Aqua Teen Hunger Force Volume 6 (DVD)
Somewhere in New Jersey, three roommates with superpowers, Master Shake, Frylock and Meatwad, unite to solve the neighborhood's unnatural mysteries. When they're not fighting crime or each other, they relax by swimming in their next-door-neighbor's pool.
If you thought that after five seasons, the Adult Swim animated series Aqua Teen Hunger Force couldn't get any stranger, sicker or just plain surreal, think again; Vol. 6 finds the fast-food crime fighters up to some of their weirdest hijinks to date. How weird, you ask? Well, Master Shake, Frylock and Meatwad aren't even in the first three episodes--an argument with undead landlord Marcula has resulted in them being trapped in spider webs somewhere under the Mojave Desert and awaiting sacrifice in honor of his birthday. The focus is instead shifted to obnoxious neighbor Carl, who fails miserably to rent the Teens' house to a gaggle of robots ("Robots Everywhere"), a pair of female demons (voiced by singers Kelly Hogan and Neko Case) and their companion, ESPN analyst John Kruk (played by himself) in "Sirens" and a monster undergoing a difficult custody battle ("Couples Skate"). Once the Teens free themselves from Marcula's lair, things get even wilder: Carl's male enhancement device causes Meatwad's deceased pets to return from the grave ("Reedickyoulus"), while Master Shake wreaks havoc with Frylock's laser-spitting contact lenses ("Laser Lenses) and Meatwad accidentally enlists his pals in the Marines, causing Meatwad and Frylock to flee to Canada ("Marines"). Each of the ten episodes from Season 5 contain enough insanity to satisfy even the most jaded ATHF fan, but Vol. 6 ups the ante by including four episodes from Season 6 that had yet to air prior to the DVD release date. The most berserk of these is "Shake Like Me," which involves Shake transforming into an African-American ("Your name is now... Mocha Shake-a-Khan!") after being bitten by a radioactive black man. It's exactly the sort of jaw-dropping, did-they-really-say-that humor by which Aqua Teen Hunger Force has earned its devoted audience.
Extras are plentiful throughout the two-disc set: commentary by the cast and crew, along with some very special and unusual guests on three episodes ("Reedickyoulus," "Hoppy Bunny" and "Marines"), as well as the "Carl's Pissed" segments from the Adult Swim web site, which find him ranting at length about the New York Giants and other sports subjects. "More Funny Pete Stuff" compiles promos from the fifth season, while "ATHF Zombie Pro-Am Minus the Explosions" is the animated linking material from the ATHF game for PS2. A pair of truly odd live-action shorts, one of which is a dead-on parody of '50s-era corporate training films, adds extra laughs, and if that's not enough for you, there are even a handful of stickers. You won't find that in the next Lost box set, that's for sure. --Paul Gaita