I’ve been a fan of Rob Zombie since the mid 90’s when he was only known as the lead singer of White Zombie. Over the years he transitioned from musical front man to movie director with such hits as The Devil’s Rejects and misses like the Halloween re-make. The Haunted World of El Superbeasto marks Rob Zombie’s first foray into animation and like his previous genre films it’s a mixed bag.
The Haunted World of El Superbeasto is actually based on the comic book of the same name created by Rob Zombie. The movie, like it’s source material, is set in a macabre world of Monsterland where humans and monsters coexist and the has-been masked wrestler El Superbeasto (voiced by Tom Papa) is the self proclaimed protector of the city. Between handing out autographed pictures of himself to “fans” and filming porno movies El Superbeasto moonlights as a secret agent with his sister Suzi X (voiced by Sheri Moon Zombie) and her perpetually horny robot sidekick Murray (voiced be Brian Posehn).
While frequenting a ghastly strip club, El Superbeasto, is mesmerized by the new girl on stage, Velvet Von Black (voiced by Rosario Dawson), and after while attempting to seduce her back stage Velvet is kidnapped by a giant monkey to be the bride of Dr. Satan (voiced by Paul Giamatti). El Superbeasto calls upon Suzi X to help him pursue the kidnapper and thus win the affection of the uncouth Velvet Von Black. What ensues is an acid trip of nudity, violence (mostly towards Nazi Zombies) and monster mayhem all in the name of spectacle and shock.
The Haunted World of El Superbeasto is destined for cult movie greatness. It’s a mixture of Grindhouse (with nods to the Werewolf Women of the SS faux movie trailer) and the better parts of Cool World. The animation is well crafted and features jaw-dropping scenes of depravity the likes of which haven’t been seen since Ralph Bakshi’s Fritz the Cat. To say this movie has “nudity” is to do it a great disservice as it seems the film was created to allow the animators to draw as many tits as they want. There is even a great cat fight (with hilarious music that describes the action on screen) between Suzi X and Velvet Von Black where every character in the film stops what they are doing to witness the event.
It should be mentioned that, aside from the abundance of nudity, the most amusing aspect of the movie is the sound track. Most of the laughs you will experience whilst watching The Haunted World of El Superbeasto actually come from paying attention to the lyrics of the music playing during a few key action scenes (most notable are the Nazi Zombie chase scene and the cat-fight scene).
Unfortunately for every great scene or hilarious song there are almost as many parts you will shrug off. The character of El Superbeasto is never really likable and at times even forgettable. I often found myself wishing the movie was called The Haunted World of Dr. Satan as Paul Giamatti really steals the show with his over the top and amusing performance. Still, if you want to try something different, and more adult than your average animated movie, you really can’t go wrong with The Haunted World of El Superbeasto.
The Haunted World of El Superbeasto is a decent animated romp through the twisted mind of Rob Zombie with a few laughs and a whole lot of nudity.
Movie – 3 out of 5
Nudity – 5 out of 5