One Punch Reviews #22: Deleted Scenes
If anyone in society is under served, it’s movie parody fans. The annual allowance for the Friedman-Seltzer brand fast-paced mockeries like the Scary Movies, Superhero Movies, Date Movies, Epic Movies, Not Another Teen Movies, Meet The Spartanses, and Dance Flicks are barely enough to satiate the appetite. You tide your hunger over with Family Guy, which unfortunately intersperses their vignettes with “plot” and “heavy-handed moralizing.” What’s an aficionado hungry for cheap, easy pop-culture yukfests to do?
Sarcasm aside, I have nothing against jokes about movies. I mean, sure, as a whole pop-culture humor tends to get dated, is usually juvenile, and relies too much on audience recognition. What I’ve realized, though, is that if you’re clever enough, you can make anything funny. People forget that the great, ground-breaking comedy Airplane! was a spoof of 70’s disaster movies, mainly because it did so much to forge its own sense of original nutty fun.
So what about a comic composed almost entirely of movie parodies? That’s what we get with Deleted Scenes, a webcomic by Dave Graff.
Sadly, Deleted Scenes is — in summary — a tame, unimaginative, and less visually engaging version of Robot Chicken. Here’s the biggest problem: every terrible stand-up comic has already made these jokes. In most cases, the same jokes have been also covered by other webcomic writers. Humor about Christian Bale’s dumb Batman voice are at least four years past their freshness date. Jokes about how the Green Lantern can be defeated by Big Bird were funnier when Lore Sjoberg did it at least 5 years ago. Jokes about Alien vs. Predator, which becomes a running gag in Deleted Scenes, are best left to experts like Bernie Hou.
What next? Gags about how Aquaman can talk to fishes? Fresh new speculation on how Ernie and Bert are gay?
That said, once in a while Mr. Graff will surprise me. Although the resolution is kinda stupid, I eventually did sorta laugh at the reveal of who’s behind V’s mask (from V for Vendetta). I mean, it barely makes sense, hanging on a tenuous definition of “monster” at the end … but it’s goofy enough to work, and, unlike most of Deleted Scenes, refreshingly unexpected.
And at least Graff will, from time to time, reach back in time and draw inspiration from older references, such as Casablanca and Dark Crystal. Most movie parody writers consider any references older than three years to be too obscure. Not our Dave Graff! He probably should be given some sort of accolade for trying to make Charlie Chaplin relevant again.
Still, if it’s movie humor you’re after, you’d probably be more entertained with the more original (and frankly, more funny) gags found in Joe Loves Crappy Movies (reviewed here) or the stuff you’d find in the margins of Shortpacked! (reviewed here).
Rating: 2 stars (out of 5)