I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Rob Zombie Presents The Haunted World of El Superbeasto

tn_superbeastoAs I’ve chronicled over the last few years, I have mixed feelings about Hollywood filmatist R. Zombie. On one hand I really like some things in all his movies (especially DEVIL’S REJECTS), on the other I hate things in most of them too (especially HALLOWEEN). On one hand I think he has a unique eye and a distinct vision, on the other hand he’s too undisciplined to know when his Kiss t-shirts and kitschy cartoon white trash aesthetic is fucking up the other things he’s trying to do. One minute he’ll win me back on the team (HALLOWEEN II) and the next he’ll get in my face and dare me to change my mind (HALLOWEEN II unrated director’s cut).

So I decided fine, you want to test my loyalty? Then I’ll watch your cartoon. We’ll se where that gets us. And I rented his DTV cartoon presentation ROB ZOMBIE PRESENTS THE HAUNTED WORLD OF EL SUPERBEASTO, allegedly directed by Rob Zombie (although the cartoonists might disagree, I’m not sure).

mp_superbeastoROB ZOMBIE PRESENTS THE HAUNTED WORLD OF EL SUPERBEASTO is a wacky cartoon about an oaf in a Mexican wrestling mask who’s supposed to be some kind of celebrity and is trying to stop a devil (Paul Giamatti) who he bullied in high school from fucking a girl with 666 on her butt (Rosario Dawson) and turning into a giant devil monster. Technically that counts as a plot, but nobody here seems interested in telling a real story. Obviously they just wanted to draw bouncing titties, Nazi zombies, talking gorillas, robot dicks, and caricatures of Universal Monsters and Jack Nicholson in THE SHINING, and this was the way they figured out to connect those dots.

The drawings are your basic TV cartoon following the Ren and Stimpy/Spongey Bob example. Nothing original or that great. The jokes are your randomness-with-occasional-pop-culture-reference style. It really seems like a show that kids could watch if not for the constant boobs and cunnilingess and molester uncle who farts rats. But if I’m not mistaken boobs have already been shown in animation. Zombie is not exactly Charles Lindbergh breaking the sound barrier on that one, in my opinion.

It’s got the Zombie stamp on it, though. You got your horror host intro, your black and white horror movie credits, your voices by Sheri Moon Zombie, Danny Trejo, Brian Posehn, Dee Wallace, Geoffrey Lewis, Ken Foree (as a talking cat/porn director), etc., plus cameos by Zombie characters Captain Spaulding, Otis Driftwood, Banjo & Sullivan, Morris Green, even Michael Myers. And he re-uses the name Dr. Satan. Sheri Moon Zombie actually seems very at home as a cartoon voice. She plays an eye-patch wearing doppelganger of herself who is introduced stealing Hitler’s head from werewolf Nazis. I actually got a few laughs out of her robot sidekick who transforms into vehicles that she controls using his johnson. The joke is that he can’t admit he loves her and she doesn’t realize she’s turning him on when she sits on his face and tugs on him.

Dawson (who you may not remember was in DEVIL’S REJECTS, because her scene was cut out) is also game as the skanky stripper kidnapped by Dr. Satan. The character’s not all that funny, but she gives it a shot. I like when she’s being kidnapped by a cyborg gorilla and she screams, “Can somebody get a monkey off a bitch?!”

The movie is mostly dumb bullshit, but I did really enjoy the songs by the comedy duo Hard ‘n Phirm. The nonsensical concepts are much funnier when explained lyrically, and sometimes the songs almost seem to criticize the movie itself, like the one that complains they probly didn’t ask DePalma and Stephen King if they could rip off CARRIE. I think the biggest laugh I got was during a catfight animated to look real sexy, when Hard ‘n Phirm started singing that it’s okay to masturbate to cartoons because they do it in Japan every day. Then it sort of turns into a patriotic plea for Americans to catch up with Japan on that.

So, on the strength of those songs I’d say ROB ZOMBIE PRESENTS THE HAUNTED WORLD OF EL SUPERBEASTO averages out to mildly amusing overall. Not terrible, but you can’t help but think jesus, you spent a couple years making this? WEREWOLF WOMEN OF THE SS had me worried, HALLOWEEN II brought me back into the “with” camp, but the not-as-goodness of the director’s cut pushed the needle closer to “against.” This is just tedious but inoffensive enough to nudge it to neutral. So we’re starting with a clean slate on the next one. Wow me, Zombie.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 14th, 2010 at 12:10 am and is filed under Cartoons and Shit, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

21 Responses to “Rob Zombie Presents The Haunted World of El Superbeasto”

  1. I may never watch this movie (in fact I absolutely won’t) but I will give Dawson, Giamatti and all the rest a lot of credit for being in it.

  2. Sounds dreadful. Speaking of Japanese porno cartoons…”fucking a girl with 666 on her butt and turning into a giant devil monster” sounds a bit like one of the plots of UROTSUKIDOJI… minus the 666 ass-tattoo. He had some audio samples from it on one of the White Zombie records.

  3. You know, I’ve actually seen (and despised) this movie…but your review sorta makes me wanna give it a second chance.

  4. I actually really like this kind of drawing style, but the film doesn’t sound like anything I can be bothered to watch

  5. Like I said in the Halloween 2 thread, I couldn’t stand to watch more than five minutes of this. Surprised it came out as a “neutral” for you. Hey Vern have you seen Frank Henenlotter’s latest, BAD BIOLOGY? It’s pretty cheap and bad even by Henenlotter standards but it’s got a lot of his usual motifs in it and its encouraging to see the guy still making movies. Also I figure you of all people will get a kick out of a movie where the screenwriter/producer/co-star/rapper (RA the Rugged Man) raps about the movie’s troubled production over the end credits.

  6. I feel like a loser for even obliquely acknowledging this film’s existence. I might remark on what a pathetic, 13 year old-esque sensibility is on display here, but then I would be insulting 13 year olds.

    Please, film studios and distributors, redlight this guy.

  7. I think Zombie’s next feature needs to be a remake of Hard Day’s Night and he needs to open it opposite Robert Zemekis’s Yellow Submarine. Danny Trejo would make an awesome Ringo and Zombie could really alienate a whole new group of people who probably didn’t hate him yet.

  8. For the love of god, someone please find a project that can appreciate Rosario Dawson’s charm. The girl deserves better.

  9. Jareth- I’m sure you’ll disagree with me, but I thought Clerks 2 did exactly that. Whatever that movie’s flaws and there are many no question) Kevin Smith understood exactly what made her adorable and managed to make Clive Owen’s Amazonian warrior woman into someone approachable and loving. She should’ve had starring roles hurled at her after that movie.

  10. Jareth- Also I love your name. Arrested Development for life brother. Or sister. Ambiguity reigns.

  11. I’m sorry, but this sounds pretty awesome to me lol

  12. Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier. Charles Lindbergh was one of the Germans who bombed Pearl Harbor.

  13. Eh this one “had it’s moments” is what we call this one.

    When it first started up I figured it was going to be unwatchable then it just became horrible with the occasional funny gag.

    On the bright side it was nice seeing some real character designs (or at least half-decent derivative ones) for a change instead of the ‘flat’ design crap that is prevalent on television cartoons now-a-days.

  14. One Guy From Andromeda

    January 14th, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    No interest at all in this, but on a sidenote: Hard ‘n Phirm are pretty awesome and have not only the best song about the number pi but also the best video to a song about the number pi – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDu351QNoZE

  15. Brendan – I agree with you completely, both about Kevin Smith “getting” Rosario Dawson, and about the flaws in CLERKS 2. Even the character name “Becky” is perfect for her. It was actually after seeing CLERKS 2, and seeing her promote the film on Letterman, that I really noticed how charming she is.

    I suppose it could be argued that the SEVEN POUNDS people may have had an inkling; I think they failed to capitalize on her beautiful geekiness. JOSIE & THE PUSSYCATS could have been a lot better too.

    And of course I agree with you about ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT. “I’m living up here and if you tell anyone about this, I will fucking kill you. Ah, stop licking my hand, you horse’s ass.”

  16. And then of course there’s her full frontal scene in ALEXANDER.

  17. As Hank Kingsley would say, “Hey now!”

  18. Rob Zombie’s drug trip sequence in the Beavis and Butthead movie was pretty great, he should go back to that style:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCqZCbS9pYo

    (the El Superbeasto drawings look too much like a John Kricfalusi ripoff)

  19. The best Jack Nicholson animated caricature was in an episode of Futurama , when they combined his DNA with the DNA of a gorilla . Damn , a match made in heaven !

  20. Vern bud usually I’m with you on this stuff, but I can only assume you just got laid before watching this piece of juvenille rubbish. I turned it off after the first 10 minutes (something I virtually never do — hell, I even watched 3/4 of UNDERWORLD 2!) a couple weeks ago, but your review was positive enough (well, looking back, not that positive, but it reads kind of positive for some reason) that when I saw my roomate was watching it, I figured I’d give it another chance. Bad mistake. Even worse than I feared. There’s really only one joke in the whole thing, (Murray the robot) which is repeated exactly the same way about 40 times. Everything else is dated, obvious references, self-congradulatory references, wacky voices, and animated tits.

    The Hard ‘n Phirm songs are clever and funny, and obviously opperating on a different level than the rest of the thing, but they’re too few and you have to endure too much painful space in between them to make sitting through the movie worth it (especially since you can see em on youtube if you must). I’m calling this one Zombie’s strike 3. Anyone that would spend the time and money to make something this profoundly unnecessary and insipid… I just can’t imagine that he understands anything about what makes a movie good. Sorry if you’re reading this Rob, maybe you can explain what you were trying for, but if this is how you meant it to turn out… yeesh.

  21. I really like the four real movies Rob Zombie directed, so I watched this movie. I thought some of Zombie’s more outrageous ideas might work well in cartoon form. I love the name, too. When it started with the black and white and the Frankenstein intro homage, I thought I was really in for something awesome.

    Everything after that intro I hated. I have no idea what the character El S was supposed to be, but I could tell that he was supposed to really funny. I just found him to be really annoying. And I found all the other characters to be really annoying, and I found the story to be stupid, and I hated all the songs and little attempts at jokes and pointless pop culture references.

    So, basically, on one hand I hated this movie completely. On the other hand, I don’t think Rob Zombie had much to do with it other than making up the characters. So I just wish he hadnt put his name on it. And that they hadn’t made it at all.

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