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DVD Review: The Amazing Screw-On Head

Mike Mignola doesn’t invent your typical run-of-the-mill hero. Nor does he set their adventures in the everyday world or even a world most readers accept as everyday. Instead, he gifts his fans with side treks through strange and unknown places.

Most everyone knows about Hellboy, his premiere creation. The comic has done well and continues, and has even spun off sequels. The movie franchise is gearing up for a second movie.

The Amazing Screw-On Head is a prequel of sorts to Hellboy. Taking place in the 1860s, the story provides something of a history for the action in the pages of the Hellboy comics and movies.

The artwork of the 22-minute feature shows Mignola style. Heavily inked, edgy characters, and with some of the color drained away to make the artwork look more severe and stark, The Amazing Screw-On Head looks as though it exploded right out of the pages of a comic.

The dialogue is a hoot. Fabulously twisted, anchored in today’s world with tongue firmly in cheek, the characters speak and act in a mix of 19th and 21st century actions. The strange machinations take root and spread across the screen, offering a visual treat at every turn. A case in point is when President Lincoln refers to a man who was kidnapped by “two old women and a monkey.” Of course, one of those old women also turned out to be a werewolf.

Since there is only the 22-minute episode and special features that almost double the viewing time on the disc, The Amazing Screw-On Head may seem expensive to some. But Mignola fans and people who have heard about the show are going to step up and pay it anyway.

I had a blast with the episode. So did my nine-year-old, who loved the jokes and repartee. Buy this one out of love, not economics. I promise, you’ll watch it more than once. And when you do, you’ve already doubled your return on your initial investment!

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