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‘The Amazing Screw-On Head’ **** 031607 DVD Review
The Work = ****
Based on a comic book bike Mike Mignola, the same artist that created the ‘Hellboy’ comics, the show is a caomedic, sfi-fi, horror, adventure show that has a sort of free wheeling style. Set around the time of the Civil War, ‘The Amazing Screw-On Head’ follows the adventures of Screw-On Head (Paul Giamatti). Head is literally a disembodied head that can screw himself into various robotic bodies and go off on adventures. Employed by President Lincoln to keep the supernatural and otherworldly under control and secreted away from the population of America, Screw-On Head is the last line of defense against hidden evil. The set-up is a launch point for all kinds of adventure and this episode has no less than a zombie, a werewolf, and a vampire (amongst other creatures).
If there is a disappointment I have about previous adaptations of Mignola’s ‘Hellboy’ franchise, it is that they never quite captured the look and feel of the comics. In the case of the feature film ‘Hellboy’ it is a bit more understandable because of the change of going from a comic to live action. However, when it came to the animated ‘Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms’ a bizarre contractual obligation caused the filmmakers to literally change the style of the cartoon away from Mignola’s comics. While I still liked the film, I didn’t like it nearly as much as I think I would have had the filmmakers been able to stick closer to the comics look and feel.
Fortunately with ‘The Amazing Screw-On Head’ there does not appear to be any such restrictions. Capturing Mignola’s style is a tricky business but director Chris Prynoski and crew handle it well. Not only that but the show thankfully does not shy away from showing a bit of blood, (very) brief nudity and the occasional adult oriented joke. Sure everything in ‘The Amazing Screw-On Head’ is harmless but the tone keeps the pilot feeling like it is not necessarily for the kiddies.
Assembling a surprisingly solid body of performers, ‘The Amazing Screw-On Head’ has the talent to sell the fun dialogue. In addition to Giamatti, the pilot also stars David Hyde Pierce, Molly Shannon and Patton Oswalt who all do a great job despite not necessarily being known as voice actors. Everything just clicked for and I found myself wanting more (which isn’t surprising, the pilot is only 22 minutes). I’m not going to hold my breath but I do keep hoping that someone will foot the bill to make a season ‘The Amazing Screw-On Head’. The show could go anywhere and if the cast and crew could keep the quality up I think it would be quite the show.
DVD = ****
All Together = ****
'The Amazing Screw-On Head' Links:
My review of 'Star Wars Clone Wars' can be seen HERE.
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