Rob Zombie has a fantastic film inside his head. I’m convinced one day he will make it-but for me he has missed the mark in one way or another each time. House of 1000 Corpses? Good fun, some interesting characters but scattershot in the way some of my least favorite films released by Something Weird are. Something to enjoy once and put away. The Devil’s Rejects? I never thought I’d see The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remade in a more self indulgent way than Natural Born Killers. Some nice parts, but not a satisfying whole? Halloween? No. I skipped the sequel in favor of the inevitable “unrated” DVD. I love Zombie’s music and overall aesthetic, so with only a little trepidation I voyaged in to the HAUNTED WORLD OF EL SUPERBEASTO and found what may be the key to that great film being unlocked. Instead of a genre pastiche, we have a fun loving tribute to the movies and images that fuel the imagination of Rob Zombie. And fun is the very core of what makes this movie so entertaining…you will be watching close to catch every reference to horror films or geek culture that assaults your eyeballs with every passing second, but I doubt you can nail them all…I’ll try again, because I really enjoyed this animated feature a lot. And, I’m a big nerd.
El Superbeasto is a d-grade celebrity luchadore who will snap off his snazzy suit to reveal his action suit at the drop of a hat. The only problem is, one nice pair of breasts will derail our heroes like almost nothing else can, except for a tasty plate of titty bar hot wings. Rob Zombie is good people, for I too have noticed that the best comfort foods are prepared at your local strip club. If you have not sampled the food at one of these establishments I highly recommend you do sometime. Even the most hardcore foodie will learn that nothing beats hot sauce under the gelled lights reflected off a golden pole. Anyhow.
El Superbeasto does a little adventuring here and there, but can not resist the allure of the foul mouthed and athletically breasted Velvet Von Black (voiced by an obviously having fun Rosario Dawson). When a gorilla with a smart screw in his head kidnaps her to be the unholy bride of Dr. Satan-things get hairy and Superbeasto luxuriates in to action. Lucky for him he just happens to be related to a real ass kicker, his sister Suzi X. She is busy battling an undead Nazi horde on motorcycles and trying to escape with the pickled head of Hitler. Set to music…
From there on it is frenzy of explosions, erections, breasts and beasts and blood and beautiful beautiful absurdity. You’ll either love it or hate it. Of course, I’m 40 and my son is 4…but we both laugh when he farts in the dark. So, set your humor barometer accordingly.
The Haunted World of El Superbeasto will not enlighten you or enrich your life, but if you are reading a blog like this I’m willing to bet that you are entrenched enough in the collective horror and cult film fantasy world to appreciate some of the film jokes. While they may get submerged beneath the relentless foul language-something that works against Zombie in his other films but fits perfectly here-or the continuous use of erections as a source of humor, they are there. Come on fellas (and ladies), who hasn’t had a chuckle at a B.E.M.H.O. (Basic Early Morning Hard On) at some point or another? I’m attached to one with some frequency and on occasion they are kind of funny. A real standout for me was that Zombie and Papa seem to have fought the urge to go “edgy” with the script for this film. Sure there is a lot of utterly unacceptable situations (and I mean that in a loving way), but instead of just being stupid and tasteless and offensive–they opted for stupid and tasteless and fun. I’m usually one for going as over the top as possible, but for all it’s excesses, there is no moment where you get into the kind of territory that you would just feel uncomfortable.
Again, set your taste barometer accordingly. B.E.M.H.O. Funny.
Watching clips of this film made me nervous-the animation looks still and awkward, but when put in to context it is perfect. The backgrounds and cityscape are designed as if Ralph Bakshi threw up the ideas behind Cool World on an issue of Psychotronic Video and the characters all have lots of personality. The most important part is the voice acting, because everyone is rattling off lines at a rate of speed that would frighten most actors outside of Dora The Explorer. Rosario Dawson is hilariously MexiStripper, Sherri Moon Zombie gets her inner Go Go Girl on and Tom Papa is ideal as Superbeasto. But the show is stolen entirely by Paul Giamatti and his lovestruck, perverted squeak toy dicked DR. SATAN. Sort of like a goofball Coffin Joe on the rampage, this is one of the most hysterical screamers of the cinema that I’ve encountered.
You want something fun to slap on at the end of your adult attended Halloween Bash? You love the length and width of horror geek culture? This one might be for you. And hey…can ANY film that features a School House Rock parody explaining the term “Meat Pole Ride” be all bad? Nope!