tree to escape it. The kitten follows, but is trapped on the tree when Angela falls down and sprains her ankle.

With the kitten stuck in the tree, Torg and Bert go to get help for Dex at the general store, meeting Dr. Haught-Sheik, who has investigated the deaths, and two other caretakers of the EVIL, Mr. and Mrs. Glee. They learn the story behind the EVIL, which was conceived in a drunken dare when Mrs. Glee was the chosen concubine of Satan, that there are more kittens, and that milk keeps them at bay, so the Glees are certain it isn't the EVIL that has killed all those people, as they got their milk each day. Unfortunately, Mrs. Glee has replaced the milk with soy milk, and the EVIL proceeds to slaughter the Glees. Torg and Dr. Haught-Sheik escape into a freezer with the badly wounded Bert, but a kitten soon enters...

In their hut, the group tending the wounded Dex feels save until two more students are killed, Reggie and Fay, seeing with terror that there are more kittens. They barricade themselves, but the kittens come through the floor, killing Dex as well. Flaky is save in the floor above, but the ladder there is shredded by the kittens, dooming, Zoë, Max, and Angela until Flaky distracts them with yarn. The three escape in the bathroom, where they keep wet to keep the kittens away. Flaky goes catatonic due to a vision of her future. Soon, the kittens tear down the entire house, and Angela and Zoë flee through the window. They are accosted by a kitten, but saved by Torg. He relays that the kittens can be made docile with ice cream, and that Dr. Haught-Sheik is preparing several bowls. Bert was flown to a hospital. Along with Max, they flee once the kittens have eaten the ice cream, but the kitten that was trapped in the tree has escaped now, and kills Dr. Haught-Sheik. Max sacrifices himself so that Angela, Torg, and Zoë can give that kitten ice cream as well and escape. Torg and Zoë meet back up with Riff, Angela wound up in a mental institute, Bert survived ... as did Flaky, who becomes the new caretaker of the kittens, and the next concubine of Satan.

(Video) Top 10 online comics Sluggy (without commentary)

A month later, after their run-in with the kittens, Torg and Zoë reunite with Riff, Kiki and Aylee, and their flight from Bun-bun brings them into the Caribbean, where they enjoy life. Bun-bun, however, is on their trail. On a tip from Neebler Elf Grahammy, Bun-bun takes over a group of Santa's Black Ops Elves to help with the search for Torg, Riff, and Aylee. However, by the time the elves find them, a photograph of Aylee has already given Bun-bun the location. When Bun-bun and his new team arrive in the Caribbean, the three are already gone.

Dr. Crabtree, who has turned herself in a host of countless nanites is trying to hunt down Dr. Schlock with little success. After a run-in with Sam leaves her depowered, she sets her sights on Kiki, and starts to track her down (triggering some of Bun-bun's traps in the process). Meanwhile, Qaboos Al-Fin, a friend of Riff's father, has taken the fugitives in and paid for their tabs, but the Black Ops Elves still track them down. The gang still escapes, and plans an escape home. With some twists, they manage to board a plane (neither with tickets meant for them), but Qaboos Al-Fin is captured.

On the flight home, Torg works out a plan to avoid getting killed by Bun-bun, while the Black Ops Elves work on a plan to capture the gang. Their destination airport is turned into a trap, with an internet booth and a conveniently-placed truck. After procuring something on the internet, the gang steals the truck (which happens to be a potato truck) and drives away. The elves had created a roadblock, but an unforseen step requires them to move it, where Dr. Crabtree kills that troop. Now styling herself the nanite queen, she intercepts the truck with Kiki, but Aylee releases an EMP, killing Dr. Crabtree, the truck, and a Black Ops chopper. Aylee and Kiki can fly away, but the Black Ops leader Squishydodo goes easy on Riff, Torg and Zoë due to a lack of orders. Bun-bun appears in the sky flying a WWI plane unaffected by Aylee's EMPs and attacks her, but Aylee lands on the wings in the blind spot of the gun. While the Black Ops Elves are distracted, the gang steals their truck. At home, the package Torg bought has arrived - a whole collection of Baywatch tapes. The gang removes the labels, so Bun-bun is forced to watch them all, and Aylee fakes an impeding EMP, so he is forced to run away and do it now, mellowing him out.

(Video) Intervention 2011 - Sluggy Freelance and the Dimension of Nuts.mp4

Voice cast

  • Owen Wilson as Torg, a hapless freelance web designer and an incorrigible punster. He's impulsive and not so bright, and yet he sometimes comes up with surprising but clever solutions to problems. Torg is the prototypical all-around good guy, who is well-liked by everyone who isn't evil.
  • Dave Foley as Riff, a genius inventor and "freelance bum" whose creations almost always bring mayhem and destruction in their wake. He is Torg's best friend. He can often be seen checking his notes after an invention attempt goes awry and is rarely without his trademark sunglasses and Trenchcoat.
  • Lucy Liu as Zoë Bean, half-Korean friend, housemate, and occasional camel. She is probably the sanest one of the bunch, often acting as the voice of reason. More often than not, she gets swept up in the group's adventures either entirely by accident or against her will.
  • Ross Higgins as Bun-bun, a mini lop rabbit that was bought by Torg to be the film's cute, talking, furry animal, a role he fills well enough. Unfortunately, he is also manipulative, violent, amoral, easily angered and extremely vengeful.
  • Lucy Davis as Aylee, an alien refugee from another dimension capable of changing form to adapt to current circumstances.
  • Danny DeVito as Squishydodo, a number cruncher for the black op elves. His unit breaks off from Santa Claus after he seems to go insane with rage over Bun-bun, but then Bun-bun takes over the unit to find Aylee and the gang after she accidentally destroyed his Baywatch tapes.
  • Isla Wood as:
    • Dr. Catherine Crabtree, a scientist of highly questionable ethics, sanity, and bodily composition.
    • Kiki, a ferret belonging to Riff. She is a former lab animal who is hyperkinetic with a microscopic attention span.
  • J. K. Simmons as Dr. Irving Schlock, a scientist who originally worked in the same lab as Dr. Crabtree.
  • Sam Witwer as Sam Sein, who used to live in the same apartment complex as Torg and Riff. He had a crush on Zoë, and asked her out several times, but was always rejected. He later became a vampire.
  • Nadim Sawalha as Qaboos Al-Fin, the wealthy head of an exports company.
  • Mark Hamill as Dex and Max
  • Elijah Wood as Fay and Flaky
  • Shelley Calene-Black as Angela and Dr. Haught-Sheik
  • Tom Kane as Bert and the Cavity Creep
  • Steve Buscemi as Mr. Glee
  • Jo Andres as Mrs. Glee
  • John Cleese as Grahammy
  • Andy Serkis as Satan
  • Bobcat Goldthwait, Matt Frewer, Scott Thompson and Ted Dykstra as the Black Ops Elves


  • In a deleted scene where Bun-bun screams after he finds out his collection of Baywatch tapes has been magnetically erased, a Star Wars explosion sound is heard as the camera shakes.


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