THE AMAZING SCREW-ON HEAD
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
David Hyde Pierce
What's it about
According to President Lincoln, there are two versions of history: one true, and one false. The true one involves his ultra-secret warrior, the Amazing Screw-On Head, who can attach himself to several awesome things to become a truly versatile and unique hero. This version of history, the truth, was to remain only in one book, to be unopened by humans, until now.
Is it good movie?
This is a truly beautiful piece of work, and to not have been picked up by the Sci-Fi channel is a true crime. Would you like to know a bit more? Well, for one thing, the pilot episode is completely animated by Mike Mignola, the man who brought you Hellboy, and it's simply gorgeous. The light and dark parallels and old-fashioned looking style is a true treat for the eyes.
The episode's plotting and pace are manic, creative and hilarious, all at once. Our hero is sent after an ancient artifact called the scroll of Gung, and has to deal with Emperor Zombie. Did I mention the monkey with a gun, the evil monster contained in a turnip, and Screw-on Head's old lover who has since become a vampire? Yeah, that's how original and completely crazy this whole thing is. And it is awesome. It checks in at only 22 minutes, and you're bummed as can be when the credits roll. How could this not have been picked up?
I couldn't go on in a review about this DVD without mentioning the fantastic voiceover cast. Paul Giamatti, Patton Oswalt, Molly Shannon, all fantastic, bringing emotion and hilarity to their roles. Stealing the show is David Hyde Pierce as Emperor Zombie, who is just simply top notch. Big ups to that crew for their hard work.
I can't say enough good things about this decidedly adult pilot cartoon. If there would have been more episodes, maybe I could critique a bit more, but as it is, I loved what I saw.
Video / Audio
The Amazing Screw-On Head is presented in fullscreen and 1.78:1 widescreen, and looks simply delicious.
Audio is in glorious 5.1, sounds nifty.
We get an Audio commentary with director Chris Prynoski and writer/executive producer Bryan Fuller, which is chock full of information, but these guys tend to sound a little bored, or boring.
There's also a Storyboard Comparison which compares the storyboard, the animatic and the final product, very cool stuff.
From Comic to Cartoon: Making The Amazing Screw-On Head is a short (15 minute) feature that is a standard making of, unfortunately lacking any real input from the voice actors, aside from a few shots in the studio.
Want trailers? You get Happily N'ever After, The Invincible Iron Man and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (the original stuff!).
The Amazing Screw-On Head is an irreverent, intelligent and fast-paced steampunk adventure. It rocked my socks, and although the extras were a little underwhelming, there's a lot to be said for something that had only one episode. Check this out if you're into animation at all. It's gloriously awesome.