Thursday, October 29, 2009
Movie Review-The Haunted World of El Superbeasto
For being described as "a motion picture that would only be entertaining to sociopaths", I would like to take a moment and speak on behalf of the sociopaths of the world in my review of Rob Zombie's broken maidenhead voyage into the medium of animation, The Haunted World of El Superbeasto. Oddly enough, I can't help but be reminded of a line from the graphic novel series, V For Vendetta, to help introduce this zany rumpus of prostate-tickling hilarity: "...They have forgotten the drama of it all...you see, they abandoned the scripts when the world withered in the glare of the nuclear footlights. I'm going to remind them about melodrama. About the tuppenny rush and the penny dreadful...You see, Evey, all the world is a stage, and everything else....is vaudeville."
Indeed, the main stage of this act is occupied by the heroes El Superbeasto (Tom Papa), his smokin' hot sister Suzi X (Sheri Moon Zombie), and her robot friend Murray (Brian Posehn) as they try to repel the villainous Dr. Satan (Paul Giamatti) and his henchman, the speaking gorilla known as Otto (Tom Kenny-none other than the voice of Sponge Bob! ed.) and their nefarious scheme to abduct Velvet Von Black (voiced by Rosario Dawson and described in her intro song as "able to suck the gay off a painting of a unicorn") and make her Dr. Satan's unholy bride to unleash the power of HELL ON EARTH!
Well, fuck me running! I didn't mean to reveal the whole plot in one gigantic run-on sentence, but what that synopsis doesn't reveal is all of the absolutely ridiculous and over the top hilarity and shenanigans that befall El Superbeasto on his way to confronting Dr. Satan. The entire movie (just right at 77 minutes, by the way) is akin to a gigantic episode of School House Rock gone horrifically wrong with tits, Satanism, and dick jokes. The pacing of events is just absurd, with Rob Zombie letting off the gas pedal here and there just enough for you to catch your breath before the next turn to "Who-knows-where?" happens.
One thing that was personally gratifying for me was how the satirical look at misogynism, racism, vile language, sex, and violence wasn't even thinly veiled. The simple honesty of the feature being "what it is" and not chickening out and pulling punches was refreshing. The main attraction of this animated film to me was it's willingness to be just a little different and the "Who gives a fuck?" approach to it's construct.
Now, with all of that being said, no one is going to confuse this with animated masterpieces like Fantasia or use it's name in the same context of Heavy Metal. No one is going to mistake this for high theater or lay out a red carpet for Rob Zombie to accept an Oscar. It's just not what El Superbeasto is about. However, what it does offer is a really neat cast of talents (add Zombie favorites like Danny Trejo, Bill Moseley, and Sid Haig to the aforementioned cast), unique characters, super fun music, and all of the over-enunciated and boiled over imaginative process that Rob Zombie has to offer.
Finally, even though The Haunted World of El Superbeasto personally had me laughing to the point of choking, it's not the film for everybody. If you think you will hate it, you are probably right. If you think you will love it, you are probably right. For those of you on the fence, if you are not emotionally attached to that $4 you have, treat yourself to a tuppenny rush and penny dreadful.