Synapse // 2001 // 32 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Kevin Lee (Retired) // August 2nd, 2002
Every generation has a strange legend.
Every epic has a fantastic beginning.
Every trip has a fall.
In a claymation/computer animated parody of various science fiction franchises, Captain Kwirk and Mr. Spuck pilot some starship to match wits with the villainous Darth Vapor (who uses the dark smell of the force) as they vie for control of a mysterious monolith that can tear asunder the order of the space-time continuum. Each side gains assistance from various other figures, such as Robofuzz and Schwartzenator.
This isn't the first review of Star Warp'd that I've completed. My first review read:
Unfortunately, Mike rejected it and mentioned how I had to go into more depth and analysis than that. So I came back with:
This totally sucks.
This was also rejected. Also rejected were "This so totally sucks," "This is the suckiest thing that ever sucked," and "This totally reeked of suckitude."
After that harsh words were exchanged, threats were made, and I was resolute to hold my ground on this review. That was when Mike brought up that little incident of mine involving the chicken, the horse, and the Italian redhead and how such information in the wrong hands could make life miserable for me. We then promptly settled on the Small Claims Court format for this review, but I should still point out that shows like Star Warp'd are the very reason why words like "sucks" were invented.
Star Warp'd is brought to us by the same people who created Star Hick: The Moovie, and if you're like me you're still wondering who these people are. Details are sketchy, and I hope somebody is looking into this. Star Warp'd is a blend of stop-motion claymation figures with computer animation, but I should point out the stop-motion claymation isn't very convincing (the Rankin/Bass produced holiday specials from the '60s are far more realistic-looking) and the computer animation is simplistic, flat, and looks like something a first-year 3D modeler would create as a student project. In short, it looks bad.
On top of this, the premise is ripped right out the childhood staple Mad magazine, only Mad was far more intelligent and subversive in their writing. On top of that, the whole sci-fi parody thing has been done dozens upon dozens of times with greater comedic results than what Star Warp'd manages to muster. Why spend 32 torturous minutes when you could be watching things like Spaceballs, George Lucas In Love, Galaxy Quest, The Tiny Toons Adventures, Animaniacs, The Simpsons or the brilliant Futurama? In fact, I can name dozens upon dozens of pop-culture parodies of Star Trek and Star Wars from popular recent efforts all the way down to underground comic books like Evan Dorkin's "Milk & Cheese: Dairy Products Gone Bad" that have presented the entire shtick of Star Warp'd by actually using humor, something that the makers of Star Warp'd forgot to do. Here are some examples of the alleged humor:
N.T. the Non-Terrestrial gives people the finger. (Seen it!)
Darth Vapor farts a lot. (And I mean a lot. I'm not joking that there's 15 minutes of fart and poop jokes in the 32-minute run time.)
Captain Kwirk speaks in overdone Shatner-ese. (Watch Airplane II to see William Shatner mock his own acting skills.)
Jar-Jar Binks gets thrown off a cliff. (Something every Star Wars fan has fantasized about since The Phantom Menace premiered -- hardly original.)
The empire has Bow Tie Fighters. (Ha! Get it?)
Schwartzenator has a funny accent. (MAD TV does this all the time.)
I didn't crack a single smile through this entire travesty, and I'm not exaggerating here. To the makers of Star Warp'd: folks, I'm sorry, but you're just not funny.
The presentation is about what you would expect from a really super low budget production involving puppets in that it isn't all that good. It's full screen, but at least the budget didn't allow anyone to use edge enhancement on it. The sound is a simple two-channel stereo presentation that is completely unremarkable. There are special features, but they only enhance the suffering. There's an audio commentary of the decidedly unfunny funnymen cracking up at their work. Then there's a behind the scenes featurette that shows how not to make a funny parody, and they finish things out with an all-too-long sneak preview of the upcoming sequel that features Ewoks getting stepped on and squished. I can hardly wait.
Star Warp'd is so utterly guilty of every offense I can think and probably then some. I sentence everyone involved with this DVD to have a jar of spiders dumped over their heads. I will now go stand in traffic.
Review content copyright © 2002 Kevin Lee; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 32 Minutes
Release Year: 2001
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Audio Commentary
* Stellar Behind-the-Scenes Footage
* Sneak Peek at the Upcoming Sequel