Even the rainbows bleed in this arresting animated series that combines an anarchic Looney Tunes
sensibility with the psychedelic dream/nightmare-scapes of Yellow Submarine
. Superjail! makes Oz
look like Little House on the Prairie
. It is overseen by the resplendent-in-purple Warden (voiced by David Wain from The State
), who is a deranged cross between Willy Wonka and the chief Blue Meanie. His methods are, to say the least, unorthodox (bunny suits for all inmates in one episode). Recurring characters include Jared, the Warden's skyscraper-foreheaded accountant; the muscular and masculine guard Alice; and the elusive teleporting Twins, who sport vaguely European accents as they gleefully wreak havoc around the jail. And then there's Jackknife, a vicious criminal whose violent arrests and escapes frame most of the episodes. Superjail!
is like a vintage Mad
magazine panel run amok, with deliriously brutal and comic bits of business that bear repeat viewings. Just as The Simpsons
begins each episode with a unique blackboard gag, so does this series kick off with Jackknife being transported over remote and bizarre terrains en route to Superjail! And you know how they used to kill Kenny in each episode of South Park
? Kenny got off easy. Each near 11-minute Superjail!
episode features a sequence of escalating and unprintable carnage. DVD extras include a music video for the series' catchy theme song, "I'm Coming Home"; the pilot episode; and animatics for several episodes. Superjail!
is not for the squeamish, but for those who can do the hard time, it's thoroughly mind- and eye-blowing. --Donald Liebenson