Although I really love his bands White Zombie and Rob Zombie, Robert’s movies are very… Fuck, I can’t even find a word to describe it. Sometimes it’s not enough that you are a movie fan to be a successful director. Based on his comic book, The Haunted World of El Superbeasto does not have a solid plot or a story but is more a series of adventures of El Superbeasto, a testosterone packed superhero on his exploitation adventure. This is not a movie for everyone but somehow I think you already knew that. Intentionally sleazy and over-the-top, this is one of those passion projects done from the heart. And you can feel that throughout the flick.
His blue Lucha Libre mask looks relatively innocent, but I assure, he is not. There is a lot of nudity and violence with a decent amount of gore present and the style of animation reminds me of Drawn Together. Hitting every possible sub-genre that has been neglected or found to be too distasteful during the years, Zombie mushed all those different influences into this movie. I am betting that the younger audiences will love it! Especially if they’re metal fans (you know what I mean) and even more especially if they like Rob Zombie’s music. Fuck me, I just remembered how cool was seeing the video for Dragula in the middle of Idle Hands. And not to mention Beavis and Butthead.
If you’re looking for movies that are like this one only not animated I recommend you check out Robert Rodriguez’s Grindhouse, Machete, Hobo with a Shotgun and WolfCop. That is, if you’re looking for modern movies. And if you want to go back to the original ones, check out Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, Coffy, The Street Fighter, Blood Sucking Freaks and others.
Jokes are crude and there is a lot of toilet humor, but I guess that’s plus. So be prepared to see an unusual flick that should be treated as an actual comic book that’s somehow alive. I think that the effect would be better if the style of animation resembled more Heavy Metal (1981). So check out the trailer and you will know is this the movie for you.
If like dismemberment, nudity, comic books, exploitation, and animation chances are you are going to like The Haunted World of El Superbeasto. With a runtime of just 70 minutes, it’s a perfect warm-up movie. And it has so many horror movies references that you will constantly be on a lookout for cult characters.
One final thing: I had to revisit this review because this type of animation along with a zany and brutal story really took off in recent years making this movie much more important than I initially thought. Made ten years into a new century, it symbolizes the rise of the pulp and the destruction of “wholesome” animation. Adult Swim championed this rise although the real roots can be found in Cartoon Network’s programming.
And one more final final thing: I wonder if our society will evolve past the usual norms of decency and in doing so make this movie a timid and toned-down affair. I can’t help but remember when Fry puts on Sir Mixalot’s I Like Big Butts song and Leela walks in and says you can’t be sitting in the dark listening to classical music. Ahhh, what will future bring, I wonder…
Director: Rob Zombie
Writers: Mike Bell, Joe Ekers, Tom Klein, Mr. Lawrence, Joe Orrantia, Tom Papa, Carey Yost, Rob Zombie
Cast: Rosario Dawson, Danny Trejo, Sheri Moon Zombie, Paul Giamatti, Clint Howard, Tom Papa, Ken Foree, Harland Williams
Fun Facts: Rob Zombie’s wife Sheri Moon Zombie voiced Suzi-X.