I always find it fascinating when an actor or a movie Director steps out of their comfort zone to try something new. A classic example that I think of is Martin Scorsese, who followed up the masterpiece that is Shutter Island with a film adaptation of the children’s book “The Invention Of Hugo Cabret.” [Hugo] Hugo wasn’t a bad movie at all, it’s just that it felt so much more different than what we came to expect from Scorsese. The same could be said for Rob Zombie: who was working on The Devil’s Rejects, which was violent, filled with gore and filled with inappropriate themes such as necrophilia; when he came up and started working with the concept/art for the animated movie we’re talking about today:The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto. When it was first released, it came with very mixed reviews: saying things like “it’s way too inappropriate” or “it’s not funny – it’s sick and perverse!” Some people even said it deserves an X-rating! Even fans of Zombie‘s work weren’t entirely happy, I remember reading some reviews saying it was disappointing..but I have to say otherwise – though, maybe I’m bias. As with most things I talk about, expect spoilers; because I really couldn’t say much if I didn’t spoil it. If you’ve seen the film, or you are perfectly fine with spoilers – we’re starting..right after the jump.
Let’s start from the beginning: the plot of The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto is completely different than what we’re used to from Rob Zombie; because instead of a murderous family, [The Fireflys] we find this film to be a comedic homage to horror, action and exploitation films…it’s also animated! The plot isn’t really anything special, but it revolves around a super-hero luchador, the titular El Superbeasto who, along with his sister Suzi X, must try to save the world from the evil Dr. Satan, [but not this Dr. Satan] who plans to try and gain ultimate power by having sex with an swearing, big breasted stripper by the name of Velvet von Black.. Also, Nazi Zombies are in the film, because they can be. seriously. But you know what? I like it – it’s different, and the fact that it’s an animation makes the whole thing feel goofy, and I like that it isn’t trying to take itself too seriously, even the music is only there as a way to tell the audiences what is happening during that particular scene – It’s like it knows it’s a parody, but there’s one true reason I love this movie so much, what is that reason? If you’re curious enough, you should read on!
The single greatest things about the film is that it includes [many] cameo appearances by many iconic horror figures including King Kong, Dracula, The Bride Of Frankenstein, The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, Michael Myers and The Creature From The Black Lagoon! Even Jack Torrence from The Shining makes an appearance! If that isn’t enough, we also see two very special characters from Zombie‘s previous work, House Of 1000 Corpses; Captain Spaulding and Otis B. Driftwood in the bar scene. [don’t believe me?] Zombie‘s wife, the [extremely] beautiful Sheri Moon Zombie also provides the voice for Suzi X. Also, while not strictly horror film, The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto is notable for its genre casting, which includes many [voice] actors who have appeared in Rob Zombie‘s other works such as Ken Foree, Dee Wallace, Sid Haig, Bill Moseley and even Danny Trejo! It really shows Rob‘s dedication to the genre of horror, placing them in his film[s] as an homage – which works really well! It feels like he’s paying them tribute, almost thanking them for being an inspiration!
I guess realistically though, The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto isn’t the most fantastic film on the planet. It’s [really] good, and it’s a fun cult film to watch if you need something ‘scary, but not really scary’, but I wouldn’t go as far as to call it my favorite Rob Zombie film, because that title still is held by The Devil’s Rejects. So now I turn to you, dear reader: have you watched El Superbeasto? If you have, what were your thoughts on it? Did you actually enjoy the film, like I did; or did you find it disappointing – like many fans of Rob Zombie? Let me know in a comment or two! Leave it to Rob Zombie to have a smokin’ hot blond hide out as a werewolf Nazi.. I mean, I’m confused how I feel about that!
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