STUDIO: Bill Zebub Productions
MSRP: $12.95
RUNNING TIME: Longer than it has any right to be.
• Deleted scene
• Strip tease (w/ a real live girl)

The Pitch

"It’s Robot Chicken without the V-chip!"

The Humans

JT Petty, Rocco Martone, Jen Russo, Jeanne Potter, Ed Bowkley, Craig Pillard.

The Nutshell

A bunch of action figures attempt to parody current events, familiar movies, genre tropes, and celebrities on a budget the size of my video game allowance. They should have bought Psychonauts instead.

The Lowdown

Three huge things that the creators of Dolla Morte should be aware of:

1) Juvenile humor is not something that happens automatically when you’re too lazy to craft a real joke. It’s not like there’s this scale of humor types, with juvenile crap at the low end and Eddie Izzard at the other, which is weighted by the amount of time you put into writing. Bathroom jokes require a skill to pull off, otherwise they’re just "that thing this one guy said it was funny i can’t remember it but man it was really funny". It’s more as if there’s this scale, weighted again by time and effort, with humor at one end and Dolla Morte at the other.

…of the concept of parody.

2) Parody also requires effort. Putting a figurine of the president behind a pulpit and having him claim that our wars are not holy, per se, isn’t inherently funny. It’s one of those things that we’ve all done, in the backs of our heads, and which we only let out when it’s late at the bar and we’re trying to impress the horn-rimmed ingénue with the Anti-Flag patch.

3) Being offended by anything in this movie would be like being offended when a special-ed kid calls you "funny looking." Parroted sentiment isn’t offensive.

There’s no plot in Dolla Morte, just an endless string of listless faux-humor. If the creators had put half as much time into the writing of the flick as they did in the creation of their artificial semen — or, hell, just tossed ideas back and forth while they were mixing the come up — it might have turned out differently.

As it is, these guys would have been better off just filming a division of G.I. Joe figures getting bombed by M-80s. (Note: if they do this, I will buy a copy.)

"I’m George W. Bush, and I approve of brain tumors."

The Package

The equipment these filmmakers employed was pretty bargain-basement, so expect that kind of audio and video quality. The equivalent of matte work that’s used for some of the special effects results in mosaics being painted around the action and semi-transparency on the figures. The soundtrack gets distorted at the hint of high-decibel recording.

As for bonuses, you get a deleted scene (think about that for a second) and a strip tease from some other Bill Zebub production called Metal Radio. Guess what? They made the strip tease boring. Holy crow. Maybe these guys are some kind of anti-fun geniuses. They’re deconstructing our favorite past-times to expose our shallowness and depravity!

2.5 out of 10