Squidbillies (2007)
By: David Michael Brown on March 11, 2008  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Madman Entertainment (Australia). Region 4, PAL. 4:3. English DD 2.0 English Subtitles. 230 minutes
The Movie

Creators: Jim Fortier, Matt Maiellaro, Dave Willis
Starring: Daniel McDevitt, Dana Synder, Unknown Hinson, Matt Maiellaro
Writers: Jim Fortier, Dave Willis, Jon Wurster
Country: USA

The aquatic life of the squid and the redneck world of Jerry Springer is not a combination that often springs to mind but after a few episodes of the completely insane Squidbillies it, strangely enough, seems like a perfect match. It soon becomes perfectly natural to see squids wearing trucker caps, drinking, swearing and causing havoc on dry land.

The first episode sets up the life of the young squid Rusty and how he finds his family. His mother, the town tramp, has a penchant for sleeping with aquatic and reptilian creatures in small, enclosed places. She disowns the poor squid when he is born and he is left to find his father. Trying to find meaning in his life he takes up various jobs including a hilarious stint as a hairdresser that ends when he melts a clients head with acid while trying to give them a perm.

When he finds his trailer trash family, our now mullet wearing hero is delighted, if slightly scared. Early Cuyler, his dad, with a trucker cap for every occasion, is a hard drinking mollusk with an eye for the ladies, or anything that moves for that matter. Violent, rude and obsessed with Patrick Swayze, Road House in particular, there has rarely been a more repellent and hysterical character portrayed on the little screen, his every moment is comedy gold. Early's sister Lil, complete with Headwig and the Angry Inch style bouffant hairdo, is happier with the bottle than caring for her newly aquired 'son' and Granny squid pushes herself around on a zimmer frame twice her size spouting gibberish wherever she pushes. The series follows their adventures; its quite amazing what a squid can get up to with a shot gun, some chewing tobacco and an attitude.

The animation style is highly stylised and fairly juvenile, obviously a squid walking and talking is not the norm, let alone uttering the foul diatribes that vent from the mouth of the squid family. The only humans in the show, Rusty's mum, the sheriff and Patrick Swayze are all grotesque parodies but the overall look of the show is fantastic. Apart from the swearing and promise of squid sex there is plenty more to worry any parents wondering if this cartoon is suitable for their toddlers. Gory violence, racism and many other redneck favourites are packed into every glorious episode. In reality there is nothing new about Squidbillies with the exception of the combination of underwater critters and the Deep South but despite this it's a refreshingly outrageous and manically addictive show that will have you reaching for the controller to get to the next episode.
The simplistic style of animation looks fabulous, Madman's Adult Swim series, once again gives us a perfectly watchable transfer that is colourful, sharp and clear.
There is plenty of good old boy rock and roll to test your speakers and the sound mix does a good job that is typical of the Adult Swim series.
Extra Features
One of the best extras on this packed 2 disc set is the Anime Talk Show hosted by Adult Swim star Space Ghost and featuring two of their finest animated creations, Early the Squid and Meat Wad from Aqua Team Hunger Force.

Back When They Were RV and Donny: Early Squid Sketches is a mixture of sketches and artwork during the inception of the show.

Star Bar Squidbilly Circle Jerk joins the makers of the show at a bar discussing the making of Squidbillies and the recording the redneck rock that accompanies the squids alcohol fueled mayhem.

The makers of the show introduce Five Unmade Pilot Episodes from Hell that are played out using anecdoted script pages and the vocal talents of the animators to bring the characters to life.

Unknown Hinson, Animation Master, Cartoon Craftsman is a rather silly live action spoof showing Hinson running around with stick on sideburns.

Finally a hilarious Comic Con 2004 trailer and a flurry of deleted scenes top off an excellent disc.
The Verdict
South Park made squid; Squidbillies is a hilarious look into the trailer trash lifestyle of the Deep South of America through the eyes of a foul-mouthed cephalopod family. If you've spent hours laughing at the sad figures who frequent the stage of Jerry Springer, you will love Squidbillies. After years on Chinese menus, squid is fighting back.
Movie Score
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