Fans of Rob Zombie have been waiting years for his animated movie The Haunted World of El Superbeasto. Well, the Beasto is finally upon us. Was it worth the wait?
El Superbeasto is the result of many hard years of work. Based on a comic book series by Rob Zombie, as well as written, produced, and directed by Zombie, El Superbeasto is an amalgamation of talent from every end of the spectrum. The story follows the sex-crazed Superbeasto (voiced by stand-up comic, actor, and co-writer Tom Papa) and his hot sister Suzi-X (voiced by Sheri Moon Zombie) as they attempt to bring down an evil mastermind known as Dr. Satan (voiced by Paul Giamatti in one of his best roles). The film itself is rather light on plot and very heavy on violence, vulgarity, nudity, and some softcore porn style sex scenes. This is certainly not one for the kiddies.
The very first thing that jumped out at me was the animation style. Both of the primary character designers who worked on the film also worked on Ren and Stimpy. Even though the film obviously takes cues from many different television shows and movies, the majority of its animation and camera angles seem to be pulled right out of a Ren and Stimpy episode. In addition, many of the monster designs are reminiscent of monsters from The Power Puff Girls, a show which one of the two character designers also worked on. Here are some (but not all) of the shows which we saw referenced through the film, either in animation style, individual scenes, or character animation/design: Ren and Stimpy, The Tick, School House Rock, Looney Tunes, Scooby Doo, Rainbow Bright, Power Puff Girls…the list goes on. In addition, many characters from various cartoons and even from some of Rob Zombie’s own movies make an appearance. The cameo by Capt. Spaulding (yes, voiced by Sid Haig) was especially awesome.
Visually, the DVD transfer is solid. Colors pop off the screen, animation is smooth, and each character seems to have infinite facial expressions. Action scenes are fast moving, however still remain crisp and clear…you won’t ever have trouble being able to tell what is going on. Lip syncing is done quite well; I was surprised to see that there was only one member of staff who was credited with lip syncing…they did a phenomenal job. While all of the voiceover work is fantastic, Paul Giamatti as Dr. Satan definitely stole the show for me. Had I not known ahead of time that it was Giamatti doing the voice work, I definitely would not have thought it was him. The intonation, the voice itself, the “feel”…none of it seemed like something Giamatti would have done, but he obviously had a blast doing the voicework (as did seemingly everyone else involved.)
It’s been years in the making, and while it may not be what you would expect from Rob Zombie, The Haunted World of El Superbeasto is a hilarious, awesome movie. Check your morals at the door, sit back, and enjoy the show.