February 6, 2008

The Amazing Screw-On Head


Reviewer: Monica Peck
Rating (out of 5): ***½

This 22 minute animated short based on Mike Mignola's award winning comic book has quickly ascended the 'steampunk' cult classic ladder. Ripe with 19th century banter, mystical artifacts, and technological anachronyms, The Amazing Screw-On Head takes viewers back, then sideways, to a time when the world was simpler, and yet, more bizarre.

It's no wonder that Mignola of Hellboy fame, won another Eisner Award (the "Oscars" of the comic book industry) in 2003 for The Amazing Screw-On Head under Best Humor Publication. And this is a rare brand of humor - surrealist, ironic, tongue so deep in cheek it hurts - coupled with campy plot-lines: a missing manuscript, a vile zombie villain, and a taste of apocalyptic horror. A wealth of talented comic performers add to the fun, including Molly Shannon, Patton Oswalt and Paul Giamatti. Built as a television pilot, the film stands very well on its own--perhaps too well for producers to see a series, hence the lack of follow-up from SciFi/Pulse. Producers Bryan Fuller and Jason Netter, with director Chris Prynoski and Mignola as art director, successfully matched the look and feel of the comic, much to the satisfaction of fans. In fact, the loudest complaint seems to be that television executives dropped the series. Still, there hasn't been an official word on the subject, so perhaps we can continue to hope for another installment.

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Posted by cphillips at February 6, 2008 4:42 PM