The Haunted World of El Superbeasto (Blu-ray)

Based on his comic, Rob Zombie's first feature-length foray into animation is certainly not for kids. This vile, nonsensical film is 100% fun that will have you at one of the three ends of the enjoyment spectrum: being totally head-over-heels in love, hating it, or, like me, taking the middle ground on this warped comedy.

The Haunted World of El Superbeasto is set in the mythic Monsterland, where, quite literally, the majority of the inhabitants are... well, monsters. We follow our bumbling hero El Superbeasto (Papa), a has-been Mexican wrestler, as he teams up with his gun-toting, eyepatch-wearing sister Suzi X (Sheri Moon Zombie), to save a stripper (Dawson) from the clutches of an eloquent gorilla (keep up) who works for the evil Dr Satan (Giamatti) (I've lost you). Dr. Satan intends to make the stripper his 23rd wife, while El Superbeasto's intentions are quite clearly sexual. Oh, and don't forget that Suzi X has a robotic sidekick who she joins forces with to double team zombie Nazis in a bid to steal the pickled head of Hitler! And breathe.

The at times cringeworthy humour certainly pushes the boat out when it comes to boundaries, but it's a bit hit and miss really. A lot of the time characters are speaking so fast that you can barely understand the gags. Other funnies are often milked throughout the film which can get very tedious. It has some fun animated cameos by characters from not only the world of horror, but Rob Zombie's past films as well. I don't want to spoil the surprises, but I will tell you that there is an extremely pointless cameo of Michael Myers being ran over. That was a little annoying because it's randomness wasn't funny, at all, just forced and rather self-indulgent on Mr Zombie's part.

I would in no way suggest that this film is laugh-out-loud funny, but it'll definitely bring out a few hearty giggles amongst fans of this kind of deranged humour.

EXTRAS ** Feature-length animatic, deleted scenes and thirty minutes worth of alternate scenes. For some reason, the DVD contains the trailer and a stills gallery, while the Blu-ray does not.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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