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STUDIO: Warner Home Video
RUNNING TIME: 111 minutes
- Pilot Episode “Bunny Love”
- Cheeseburger -“Comin’ Home” music video
“It’s just like Willy Wonka, only instead of making candy, he runs a
nightmarish maximum security slaughterhouse.”
Created by Christy Karacas, Stephen Warbrick, Ben Gruber
Starring the voice talents of David Wain, Christy Karacas, Teddy Cohn,
Superjail!, airing on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim lineup, centers around the Superjail, a ridiculously advanced and technologically absurd
prison housing countless inmates who are all in mortal danger. If you
are a resident of Superjail there’s a good chance you’ll meet an
absurdly violent end one way or another. The Superjail is housed inside a
small volcano, which itself is inside a large volcano. The master of
this monstrous hive of pain is an eccentric, mad inventor named The
Warden. Serving under him are Jared, his accountant and right-hand man,
and Alice, a transsexual prison guard and apple of The Warden’s eye.
Rounding out the staff is a sadistic R2-D2 known as Jailbot and the
mysterious Twins, two identical blond males with unexplained superpowers
who make life more interesting by being a constant nuisance to The
Superjail! is a lot of things. It’s brilliant, disgusting, violent,
colorful, absurd, short, feverish, best in small doses, and the hardest DVD review I’ve had to write during my short CHUD career. I have no idea
how to describe why I like this show. No idea where to even begin. It
might make more sense for me to bang my head against the keyboard until
I’ve got a few paragraphs and screengrabs. If I ran my own site, I could
get away with just posting a photo of Robert Duvall getting jerked off
in THX 1138, but for now I must adhere to this format of conveying
emotions with words. I will do my best.
Have you ever watched a movie just before sleeping, and you’re mind
starts to make the transition to unconsciousness before the movie is
over? Then you wake up and can’t tell if the final scene was a dream or
if it actually happened? The first time this happened to me was with
Takashi Miike’s Dead Or Alive. Superjail! gives me the same feeling
every time I watch it, even while I’m wide awake.
The main driving force for all stories is The Warden’s childish sadism.
He really is like an evil Willy Wonka, indulging his inner child’s most
destructive whims (This inner child actually escapes The Warden’s body
in one episode, taking the form of a gremlin wearing a top hat). The
jail’s staff, particularly the sadistic and petulant Warden, have
absolutely no problem with executing or experimenting on inmates for
their own amusement. In one episode they discover an ancient combat
arena under the Superjail and use it to pit the inmates against each
other in an orgiastic bloodbath to rival anything in Caligula’s wildest
Usually around this part of the episode, The Twins appear to try
and disrupt The Warden’s plans, in this instance engineering a being
dubbed Combaticus. This creation proceeds to wipe the blood stained,
sandy floor of the arena with all participating inmates, until the War
God of the arena’s civilization of origin is destroyed and causes the
arena to crumble. It’s just that kind of show. It’s not clear where The
Twins come from, what they do in Superjail, or
why they enjoy tormenting The Warden with their magical powers. They’re
not inmates, they are not staff, but whenever they’re on screen you can
hear a euro-techno beat in the background.
Superjail! is utter madness. If it was a genre I would label it
“Ultra-violent Psychedelia.” The show is only 11 minutes per episode,
but it feels like you’ve had
enough after three. This isn’t to say the show is boring or predictable
(God, no….never predictable), it just leaves you kind of exhausted
after 30 minutes. I still don’t feel I’ve done enough to adequately explain why I like Superjail!, but I hope what I’ve described of the show is enough to get you interested. If the idea of a hardened inmate chewing his own head
off to get out of an S&M dog collar sounds funny to you, give this
show a look. It is the perfect show to end a night of heavy drinking.
Your dreams will be horrible/awesome.
This Superjail!-Season One DVD contains all ten episodes plus the
pilot. You also get 4 complete episodes in animatic form. Topping it off
is a music video for the show’s theme song, “Comin’ Home” from the band
Cheeseburger. I would’ve enjoyed some commentaries myself, just to get a
sense of what twisted breed of evil could think up such a beautiful
nightmare. Though for the price I really can’t complain.
8.5 out of 10