Thursday, February 13, 2014

Futurama: Fry Am the Egg Man – review

Directors: Dwayne Carey-Hill & Peter Avanzino

First aired: 2011

Contains spoilers

Futurama was, for me, one of the best, freshest adult orientated animations to come out of the States for some time. Its knowing scripts, poking well meaning fun out of the genre it aped – as well as many other targets – always seemed to hit the spot for me.

This episode was out of the sixth season and features – at long last – an alien vampire (I should also give a mention to the much earlier were-car episode, which is still one of my favourites). Vampires had appeared, in cameo and on an in-episode film, during the episode I Dated a Robot but, being Futurama, when a vampire was the feature part of the episode it was not your average vampire, oh no.

incubation, Fry style
It begins with Leila (Katey Sagal), Fry (Billy West, Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island) and Bender (John DiMaggio Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust & Batman: the Brave and the Bold: Shadow of the Bat) running from a delivery, chased by a horde of axe flinging robots. Having escaped they go to a fast food fly-through but Leila decides she is unhappy with fast food and takes them to an organic market and buys eggs. The next day Fry realises that the eggs are fertile and refuses to eat one (until it hatches) and aims to incubate it by sitting on it.

Bonus Vampiris
After a week of sitting duties he drops the egg, but the embryo has developed into a nasty looking, blue, acid-spitting creature that melts bender’s feet. Fry calls it Mr Peppy (Maurice LaMarche, Gravedale High, Captain Planet and the Planeteers: the Energy Vampire & The real Ghostbusters: No One Comes to Lupusville) but as it grows there is a further incident with it “removing” Bender’s arm. Professor Farnsworth (also Billy West) has been doing some research however and has discovered that the creature is, in Latin, Bonus Vampiris or (for the non-Catholics) a Bone Vampire. Asexual, self-reproducing creatures they suck the bones from creatures. They are extinct on their own planet, Doohan 6 (named after James Doohan, Scotty in Star Trek), and so they have the idea to reintroduce Mr Peppy to the wild.

bones sucked
Having done so, Bender detects alcohol and they find a local village and inn (with a rather distinctively, stereotypical Scottish vibe perfectly fitting for a planet named Doohan 6). When the locals discover that they have reintroduced the bone vampire there is shock; one of their number, Major Angus McZongo Esq (also Maurice LaMarche), had hunted the beasts to extinction as they had been a blight on their livestock. Fry argues that Mr Peppy is vegetarian but there is an attack on the livestock during the night…

Mr Peppy
Which is as far as I will go though I will say there is a knowing Scooby-Doo element to the episode. All in all, it was great fun, with sharp writing and a soft-heart that doesn’t stray to saccharine. The voice acting was as good as you’d expect (there is a nice sub-story with bender annoying everyone with El Jerko cigars). All told a worthwhile addition to the alien vampire genre.

7 out of 10.

The episode's imdb page is here.


JaredMithrandir said...

The Planet being so clearly based on Scotland is interesting considering what we know about the Scotland fixation of the Earliest theatrical Vampires.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

true :)