Straight to DVD: "The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie!"

Long-dead animated reality-show spoof revived as smutty, dubious movie. Must! Drink! Tequila!

By Bob Calhoun

Published May 8, 2010 12:01PM (EDT)

Some straight-to-DVD movies come into this world as stand-alone works, destined to become orphaned pieces of flotsam and jetsam getting baked by the sun on flea market seller's tables. Many others are sequels or follow-ups that rely on the faintest glint of name recognition to coax the bored masses into selecting them from the ol' Redbox. These movies require at least a passing awareness of the original film or television series to stave off viewer confusion and maximize entertainment value. A subset of that last category needs both viewer familiarity and a half-bottle of Cazadores Añejo to ensure a pleasurable video experience. After more than a few tequila shots chased by beer, I can safely catalog "The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie!" among that last substratum of downloadable knockoffs.

At the height of TV's reality show craze, Comedy Central's "Drawn Together" spoofed the genre by cramming several animated archetypes into a living situation straight out of MTV's "The Real World." For three seasons, a square-jawed superhero, a Disney princess, a yellow SpongeBob thing, a musician babe with constantly erect nipples named Foxxy Love, an over-the-hill Betty Boop, a cigar-chomping pig, a gay elf and a subtitled Pikachu substitute all tried to stab each other in the back as if they were vying for the hand of Flavor Flav on VH1. The show was canceled in 2007, but now through the magic of this straight-to-DVD release, our crude cast is finally able to cut loose without any hassle from those meddlesome Viacom censors.

In less than 2 minutes, there's a lesbian make-out scene between a preggers Betty Boop and Foxxy. By minute 6, the gang stomps kittens and puppies into piles of blood and bone for no reason whatsoever. At the 10-minute mark, the SpongeBob creature whips out his big, black dick. Adding an extra dimension of yuck, said dick is both pulsating and photo-realistic. Barely a minute later, the subject of the necrophiliac hand job is broached as our caped superhero professes his love for a blond corpse. There's really nowhere to go after trotting out postmortem finger action, but that doesn't stop the makers of "The Drawn Together Movie" from trying. Their solution to this dilemma is to give us even more necro-smut as the corpse is shown in a three-way with the Wonder Twins and gang-banged by multiple Doctors Manhattan from "Watchmen." After a half-hour, cartoon upskirt shots seem like mere innuendo.

As profanity goes un-bleeped and genitals remain un-blurred, the gang realizes that their show (aka, their very reason for existence) has been canceled and replaced by "The Suck My Taint Show," a "South Park" send-up where a lady Cartman laces her odes to cunnilingus with libertarian bromides about "personal responsibility." "Drawn Together" creators Dave Jesser and Matt Silverstein's broadside against their former network's most popular show tastes of sour grapes, but is still audacious enough to provide some of the best jibes of the movie. Soon, Jew Producer, a Sabbath-observant humanoid with an intercom for a head, is forced by the network brass to dispatch a robot called ISRAEL to erase the "Drawn Together" crew from televised existence. I couldn't help wondering if all this Jews-making-fun-of-Jews wasn't sending out the wrong message to the bulk of this movie's loutish target audience. Then I realized that I was giving it way too much thought and took another shot of Cazadores.

Where the "Drawn Together" series was made using traditional cel animation in a South Korean sweatshop, the movie was produced at L.A.'s Six Point Harness Studios using Adobe Flash, a program best known for generating annoying pop-up ads and busy Web intros. The player component of this program suite has also come under fire from Apple chief Steve Jobs recently. But while the iPad impresario rails against Flash, remember that the besieged video manipulation tool allows rock-ribbed, American pixel pushers to earn their livings by rendering affordable dildo gags with little drop in quality from traditional methods. In fact, the cartooning of director Greg Franklin (who directed the animated sequences in "Black Dynamite" and "Eurotrip") and company is an improvement over the original TV show, if my agave-impaired vision can be trusted to make such aesthetic judgments.

"The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie's" rapid-fire barrage of bad taste did elicit a decent amount of involuntary chuckles from me throughout its merciful 70-minute run time. However, like many things I've done while consuming too much tequila, I wasn't exactly proud of this when I woke up the next morning. Since attempting a sober (literally) reassessment of this disc seems unwise, I'm giving this movie a SHITE meter rating of H for "Hey, it's really not that bad." But be forewarned, this rating could easily bypass the I for interesting and sink to a T for torturous if viewed without the aid of mind-altering substances.

This movie contains a 3-D sequence, but no 3-D glasses. Before rifling through your junk drawer for some stereoscopic specs, please ask yourself if you really want this stuff popping out of the screen at you.

Bob Calhoun

Bob Calhoun is a longtime Salon contributor and the author of "Shattering Conventions: Commerce, Cosplay and Conflict on the Expo Floor" (2013). Follow him on Twitter.

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