The Amazing Screw-On Head

The Amazing Screw-On HeadAnother comic from Mike Mignola makes it to the big small screen. It should have been the big screen, but no one’s going to spend more time driving to the cinema than they’ll spend watching the feature. Hell, the previews last longer than 22 minutes these days. Regardless, it’s a big shame that most of you will never see this.

Mike Mignola is the writer/artist that brought us the fabulously successful Hellboy. Anyone who actually saw the comic book will recognize the signature style and palette in the animated The Amazing Screw-On Head–as well as the trademark steampunk/sf/horror themes. Those themes are rendered in The Amazing Screw-On Head with no punches pulled.

At the cranksThose of you who paid attention in US History class will remember that President Abraham Lincoln started the Secret Service, along with setting a wonderful precedent for suspending habeas corpus during war-time and inventing other “special rules” for preserving National Security — which is just like a Republican.

[I don’t know who’s reading this that I’d have to say this to, but I’m not one of those Confederate Battle-Flag wielding loonies we get out in the woods around here. I don’t have much use for slaves. Or bigots. But weaving the carpet that all kinds of governmental travesties get swept under was a BIG mistake, and I don’t appreciate it. I don’t know Abraham Lincoln personally, but I have the feeling that if he knew what Grant, Harding, Nixon, and Bush Jr. were going to be bringing to the table, he would have been a hell of a lot more careful.]

Monkey wrenchIn any case, Screw-On Head is a hero who, like a Secret Service agent, reports directly to Lincoln and helps keep the (fragmented) country safe from supernatural and advanced (heh) technological assault–particularly from his ex-manservant-turned-low-budget-immortal Emperor Zombie.

Screw-On Head is inherently ludicrous, starting with his anatomy–based on interchangeable mechanical bodies and a metal-encased (possibly robotic) head with a threaded neck–and moving up through his G.-Gordon-Liddy-as-a-Killer-Boy-Scout modus operandi. However, it’s Emperor Zombie’s educated and joyfully glib banter that steals the show. Again and again and again. It’s freakin’ hysterical.

What a throw!It’s easy to cast Screw-On Head as the rudimentary beginnings of The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense from Hellboy‘s backstory. That notwithstanding, Mignola say’s he’s completely done with Screw-On Head and has no dreams of adding more tales to the storyline. Apparently he got all the gags he wanted to perpetrate out of his system in this story. Those who want more will have to go find Will Smith/Kevin Klein/Kenneth Brannaugh’s Wild Wild West movie, I guess. (If you rent that with your credit card, the Department of Homeland Security is bound to put you on some list or other. I heartily recommend you use cash for anonymity purposes. There’s no way you want that rental on your permanent record.)

From the personnel file: GungI don’t know where you’ll have to go to find a copy of Amazing Screw-On Head. I live in Atlanta, and I found a copy at Videodrome, on North Avenue and North Highland on the border between Little Five Points and Virginia Highlands, East of Midtown. If you have a favorite independent rental place, I recommend checking there.

Better yet, buy yourself a copy. You’ll probably stop re-watching it shortly after you’ve completely memorized the dialog and run out of friends and relatives you haven’t already forced to watch it two or three times. So it goes. When you’re done with your copy, be a trooper and mail it to me, and I’ll make sure it finds a good home.

On the White House lawnIn the meanwhile, feel free to chop up those MP3s I linked above so you can make custom ringtones for your phone. I can’t think of a better way to advertise for an amazing movie than having friends and strangers ask you “What the fuck was that?!” every time your phone rings.


July 3, 2007 · by xalieri · Posted in reviews  


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