In the words of Mase and Mick, the latest Search clip is ‘so sick!’
From the moment Red Monkey Full Moon starts rolling, it’s clear it’s a cut above what we’re used to being served in the world of internet surf clips. The animated intro – which undoubtedly takes some inspiration from The Big Lez Show – does what any good storyline-based surf film should do: give us just enough of a premise to kick the surfing into gear. In this case it’s Mick and Mason in an apocalyptic (but sadly not unforeseeable) future where the ocean has been reduced to a puddle and there’s nothing better to do than drink beer and wish they were back living better days.
Cue the red monkey full moon and suddenly that wish has been granted and we’re back in Indo in 2019 – and what a sight she is. Desert Point at full throttle, every camera angle covered, an Aussie Crawl howler providing the score, and Mick and Mase trading barrels as only two world-class surfers can. This section comes at you with an energy and power you don’t often feel watching surfing on your computer screen. It positively hums – the unbeatable combination of timeless surfing in timeless waves set to a cracking tune. The contrast between Mick’s and Mase’s styles couldn’t work any better together. Mick is poise and grace, every limb in its perfect place and every movement perfectly executed. Mason is something else altogether. His tuberiding at Deserts, while not always pretty, has to be some of the most expressionistic ever performed. It’s wild and manic and incredibly functional. By the time this section comes to a close the froth levels are well and truly up.
A short skit follows. Tube talk and Bintangs and both guys looking cooked from gorging themselves on mind-bending barrels in the tropics. Really just a brief means to get from one surf scene to the next. But with a cinematic edge to it. A palpable madness that in a moment of exaggeration a surf journalist might say brings to mind Scorsese or Ford Coppola.
Then Keramas. Mick, Mick, Mick. That rail-work is still better than 99% of surfers on the world tour. Correction: 99% of surfers who’ve ever surfed. In a league populated only by guys with multiple world titles to their name. Mase gets a couple too. Some nice barrels and a couple of lofty airs captured up close from the water. A short section, but the kind that gets you oh so keen to surf.
Another skit follows, lighthearted and fun, and then we’re looking along with Mick and Mase at an absolute freight-train of a left keg unloading across the screen. Kanduis ;) . Fuck me, what a wave. And what a section that follows. Children Collide laying down the tune, Mick and Mason laying down a masterclass of tuberiding in the type of waves that would humble the majority of us in a heartbeat. Mick in particular is incredible, showcasing just how phenomenal a backhand tuberider he became over the course of his career. This is the peak of the eighteen-minute film, the crescendo, and it’s bloody marvellous.
The whole film is marvellous. And all over it – from the humour to the Aussie rock soundtrack to the surf-stoked vibe that permeates throughout – is Vaughan Blakey’s grubby fingerprints. The man has nailed it. Rip Curl has nailed it by giving him the director’s chair. I’m calling it, Red Monkey Full Moon is the best surf clip to come out all year, maybe all last year too.
Do yourself a favour and catch it before it goes offline.