Superjail!: Season One (2007)
By: Devon B. on June 16, 2010  | 
Madman | Region 4, PAL | 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced) | English DD 2.0 | 107 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Creators: Ben Gruber, Christy Karacas, Steve Warbrick, Aaron Augenblick, Chris Burns, Michael M. Wartella
Voices: David Wain, Teddy Cohn, Richard Mathar, Christy Karacas
Country: USA
External Links
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A promotional quote for Superjail states it will appeal to fans of Metalocalypse. I was a bit leery of this because Superjail sounded very violent, and while Metalocalypse is also extremely violent at times, it is essentially a character driven piece. I was worried that Superjail would be an inferior rip off trying to be funny with bloodshed, and for some reason I've never found splatstick amusing in animated form. It's not as bad as I braced myself for, but it's no Metalocalypse.

A plot synopsis is pointless for Superjail, just as it would be for Aqua Teen Hunger Force, but here's some overview. Most episodes begin with Jailbot, a robot that works for the gaol, arresting the sleazy criminal Jacknife. Jacknife is then taken to Superjail, which is run by a warden who's very reminiscent of Willy Wonka. I did a little research, and saw him referred to as a sadistic, selfish Willy Wonka, but I think a case could be made that those are both traits Wonka possessed, so at times the differences are marginal at best. The warden wants his prison to be unlike any other, and part of making that vision come true seems to be having wacky plans that usually end in people getting ripped apart whether that was the initial intention or not. The warden's plans and schemes make Jared, the long suffering accountant, sweat profusely with worry, and given the warden's record that seems quite reasonable. It's not all the warden's fault, though. Two twins, who sound European and sport magical powers, cause havoc whenever they take more than a passing interest in the happenings of the prison. There're a few other less prevalent but still recurring characters, but anyone else you see on screen is fair game for a wet demise. It's not all gore, there's romance as well. The warden has his eye on Superjail's guard Alice, a very tough, only slightly feminine woman whose boobs jiggle out of synch. Each episode has a different scenario, but regardless of the set up, it's a safe bet it will end in carnage.

Superjail is not really for fans of Metalocalypse; it's just a cartoon for adults. This may seem like a "Well, duh" statement, but what I mean is it's similar in tone to old cartoon shorts, it's just the violence is more graphic, there's a bit of actual sex as opposed to just sexual tension, and there's the occasional bleeped curse word. The set ups and jokes may be too extreme for Warner Brothers, but Bugs Bunny's antics wouldn't have felt too out of place in Superjail. A lot of Superjail's humour comes from bloody deaths, so it might appeal most to fans of Itchy and Scratchy.

Superjail is a weird show, but is nowhere near the weirdest on the Adult Swim line up. In one episode the warden invades people's dreams, which in a different show might open the floodgates for odd things happening, but the dream stuff isn't a great departure from the show's "reality." It does give the animators the opportunity to mess with the design templates, but other than that, I wouldn't have even blinked if the dream set pieces had happened when everyone was awake.

The show isn't boring, but I didn't laugh much. There's a quick reference to Yellow Submarine, and Superjail's certainly trippy, so maybe viewers that watch it while on drugs will like it more.
The animation is a bit rough, betraying that Superjail is not a big budget animation show, but the presentation here is fine. The image is sharp and clear.
The audio's a 2.0 English track, and it's completely serviceable.
Extra Features
The extras are the pilot episode, which features the most explicit gag of the series; a video clip for the theme song; animatics for the pilot and three other episodes; and trailers for other Adult Swim titles.
The Verdict
I wanted to laugh more; a few chuckles across the entire series isn't enough. I remained engaged enough with the series that it wasn't a chore to watch, but Adult Swim has produced better.
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score

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