With a title so confident and matter-of-fact as Hot Tub Time Machine, the film succeeds primarily because it does exactly what it says on the tin. What it lacks in wit, it makes up for in spades of screwball delights and sheer over-the-top lunacy. It’s coarse and honest, paying homage to and poking fun of its influences directly, as if asking: what if Back to the Future was crude, profane, wrapped in spandex and pumped full of glam metal?
The opening and closing sequences are a set of hilarious bookends that introduce the story and then finish it off with neon style. Created by Garson Yu, Synderela Peng, and a team of designers at yU+co, the opening sequence is a brief tour through hot tubs of yore, incorporating classical art history, stock photos, and original photography shot specifically for the film. “We also stayed true to the aesthetic of the time with a colour palette and a logo that has a decidedly ’80s feel to it,” says Art Director Synderela Peng.
The closing is a much more elaborate affair: a main-on-end sequence that perfectly parodies the classic Mötley Crüe music video for “Home Sweet Home” but, of course, with Lou (Rob Corddy) in the role of lead singer Vince Neil.
To this, yU+co adds freeze-frames laced with hot pinks, greens, and blues, tiger stripes and leather, lightning and lasers, and not a little sparkle. It’s an electric and rousing end to a film that takes its joy from living in the past.
Title Design and Animation Studio: yU+co.
Creative Director: Garson Yu
Executive Producer: Carol Wong
Art Director: Synderela Peng
Design Team: Wayland Vida, Kaya Thomas, John Kim, Gary Garza, Miguel Rodriguez, Osamu Shishime
"Turn Up the Radio" by Autograph
"Home Sweet Home" by Mötley Crüe
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