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Case Number 22424: Small Claims Court

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Punkin Chunkin

Science Channel // 2008 // 215 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // October 2nd, 2011

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson chunks punkins while drinking Dunkins and eating munchkins.

The Charge

Yet another subculture I didn't know existed…one which frightens me a bit.

The Case

From the Science Channel comes a reality series based on a crazy competition that awards honor and glory to those enterprising enough to launch pumpkins into the atmosphere. It's the annual Punkin Chunkin World Championships, a mass gathering in Delaware that finds people from all corners of the globe dragging their elaborate equipment into a gigantic soybean field to see who has the mojo to fire a defenseless pumpkin the furthest.

These competitors vie for supremacy in different classes including air cannon, trebuchet, and torsion. They line up their impressive contraptions and take turns opening fire. From there, measurements are totaled, a champion is crowned, and the CROWD GOES WILD. And my all-caps are not hyperbole, because these events draw more than 50,000 onlookers!

Punkin Chunkin collects four separate episodes: "Punkin Chunkin 2008," "Punkin Chunkin 2009," "On the Road to Punkin Chunkin 2010," and "Punkin Chunkin 2010." Each runs just north of 40 minutes, save for the 2010 installment which is double-sized for your enjoyment.

These are fun shows that will especially appeal to viewers who enjoy engineering-centered reality television like Mythbusters. The creations that litter the soybean field are legitimately impressive, most of them towering machines that produce a shocking amount of torque. The air cannons in particular are fantastic examples of what motivated, ingenious, and somewhat bored homegrown engineering savants can cook up.

The programs blend sweet pumpkin launching footage and interviews with the colorful personalities behind the machines. "On the Road to Punkin Chunkin 2010" opens up the chunkin world a bit more with tighter focus on the 2010 competitors and the history of the competition. Good stuff all around.

The DVD: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, Dolby 2.0 stereo, and no extras.

The Verdict

Not Guilty. Chunk away.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 85

Perp Profile

Studio: Science Channel
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• English (SDH)
Running Time: 215 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Reality TV
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• None


• IMDb

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