Posted in: Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on November 8th, 2012
My favorite genre of music to make fun of is Metal (even though I like listening to it). As an example, This is Spinal Tap, the best musical mockumentary ever, we learn that metal can be freaking hilarious. That’s why when my webmaster offered me Metalocalypse Season Four on Blu-Ray, I eagerly said yes even though I had only seen the cartoon once or twice. However, once I opened it up, I realized before me was perhaps one of the funniest dark comedic cartoons I have ever seen.
This site has not really touched this series since Season One, so I will go ahead and go over the basics. Metalocalypse is about a band, possibly the world’s greatest death metal band, Dethklok. This band has become so successful that they are considered the seventh largest economy in the world. Dethklok consists of five members: Nathan Explosion (lead singer), Skwisgaar Skwigelf(lead guitar), Toki Wartooth (rhythm guitarist), Pickles (drummer) and William Murderface (bassist).
This band has the most rabid fans that anybody has ever seen. They are willing to be injured and even killed to get a chance at seeing their favorite band in action. Dethklok usually obliges but mostly on accident and since they are so popular they almost never seem to suffer any major repercussions for their heinous activity. But making music is not all that Dethklok does. They are normal band guys who love alcohol, debauchery, and other crazy acts of aggression. We will soon lay witness to their greatness.
As we enter season four, we learn that Nathan is dating one of his fans for the very first time. Her name is Trindle and she absolutely loves everything about Nathan. However, the band knows nothing about her and knows that this situation is going to end badly. Meanwhile, the band takes up smoking. In other festive news, Dethklok is working on their new album and is expected to turn the economy completely around with amazing sales.
Let’s just say that the relationship with Trindle goes about as well as the band thinks it would have. We will say that Nathan finds out in a most unfortunate way that the chick has a thing for Nathan or anybody who looks like Nathan. Moving on, the lead singer decides to create a new catchphrase, “That’s doable.” However, at the press conference for their new album, they are accused of racism. This soon propels them on a series of free concerts as an attempt of outreach to their fellow fans.
The concert does not go so well when the band accidentally dons apparel that is just a tad inappropriate. It also does not help that Murderface has a little of bit of mustache malfunction. However the band escapes and move on to releasing their album that will hopefully rebuild the global economy. But what happens when Pickles and Nathan go on their “Friender Bender” and tequila is involved? Let’s just hope that Nathan is not left with any special musical merchandise.
I had seen a couple of Metalocalypse episodes very early on in the Adult Swim universe. In the early days, the show was unpolished and actually a little too juvenile for my tastes. However, here in its uncensored glory, the show is extremely funny. I am not saying that cursing and relentless blood splatter makes all the difference. Actually cursing and blood splatter does make a whole heck of a lot of difference. This show is so wonderfully adult and is not afraid to show off its brilliant dark humor that it is a true delight to watch.
In addition, the laughs are smart and even though some of this humor is clearly juvenile, it never dips into the kiddie pool for its laughs. The show’s only downfall in my opinion was that sometimes the smart jokes seem to hold on to long waiting for a laugh or waiting for a point. Metalocalypse is at its best when it is quick and crazy with its laughs. IWhen it decides to linger is casual fans forget what the joke actually is.
The video is in 1.78:1 widescreen presentation in 1080p resolution. I really like the look of Metalocalypse. It is what I would describe as classic cartoon style upgraded for the 21st century and HD. Of course, it could be the thrill of blood and guts as well as the occasional female naked breast too. But seriously, this cartoon looks really good and there are hardly any imperfections to really elaborate on. Except that Pickle’s hair really freaks me out.
For the audio portion, we get a 5.1 True HD Dolby Digital soundfield. Dethklok’s claim to fame is the music and we get to hear plenty of it. It’s bombastic; it’s loud, proud with lots of bass and guitars. The only minus is that the dialog sometimes gets lost in the giant background sound. It’s not too bad, but it does happen. Surrounds are well used and this is a thrill to listen to. English Subtitles are included.
- Nathan Reads Shakespeare 4: A Comedy of Errors 1:27:55: This could be the greatest extra ever or perhaps the worst. Basically Nathan is reading the Shakespeare play: A Comedy of Errors as if it were one of those books on tape. Murderface is in charge of recording. Except that we hardly get any Shakespeare. We get Nathan commentating and then going off on these insane tangents. The best tangents include Rock of Ages as well as Bug’s Life as well as him trying to talk through Murderface’s snoring. But it really does go on forever (about 70 minutes followed by 20 minutes of credits) and is drop dead hilarious if you love sarcasm and dark wit.
- Pickles Flyby 9:29: Apparently, we are going on a trip with Pickles. He appears to be in a glass elevator of some sort as he travels from scene to scene and makes little to no sense at all talking about each piece of scenery. Not that should surprise anyone. Also, he has the day off if you did not know.
- Stares Down 1 0:24: Skwisgaar and Toki do a stare down.
- Stares Down 2 4:54: And again. Feel the intensity kids, its going on overload. Somewhere in the middle of this we get a decrepit train guy making noises. Don’t ask. It’s creepy and I wish we could get to the next one.
- Stares Down 3 1:02: One more time, with feeling..aka the rubber match. Just for the record, the word dildo is said a lot.
- Murder Thoughts 4:04: Enter the mind of Murderface after some face mask alteration. Be afraid. He does not know what it is like to be handsome. Issues, issues.
- The Prophecy 2:09: The prophecy is foretold, and it is pretty messed up. And epic too.
- Dr. Rockzo’s Greatest Hits 2:02: Dr Rockzo is a very scary clown. And these are his greatest hits. I think Hot for Tacos is my favorite. He gotta get paid and he does cocaine. Yeah, I don’t get it either but its funny.
- CFO Raps 1:55: Everybody’s favorite CFO for Dethklok raps a little diddy.
- Dethklok Fan Art 4:49: Some good and not so good art from the fans. Also food decorations are involved. And hand puppets. However, I am wondering why a lot of them decided to give the characters crazy pecs syndrome. And they love portraying them as gay as well. Nice…wholesome…creepy.
- The DethGame 7:04: It is the Dethgame Game Show, yeah!!! Two superfans face off. Needless to say they torture the male superfan and lavish the female one with lewd comments and appreciation. Okay, they decide to torture the female eventually too.
- Credits Page : A real credits page of people responsible for this little delicacy.
The fifth season of Metalocalypse is currently in production according to the cast. With four seasons and sixty one episodes under its belt, this show does not appear to be going anywhere. With their share of real life fans and endorsements (from Gibson to Marshall), this cartoon can only get bigger and better. The fourth season shows that the dark comedy can stay fresh as long as they keep it brilliant and keep it quick.
The disc is also done very well technically. Video and audio are highly above average and the list of special features include one extra that could be the best thing I have ever seen. As with any show, I would normally recommend that you start with the first season, but perhaps here maybe season three would be a better idea. This show keeps getting better and better and I look forward to re-discovering many episodes of Metalocalpyse from here on out. Enjoy.