The Emmy-nominated animated superhero series SuperMansion has a special treat in store for fans today: Crackle, Sony’s streaming network, is now streaming the show’s Halloween special, SuperMansion: Drag Me to Halloween. The original special features regularly recurring voice actors Bryan Cranston, Keegan-Michael Key, Heidi Gardner, Zeb Wells, and Tucker Gilmore, along with Jillian Bell and special guests Lake Bell and Phil LaMarr. It’s the latest installment in the hilarious and oh-so-wrong animated series from co-creators Matthew Senreich and Zeb Wells.
Written by Tom Sheppard and Wells, and directed by Nick Simotas, the stop-motion animated special finds the League of Freedom experiencing all the fun and adventures of Halloween. It’s Titanium Rex’s (Cranston) least favorite night of the year, fraught with beautiful ghosts, demonic spirits, evil dentists, and even some unforeseen attractions mixed in. It’s a super-fun, bite-sized short that pokes at some classic horror movies and their tropes while including the flair that makes SuperMansion stand out from the pack. You can watch it right here, or read my review below, though spoilers follow.
This special starts off in the best way possible by mimicking countless “serial killer/slasher chases teenage girl through the woods” movies that have come before it. But while the supernatural killer is certainly spooky in his own right, having taken on the traits of many hook-handed, knife-wielding killers who have risen from beyond the grave to take revenge, it turns out that this is all just a terrible attempt at a scary story by Robobot. How bad is it? Bad enough to get Black Saturn listening to Marc Maron‘s podcast again.
Adding to the fun of this intro, after Rex’s oft-repeated line that he absolutely hates Halloween, is a great opening credits sequence that pays homage to some horror movie classics, creepy creatures, and fantastic artwork of yesteryear. Once it wraps, the special’s story gets going. Viewers get to follow along with four distinct plot lines since the League splits up to go about their own adventures: Black Saturn heads out to a costume party in search of tail, Cooch goes to a local neighborhood where she takes her trick ‘r treating very seriously, American Ranger drops by to visit the pale widow in the 18th century manor that’s suddenly arrived next door, and Rex is left to deal with a computer virus-stricken Robobot.
There’s something to like in each one of these little vignettes. For Black Saturn’s big night out, the payoff comes when he unsurprisingly runs into nemesis/love-interest Groaner while each of them are trying to get laid. The night doesn’t end up quite the way they intended, but fans of the show will see this one coming a mile away. As for Cooch, her solo adventure sees her dressed as a “scary” leprechaun intimidating adults into giving her the proper amount of candy, lest they be tricked. A stubborn dentist tests just how seriously Cooch takes her Halloween festivities, which means that the authorities are certain to get involved (but not for reasons you might expect).
As for American Ranger, his attempt at being a fitting suitor for a Victorian-era ghost eventually goes sour when he realizes she’s incorporeal, making them incompatible. This story might have the weakest arc of the bunch, but it’s got a good spooky factor and one of the drop-dead funniest lines of the entire special. But my pick of the bunch is Rex’s stay-at-home Halloween in which he’s assaulted by a seemingly corrupted Robobot, now possessed by the internet phenomenon known as Slimmerman. This arc has some fantastic nods to The Exorcist, including oil vomiting, a “specialist” called in from the local tech support store, and a very aggressive use of a USB stick. It’s a real gem.
Overall, the special is a short but sweet bit of stop-motion animated parody that SuperMansion has become known for, and it should be a crowd-pleaser for new and dedicated audiences alike.
Be sure to check out SuperMansion: Drag Me to Halloween because you might just find that it’s your new go-to animated Halloween special!
Rating: ★★★★ Very good