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DVD Review: SQUIDBILLIES: VOLUME FIVE



Studio: Warner Home Video
Year: 2012
Cast: Dana Snyder, Unknown Hinson, Daniel McDevitt, Todd Hanson, Bobby Ellerbee
Director: Dave Willis
Release Date: August 07, 2012
Rating: Not Rated for (adult themes)
Run Time: 02h:04m:00s
Genre(s): television

“Ooh, that’s just pathetic…ain’t it Jesus?” - Granny (Dana Snyder)

SQUIDBILLIES: VOLUME FIVE

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I'm a huge fan of a handful of Adult Swim shows, but this is one I've yet to see even a single episode of. What better excuse to finally do so than via Warner's fifth DVD collection.

Movie Grade: B+

DVD Grade: B-

I’m a die-hard fan of Adult Swim’s Aqua Teen Hunger Force or whatever that show is being called these days (it was retitled Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1 in 2011 and Aqua Something You Know Whatever in 2012). Similar in nature, and, more importantly writer/creator, Adult Swim’s Squidbillies, is a show that I, shamefully, had yet to see until this DVD showed up at my doorstep. Partly-helmed by one of Aqua Teen’s creators, Dave Willis (the other man in charge is Jim Fortier of The Brak Show fame), Squidbillies can’t quite hit the same outrageous comedic highs as Aqua Teen, but these incredible misadventures of a family of redneck hillbilly squids (not a typo) living in Appalachian Georgia are still a heck of a lot of fun. Warner’s single-disc Squidbillies: Volume Five DVD is an excellent collection of episodes that can serve as either more of the same great stuff that long-time fans know and love, or as a perfect introduction to a series that I, for one, am now going to pay much more attention to.

While the world continues to turn, The Cuylers: Early (Unknown Hinson), Rusty (Daniel McDevitt), and Granny (Master Shake, himself, Dana Snyder), continue living their sorry existence deep in the heart of Appalachian Georgia. Sure, they’re in-human squids who do the most idiotic, destructive things you can think of, but aren’t we all? This fifth DVD collection of episodes actually consists of what’s loosely considered to be Season Six of Squidbillies, and it begins with the hilarious Snow Daddy. Rusty is in hog heaven as he’s met/made a mystical snowman, who isn’t exactly as friendly as Frosty, as this snowman spends most of his time berating Early’s parenting techniques. Velvet Messiah is a showcase for Early, as he swipes Granny’s portrait of Jesus, and embodies it, leading her to believe that she’s actually in his presence.

Next up is Asbestos I Can, where Early is addicted to the titular substance, and, in the face of death, is granted a series of last wishes by the Sheriff (Bobby Ellerbee). Class of ’86 takes us to a 25th High School Reunion, which finds Dan Halen (Todd Hanson) doing all he can to keep Early from attending the big event, The Big E focuses on Early becoming a radio guy named “Big E” after he almost kills the real radio DJ, and Keeping It in the Family Way initially involves Rusty’s first sexual experience. Early is after the same girl, and, when Rusty finds out that she’s pregnant and has gone to live with her mother, more facts come out that show that they might be part of the same family tree. Needless to say, this is one of the heavier, arguably bleaker episodes of Squidbillies.

In Ballmart, the Sheriff lands Granny and Early jobs at Dan Halen’s new Ball Mart mega store, and The Pharaoh’s Wad is all about Early’s addiction to the titular Video Poker machine. This was my favorite episode in this collection, as it, like most of the series’ best, perfectly blends outrageous humor with some actual heady, almost heart-breaking plotlines. This is far from Lifetime Channel dramatic fare, but it just adds a little something to the comedic insanity at times. The last two episodes are Return of Gaga Pee Pap and Trucked Up!, with the former focusing on Gaga Pee Pap, who, on the verge of death, has come home to make peace, and, of course, “get” his family one final time, and the latter involving Early reminiscing about his days as a rebel trucker called The Scrambler.

Warner’s DVD is a solid effort, beginning with the 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen video presentation, which is surprisingly good, with bright, vivid colors throughout and no print flaws at all. The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio is also impressive, with the show’s music populating the surrounds, and crystal clear dialogue blending in quite nicely. The extras collection includes a 12-minute collection of “Art & Music,” which is a series concept art images with an accompanying soundtrack of music from the show. There’s also a five-minute segment that focuses on the numerous guest musicians that contribute to Squidbillies, as well as a Bonus Digital Video Discisode! Trucked Up 2: Glenn’s Revenge, which is, indeed, a bonus episode of the show. Finishing things up is Trucked Up 3: The Scrambler Revealed, a nearly 12-minute, comprehensive behind-the-scenes look at what goes into making an episode of Squidbillies.

Posted by: Chuck Aliaga - September 14, 2012, 4:49 pm - DVD Review
Keywords: impoverished, dysfunctional, squids




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