STUDIO: Adult Swim
MSRP: $29.98
RUNNING TIME: 230 Minutes
• Hidden Interviews and Clips

The Pitch

if the biggest pop band in the world had the power to affect economies,
precipitate military conflicts and define global taste? Now, what if that group
was a death metal band made up of Scandanavian and American dullards?

The Humans

Small; Tommy Blancha; Mark Hamill; Victor Brandt

The Guest Humans…*

Hetfield; Kirk Hammet; King Diamond; and Andy Richter

*…that you could get
excited about if their personalities were perceptible instead of just filling out the

The Nutshell

hates you and wants you to die. That doesn’t stop a planet’s worth of fans, though. They suck up
every product the band can defecate, building the group into an unlikely global
powerhouse with an income that surpasses that of Belgium. Each of the 20 episodes
in the first season of Metalocalpyse chronicles the moves of Dethklok and
parodies pop culture at the same time. Celebrity status, relationships, fawning
media and Metallica’s Some Kind Of Monster all get a crack. But every jibe is
delivered with good old fashioned decapitations, disembowlings and destruction
of all shapes and sizes, plus a great fake Swedish accent.

The Lowdown

grandfather used to harp all the time about ‘double-talk’. He’d ask if the book I was reading had a lot of double-talk in it, and I never knew exactly
what he was talking about. But I know his ears would shit spiders in vain self-defense
were a moment or two of Metalocalypse
to invade his dead auditory devices. I’m pretty sure this is what he meant.

Early concepts for Ratatouille had a different spin.

is a vile, mean, 100% irredeemable show that is also one of the funniest things
on television. Despite those qualities it doesn’t pander to the lowest common
denominator. This isn’t the scatological drug humor of Aqua Teen or the retro
vibe humor of many of Adult Swim’s other mainstays. As far as I’m concerned
this is the unheralded gem of the network’s lineup thanks to an old-fashioned
concern for character and story.

Halo 3 screenshots are getting out of hand.

the band Dethklok, Brendon Small has manufactured six entertaining little
homunculi from hair and fingernails scrounged from true metal performers. Nathan
Explosion, the uneducated, moronic singer. Toki Wartooth, the nice but
repressed guitarist and Skwisgaar Skwigelf, the flamboyant lead shredder with a
taste for large women. Pickles, the alcoholic drummer from Wisconsin, and
William Murderface, the bass player whose father committed murder/suicide with
his mother and who’d like one day to start his side project, Planet Piss.
Number six is the band’s unnamed manager/lawyer, who is also the comedic secret

show never loses site of a basic goal (Be Brutal!) but in the meantime the members
of Dethklok are great characters with very distinct personalities. There hasn’t
been a better parody of band life and music performance on television; this is
animated Spinal Tap, with far more disembowlings. The only thing we’re
not frequently asked to endure is band practice, and I always skipped that

probably goes without saying that enjoyment of the show will increase
immeasurably if you think metal is awesome.

Well cared-for metal hair: so brutal.

Small, the show’s creator, loves metal. More than you. He plays all the show’s
music (some of it amazingly catchy, much of it very funny, especially with this
set’s subtitles activated for better lyrical understanding) and fosters an
environment where goofy nods to semi-obscure bands proliferate. But he also
knows how absurd metal is, and no episode ever misses a chance to lambast the
‘serious’ side of the music: pompous side projects; show-off drinking; and
constantly, the self-important notion that a dumb metal band can be more brutal
than anything else.

also had a great, goofy idea: to pit the band (albeit unwittingly) against a
cabal of political, religious and military leaders led by a strange overseer. This
gives the show a thin story framework and, over the course of the first season,
allows a sort of conspiracy to brew both against the band and within the cabal
facing them. A host of supporting characters also make walk-on appearances,
like the chef who is torn apart by a helicopter blade before being sewn
together wrong (“Great song title!” exclaims Nathan Explosion) and the producer
who loses his eyes while recording the band’s underwater masterpiece, but
sticks around as their own Bob Rock.

Practicing on the road would be easier if Skiwsgaar used a regular metronome instead of that guy’s penis..

a couple episodes disappoint, primarily ‘Religionklok’, in which bass player
William Murderface (elsewhere the spokesman for a line of doorknobs called
Murder Knobs) nearly dies and tries to find religion to salve his soul. It’s
predictable and, more sinfully, as boring as Saltines. ‘Fatklok’, where the bad
adopts a fat retarded kid ‘for charity’ should also be able to get me to spew
out the handful of chips I’m compelled to force into my gob every thirty
seconds while watching a show like this. Didn’t happen.

rest of the season is more successful than it has any right to be at lambasting
celebrity culture (‘Girlfriendklok’ is a standout there) as well as media,
television news, fandom and the stupidly insular nature of being in a
self-absorbed media sensation.

Great song title.

would all be great even without the wonderful doses of violence, which push the
show way beyond the bounds of good taste and into the realm of shows that make
me giggle uncontrollably. Faces get impaled on diamond codpieces, Larry King is
brutalized and bloodrocuted, people are smashed, shot, knifed, exploded, turned
inside out with Dead Alive glee. What a fantastic show this is.

The Package

a note: all the ‘fucks’ and ‘shits’ from the show are still bleeped (with a
sound that sounds kinda like flubbing a note in Guitar Hero) and a few details
are optically censored. Most of the time these edits enhance the comedy, so I’m
fine with the episodes as they originally aired.

here’s where I’m not terribly thrilled. The two-disc set’s artwork and features take the
‘Black Album’ route, which is to say it gives less rather than more. The review score would be higher if there was more to this set than a thin collection of extras.

have to hunt for the extras, albeit not very hard: just arrow up when in the
main menu screen of either disc to highlight areas in the logo. None of the
clips are staggering; many are culled from a faux interview done in the band’s
green room, and without story context, a lot of their incoherent mumbling is
funny only for a moment. The other clips, like the ‘extended tour of Mordhaus’
are built mostly from footage recycled out of full episodes, making the extras
less than a treasure trove of new material. The best extra is an extended
outtake from the Thunderhorse video, with Swissgar unsuccessfully tying to mime
fucking a hot blonde model from behind. Even that one goes on way too long.

say that true fanatics might enjoy this stuff, but then I realized that I
probably count as a true fanatic, and most of it was very ho-hum. Here’s hoping
that doesn’t auger bad things for Season Two.

8 out
of 10 for the show.

No banana sticker for the DVD set.