A publicity campaign for Aqua Teen Hunger Force recently caused panic in Bean Town. Now the movie Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters threatens to destroy us all with its abstract comic assault. One sober viewing of the movie, which is premised on the need to explain how Meatwad, Frylock, and Master Shake first met, is impossible to tell if its one for the ages (like, say, Pootie Tang), but it’s tempting to give this motha the benefit of the doubt for its denunciation of the prevailing standards of cartoon art. Unlike Family Guy‘s vocabulary of random acts of violence, absurd anecdotes, and pop culture references, the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie is never predictable. Its language of image and sound rejects everything, so completely and violently divorced from any normal concept of narrative thinking it becomes Dadaesque. The musical number that prefaces the movie proper, in which a band of badass concession-stand items play a metal song about movie-theater etiquette, is unquestionably the shit. Alas, the rest of the film is not so easy to defend, given its almost total lack of coherence. Against the panic of an Insanoflex exercise machine that wrecks the story’s burb to the tune of a hilarious teen-pop anthem (“I Like Your Body”), Meatwad, Frylock, and Master Shake learn of their origins via a series of strange confrontations with Dr. Weird, his assistant Steve, two-dimensional fucktards Ignignokt and Err, and the homoerotic posse of Oglethorpe, Emory, and the Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past. Always commenting on its own hare-brained self, the film gets its shits and giggles from burning chickens, a shirt that reads Girl Quest 2007, exploding kittens, a Phil Collins song in the air tonight, references to head cheese and bull semen, a getaway vehicle that never gets away, and star-shaped transitional wipes (with breathy audio accompaniment) during a crucial explanatory montage. Like the video cassette system on the back of someone’s head, which a character wows to by saying, “It’s like David Cronenbergian up in here!,” this jambalaya of pop clutter, more perplexing than humorous in its insane brinkmanship, never stops boggling the mind. A second viewing with a joint in hand awaits to determine if its fierce comic bombardment means it’s either the worst movie ever made or an act of movie-film revolution.
I noticed some combing around Master Shake's lid at various points, but the rest is clean as a whistle. The sound is explosive, and though there is no significant difference between the 2.0 and 5.1 mixes during dialogue-driven scenes, the latter shows its muscle when the Insanoflex makes its techno-harping appearance.
When you're stoned and you casually comment that the lyrics to one of Aqua Teen Hunger Force Movie Film for Theaters' songs is evocative of Patti Smith, the mind boggles when the punk poet chanteuse shows up to shoot the shit about the film (she even says hi to me-or, rather, someone named Ed-at one point). Joining Smith on the disc's commentary track is Todd Hanson, Dana Snyder, and Fred Armisen, who does the voice of Time Lincoln in the film. (Also making a special appearance is the singer's son Jackson, who introduced her to the movie one morning at a New York theater, where some man, recognizing her but forgetting her name, could only think of Patti LaBelle.) Smith bogarts this fabulous sit-down to appropriately abstract effect, drawing hilarious tongue-in-cheek references between the film and Godard, Simon of the Desert, A Beautiful Mind, Good Will Hunting, and James Whale, saying someone should release a puzzle inspired by Ignignokt's vomit before recalling how her mother transitioned rather effortlessly from doing puzzles of Winslow Homer landscapes to puzzles of Jackson Pollack drip paintings. Stick around for Smith's impromptu performance of "Napkin Land," and do not miss her rationale for why white-colored turd is more offensive than the fresh brown kind.
The commentary track is the icing on the first disc's allotment of extras, though it's strange that you can only access it through the set-up menu. Other features on the first disc include the original theatrical trailer, an alternate trailer, the hilariously oversized sizzle reel, a rather lengthy art and music gallery, a 3D reel by Jon Schnepp, and the awesome "The Thing We Shot Wednesday Night," which is basically a summary of everything (script reading, voice recording, molding comic rhythms in the editing room) that went on during a particular Wednesday in October back in 2004. Disc two's tour de force is an alternate version of the movie that presents the story in a more coherent fashion, with approximately 15% never-before-seen material and alternate dialogue sprinkled throughout. It's well worth the experience, especially to marvel at all the offensive anal-centric gags that were justly omitted from the release version. Even if you don't want to sit through this alternate version, check out the eight deleted scenes for Master Shake, who presents the omitted material in new interview footage. Also available on disc two: 10 alternate endings ("Wonderman" is tops!), nine whole music videos, and a bunch of promos.
Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters for DVD likes your booty, even if you're not gay.