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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Vol. 6
Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Vol. 6
Warner Bros. // Unrated // December 16, 2008
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Ian Jane | posted December 21, 2008 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
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P R I N T
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The Series:

A milkshake named Master Shake, a box of French fries named Frylock, and a wad of meat named Meatwad live in New Jersey, next door to Carl, their grumpy human neighbor whose interests include above ground pools, cars, eighties arena rock, and pornography. Together, they are Aqua Teen Hunger Force, though honestly why they're actually called this isn't really important as they don't spend much time underwater nor do they actually fight hunger. Whether or not they're teens or not is also debatable. At any rate, they've been entertaining those of us with cable on The Cartoon Network's Adult Swim program for a few of years now and gone on to gather a sizable cult following. They also came to some notoriety a few years ago when they got into trouble with the law in Boston. On top of that, they've starred in their own theatrical movie and Playstation 2 video game - amazing when you think about it. What we have now is the sixth compilation of episodes from The Cartoon Network/Warner Brothers, in the form of Aqua Teen Hunger Force Volume Six, compiling thirteen brilliant episodes (four of which have never been shown before) of the show over two DVDs.

None of this material really makes any sense at all, but all of it is damn funny even if it's really difficult to explain to anyone who hasn't seen it just exactly why that is... it's one of those shows that either works for you or it doesn't. There isn't really any in the middle zone to hide in here, as it's all very abstract and off the wall. We are, after all, talking about a series that revolves around a box of French fries that shoots lasers out of his eyes, an obnoxious and perpetually horny milkshake, and a talking ball of meat...

Disc One:

Robots Everywhere: When this episode starts, the three members of ATHF are missing in action and Carl is showing the house for Markula. A group of robots decide that the place would be perfect for them, especially because it's got a gas leak!

Sirens: With the ATHF still away from the action in New Jersey and tied up under the Mojave Desert, Carl and Markula let a pair of Sirens and their celebrity friend move in with some rather dire consequences, particularly for poor Carl, who just cannot say 'no' to their luring songs...

Reedickyoulus: Master Shake microwaves Meatwad's pet kitten while Carl is using the ATHF's shrubs as a place to relieve himself. It turns out the strange new sex machine that Carl has bought is having some rather unusual side effects on his bowel movements that are causing his genitals to glow and that cause the litter of dead pets to rise from the dead!

Hoppy Bunny: Carl orders a 'Recorder Wizard: Vagina Domination' package from a television advertisement. When his new instrument arrives, he plays it and it morphs with him, turning him into an elf who plays music from a gang of cos-play weirdos who decides to hang out at his place and use his pool.

Laser Lenses: Master Shake decides that he'll steal Frylock's laser shooting lenses and use them to dominate the group and more or less make everyone do what he says. This doesn't go over so well and eventually a relative of Carl's shows up to perform some impromptu surgery and set things back to the way they were.

Couples Skate: A new tenant, in the form of a monster going through a rough divorce, moves in to the ATHF house and he actually proves to be a worse neighbor than the ATHF members themselves. Carl eventually decides to rescue Shake, Frylock and Meatwad from the giant spider web that they're trapped in and he arrives in the cave just in time for a party!

Dummy Love: Shake and Meatwad welcome a murdering ventriloquist's dummy into their home only to watch him fall in love with an equally insane murdering ventriloquist's dummy who has taken up residence next door at Carl's house.

The Marines: A commercial for Warrior Gum gets Meatwad interested in joining the Marines and the ever impressionable Master Shake decides to tag along for the ride. They wind up peeling potatoes and cleaning urinals while Frylock decides to hightail it off to Canada where he winds up in a Saw inspired game involving not so deadly puzzles.

Bible Fruit: Frylock invites some friends he met on the internet over to the house to hang out for a while, and Shake and Carl are excited because one of them is female. It turns out that Frylock's new friends are three pieces of fruit with some fairly rigid religious convictions.

Disc Two:

The four episodes contained on the second disc were never aired on television - you can only see them here, kids!

Gene E: Shake uncovers a dumpy genie in a bottle while rummaging through the dump. Every time that he tells one of the ATHF members he'll grant them a wish, however, he just winds up turning them invisible, except for Carl, who wants to become invisible but winds up being shrunk. Frylock decides to dissect the genie while Carl and Shake decide to videotape women in the bathroom.

Shake Like Me: A crew start dumping toxic waste at a house across the street and Master Shake is turned into a black guy. Frylock decides to help him revert back to his white-bread self (much to the dismay of Boxy Brown) while Meatwad decides to delve into the magical world of magick and sorcery.

She Creature: Frylock decides to plant trees so that he doesn't have to look at Carl's mosquito infested above ground pool anymore. Eventually mobsters decide to start using the pool as a dumping ground for dead bodies which leads to problems when Frylock cleans the pool up, after which a mermaid (intent on re-populating her lost race) decides to make the pool her home.

Chick Magnet: Shake purchases a gigantic magnet that is supposed to attract women that he wears around his neck and carries on a push cart to a local nightclub with predictably lackluster results. When the magnet starts having strange side effects, Frylock decides to get rid of it.

All in all, this is once again a really bizarre assortment of episodes. The creative team behind the series continues to up the ante in terms of the grotesque and in terms of the 'out there' humor that the show is known for. Some might feel it's too much, a valid complaint to be sure, but some of us (this reviewer included) welcome the insanity with open arms. This is, if you're in the right frame of mind, some damned funny absurdist humor and while those unfamiliar with the series will probably want to start with the more accessible early episodes, those who appreciate where the series has gone and how its evolved over the years will eat this material right up.

The DVD

Video:

The video quality of this sixth volume of episodes doesn't differ in quality much from the five that came before it. Colors look nice and while the animation on the show is rather basic, there's a fairly high level of detail. There are a few edge enhancement issues in a couple of the episodes as seems to be common with animation on DVD, but aside from that, the episodes all look pretty nice and there aren't any compression artifacts and the image is nice and clean from start to finish.

Sound:

For the DVD release, The Cartoon Network has given Aqua Teen Hunger Force Volume Six a pretty solid Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound mix and a less impressive but still decent quality Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo mix. Everything sounds good and all channels are used fairly actively to play around with a few effects nicely. There's really not much to complain about here. Optional subtitles are available in English SDH only.

Extras:

Here's what else you'll find tucked away in the strange menu screens of this fantastic two disc set...

On the first disc, there are commentary tracks included for the Hoppy Bunny, Reedickyoulus, and The Marines episodes. These tracks are done with the same sense of humor that the series is done with, so expect some absurdist comments and nonsensical humor alongside more traditional commentary material. They series creators talk about where they got some of their ideas from and what it was like working on the series and what it's like working for Adult Swim, but again, don't take any of this too seriously.

The rest of the extra features are on the second disc, starting with the I'm Pissed (34:23) section which is a collection of fourteen sports oriented rants that come courtesy of Carl, most of which are based around the New York Giants football team. These are fairly amusing, especially if you enjoy Carl's bizarre take on things, and the screwy sense of humor that makes the feature episodes so much fun keeps makes these worth a watch.

More Funny Pete Stuff (3:04) is a brief collection of Adult Swim preview clips that were broadcast to promote new episodes of ATHF and The Squidbillies, while Terror Phone (13:58) is a strange live action skit where a sinister football player hands a middle aged suburbanite man a demonic telephone with unusual results. Make sure you sit all the way through the freakishly long end credits if you watch this one. ATHF Zombie Ninja Pro-Am Minus The Explosions (24:38) is a collection of seventeen clips from the much maligned Playstation 2 game based on the ATHF cartoons. Last but not least, Radical Axis Presents Radical Axis Presents (4:25) is an amusing look at Radical Axis Studios made to look like an old fifties-era industrial film.

Some rather goofy but interesting musical menus wind things up, and inside the case are some more cool ATHF stickers!

Final Thoughts:

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Volume 6 is mind-bendingly funny stuff if you're in the right mood for it. The show doesn't even try to make sense and it continues to push the envelope but fans of the series will absolutely appreciate this material, particularly the extra episodes and the bonus features that are contained on the second disc. This isn't the best spot for newbies to start but fans of the series can consider this release highly recommended.

Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.

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