Monday, January 18, 2010

Wacky Film: The Haunted World of El Superbeasto

I won't lie to you. I like Rob Zombie. I have not seen all of his movies, and don't like all of those I have seen, but the man is a real throwback. He is kind of a William Rotsler to Tim Burton's Luis Buñuel, in that Buñuel made Belle du Jour, and Rotsler made The Agony of Love — the same story, one told with surrealism, the other with exploitation.

Zombie's The Haunted World of El Superbeasto is an animated film based on the comic of the same name (also by Zombie). El Superbeasto (voiced by comedian Tom Papa) is a washed-up luchador turned crime-fighter in a world similar to the Neitherworld of the animated Beetlejuice. His sister Suzi X (Sheri Moon Zombie) is the more professional of the duo. Their ultimate battle is against Dr. Satan (Paul Giamatti) who has kidnapped stripper/gold-digger Velvet von Black (Rosario Dawson) in an attempt to become all powerful through an unholy union. Along the way there are zombie Nazis and demon mutant women to thwart.

As a story, it is nothing new. There are a lot of great nods to horror's past. At one point you see an organist who looks like Vincent Price, then his face falls off and is clearly Dr. Phibes. Possibly the best part is Rosario Dawson's foul-mouthed ghetto hoochie Velvet von Black (below, with Dr. Satan). It is like Dawson is channeling Samuel Jackson playing a stripper, and she is hilarious.

There are some great cameos, like Tura Satana briefly voicing Varla from Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, Sid Haig as Captain Spaulding from House of 1000 Corpses and Casandra "Elvira" Peterson makes an appearance.

Is this one 100% terrific? Not really, but it is enjoyable. The most annoying part is Suzi X and her robot sidekick Murray (voiced by the normally great Brian Posehn). It is a dirty cartoon... Well, full of T&A and rough language, so hide the kiddies. It is worth a rental for sure.


Unknown said...

I like RZ as well, and like you, I'm not a fan of 'everything' that he has done. I thought this one was just so-so. Not a complete waste of time, but it seemed like it could have or should have been much funnier. A lot of the humor was kind of Junior High--while I'm not above low-brow humor, it still has to be well written. It did have a few really great moments though.

Darius Whiteplume said...

Sorry about my lateness here.

I think Giamatti was wasted a bit here. He has a lot of crap lines. Suzi X bugged me to tears.

They definitely tried, though. I watched the deleted scenes, and some of them were in dire need of cutting, so thumbs up to the editing team :-D

Too bad no one lived up to Dawson.

"I think I left a nickle on stage. I'll just donate it to the sad ass ho fund."

She killed me.

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