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The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto (2009)

DVD Cover (Anchor Bay)
Genres:
Animated Action, Animated Comedy, Animated Feature Film, Animation, Creature Film, Parody / Spoof
Director:
Rob Zombie Rob Zombie
Starring:
Joe Alaskey Joe Alaskey
Ken Foree Ken Foree
Tom Papa Tom Papa
April Winchell April Winchell
Dee Wallace Dee Wallace
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5.9 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: October 01, 2009
Rob Zombie is one of those directors that you either love or hate - there's not much of a middle ground with his style and artistic vision. You either love his obsession with filthy white trash characters and his constant nods to the grindhouse classics... or you demand your money back before the credits roll. Personally, I like the man's work. I think House of 1000 Corpses was a damned fine film, The Devil's Rejects was one of the best horror films of the last decade, and his Halloween remake, while not better than the original by a long shot, was a lot better than most remakes. I haven't seen the second remake as of this writing, but aside from that, he has a pretty solid track record in my eyes. El Superbeasto, however, was the one that I had the most doubts about. Sure, it's based on Rob's comics, and because of the budget, he was basically able to do what he wanted with it. However, I'm not much of a fan of animated films, and the subject matter itself didn't exactly scream out "must see" to me. Still, I checked it out because it had Zombie's name on it, and the results... well, you know the drill by now.

Taking place in "Monsterland", a land where all of your favorite movie monsters and madmen roam free, tonight's tale shows the adventures and exploits of El Superbeasto (voiced by Tom Papa), a washed-up luchador wrestler who now directs and stars in porn films. He's still got it when it comes to barroom brawling and charming the ladies though, and it's a good thing, as he's about to find himself having to save the day when local stripper Velvet Von Black (Rosario Dawson) is kidnapped. As it turns out, Dr. Satan (Paul Giamatti) has sent Otto (Tom Kenny), his genius ape henchman, out to kidnap her as she is branded with the mark of the beast... that being the number 666 on her ass. His goal is to bring her back to his underground fortress and marry her so that he can transform into an all-powerful demon and rule the world.

On the other side of town, Suzi X (Sheri Moon Zombie), Superbeasto's sister, is an ass-kicking femme fatale who is currently up to her neck in Nazi zombies after stealing the bottled and very-much-alive head of Adolf Hitler from them, and with the help of her robot lover Murray (Brian Posehn), she attempts to keep them at bay. When she hears that her brother has found himself in a bit of a pickle, she decides to take a break from slaughtering the Nazis to join her brother in his fight for truth, justice, and a little piece of stripper pussy. Only from the mind of Rob Zombie, folks.

Everything about this film is so over-the-top that there are actually times where you find yourself wishing that they had toned it down a bit, and really, that's the only negative thing that I can say about it. This is not to say that I had a problem with the rampant nudity, violence, profanity, and everything else that one could perceive as being shocking, but it's hard to appreciate the humor behind the creature from the black lagoon giving underwater head to the bride of Frankenstein when that immediately segues into Superbeasto attacking a giant demon with an old man's pendulous balls. Those of you with a short attention span will love this film, but I think it could have been infinitely better had there been someone behind the wheel who could rein Zombie in a bit from time to time.

On the positive side, you will find a lot to love in here if you share Zombie's high regards for the horror genre and exploitation sleaze in particular. Not a scene goes by where classics from the genre aren't being referenced (subtly and not-so-subtly), and yes, all of Zombie's regulars show up for at least a scene or two. Sid Haig reprises his role as Captain Spaulding, Bill Moseley shows up as Otis, and there are even brief appearances by Dee Wallace, Danny Trejo, Cassandra Peterson, Ken Foree, Tura Satana, and many other b-movie stars. As a horror geek, I have to say that I had a huge smile on my face watching these appearances and nods, and I have a strong feeling that most will feel the same way.

The animation and art are both handled exceptionally well, and the voice acting is just as good. Sheri Moon Zombie in particular is quite good with her part, and even though it's easy to crack jokes about Rob constantly throwing his wife a leading role in all of his projects, I can't fault her for anything she did in this particular release. Rob Zombie's style of filmmaking will truly be the thing that makes or breaks this film for you. Have you liked his other releases, and do you enjoy the general feel of his films? You'll love this one if so, but if not... well, you won't.

Overall, I personally enjoyed the film. It's not a perfect movie and it's not even Zombie's best release, but it's still an entertaining flick that I could see getting some replay value. I think a 7/10 sounds about right.
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