Wednesday, September 30, 2009
REVIEW: The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto...
Rob Zombie is in a bit of a skid these days.
Coming onto the cinema scene with House of 1000 Corpses, Rob Zombie has not only made his name as an influential metal artist, but as a really interesting film maker. Following up House of 1000 Corpses with The Devils Rejects made him one of my favorite genre film makers working today. His style and blending of genres (the ending of TDR is basically a nod to spaghetti westerns, for example), is an interesting addition to the world of horror.
However, his last two films, Halloween and it's subsequent sequel, H2, have left much to be desired.
His newest film making outing, The Haunted World of El Superbeasto is an animated attempt for him to regain some sort of respect within the film world, or at least make a film that he truly felt passionate about, which through interviews, one can tell H2 was not that for him.
Better luck next time Zombie. Better luck next time.
The Haunted World of El Superbeasto follows El Superbeasto, who is a celebrated wrestler and action hero who appears to be coasting on his considerable fame. Far more interested in sex and substance abuse than saving lives, he leaves most of the heavy lifting within his company, BeastoWorld Enterprises, to his buxom sister Suzi X. Theirs is a world filled with monsters, madmen, and the occasional foul mouthed stripper. As his sibling takes on hordes of Nazi zombies, her horny mechanical robot companion Murray right beside her, Beasto falls head over heels for a tantalizing tramp named Velvet Von Black. Unfortunately, some one else has his eye on the slutty sperm bank as well - the diabolical Dr. Satan. This villainous little turn, desperate to get his full blown dominating demon on, needs Velvet as part of some unholy marriage ceremony ritual. Once wed, he can take over the world. Beasto decides he will step in and save the day. Of course, as with many of the beefy masked grappler's plans, it will require a lot of help from Suzi, fate, and pure cinematic coincidence.
The idea of Rob Zombie being behind an animated feature had me more than a bit excited. Through in obvious call backs to the history of horror films, the surrealism of Ren and Stimpy (a favorite of yours truly) and a voice cast to die for (including Paul Giamatti), this had the pedigree to be truly amazing. And man oh man, was it not.
The biggest problem with this film is that it's not funny.
The film can be classified as a comedy, more so than a horror film, and in that, comes the need for laughs. This film is that kid in your Story Making class who says seemingly innocuous statements, continues to laugh at them, and then does nothing when he notices that you aren't laughing with him. Oh, and you are stuck with this f***** for 77 minutes, or the equivalent of the time it would take for you to drink a gallon of bleach, and feel the effects. The film tries so hard to make the viewer laugh by throwing the random set of tits, testicle jokes, and songs about zombie Nazis in hopes of getting any sort of emotion out of the viewer. I guess in that sense it succeeds, because I did feel something. Complete and utter sadness knowing that I could have spent the past 77 minutes putting knives in my eyes, with a better outcome. At least then I would have had a story to tell.
The voice cast for this film can't even save this mess. The biggest saving grace is the aforementioned Giamatti, who is doing his best Shoot 'Em Up, over the top, voice, which makes his character, Dr. Satan, the only true bright spot. His hamminess is fun to watch, and his interchanges with his hench-monkey are the only points where you may feel an emotion irking towards a giggle. Rosario Dawson is one note, that note being sh**, Sheri Moon Zombie again proves she can't act, even when shes not on screen, and Tom Papa comes back from his horrible turn in the Informant!, with this fellow horrible turn as the titular Superbeasto.
The only long standing saving grace that this film has is the look. This will hit the, or at least some sort of, spot for fans of shows like Ren and Stimpy, and Rocco's Modern Life. It's very surreal, insanely over the top, and shocking reminiscent of other X-rated cartoons like Fritz The Cat. It's a blast to sit through, just throw the thing on mute, to get the best outcome.
Ultimately this film is desperate. It's desperate to get you to love it. It's jokes are one note, that note being that Superbeasto is an egomaniac and sex fiend, and it gets pain inducing slow, right after the opening, Frankenstein inspired credits. It attempts to be really smart by throwing in interesting and often times dated (in a good way) pop culture references, but in order to keep the too-young-to-rent-the-dvd demographic, it throws in some tits and ass to keep the boys-with-lobotomies from switching over to The Hills, so they may get their intellectual fix (frat guys, I'm staring you down). Just avoid this film. Really, avoid it.
THE HAUNTED WORLD OF EL SUPERBEASTO - 1/10
Here's the trailer
Go see something good!
Your number one spot for a daily dose of movie information. From reviews to top 10's to random news and notes, it's all here at I Are Movies.