DVD Review: Greg the Bunny: Best of Film Parodies
By Jeff Swindoll Oct 29, 2006, 15:27 GMT
Best known for his starring role alongside Seth Green (Family Guy, Robot Chicken) in his self-titled Fox sitcom, Greg the Bunny made quite a name for himself as America’s most notorious puppet in his definitely not-for-kids show. Now, Greg is getting back to his edgy roots with old pals Warren the Ape, Count Blah and the inimitable Green to parody some of Hollywood’s most classic films. ...more
Greg the Bunny and his friends return to the Independent Movie Channel to form a “crack commando unit” of puppets to parody films. Shout Factory brings the series to DVD in this two disc set.
A little history first. Greg the Bunny began his career on a cable access channel in Manhattan. The show got the attention of the Independent Film Channel (IFC) and the character Greg the Bunny introduced and parodied some films. Then Greg hit the big time and got his own show on Fox in 2002 (with Seth Green and Eugene Levy).
Things did not go well for poor Greg on Fox (thought I thought the show was funny and was my introduction to Greg and company) and the show was cancelled before years end. The Fox show was released onto DVD in 2004 and was a good seller, methinks. In 2005, Greg returned home, as it were, to IFC where they commissioned more parodies with Greg, Warren the Ape, Count Blah (my favorite), Pal Friendlies (their agent), and the Wumpus (whatever the heck he is). Shout Factory brings out the “best of” (It’s really the first season basically) to DVD.
Dead Puppet Storage (Pulp Fiction)
Sleazy Rider (Easy Rider)
Bunnie Hall (Annie Hall)
The 13th Step (Barton Fink and other Cohen Brothers films)
2001: Space n’ stuff (2001: A Space Odyssey)
Ya Know, for Kids (Fargo)
Blah (a vintage 1999 show where Greg takes in washed up actor Count Blah (his debut) and is repaid for his kindness by having Blah raid his medicine cabinet.)
Sex, Button Eyes, and a Video Ape (Auto Focus, with Seth Green and Gilbert Gottfried)
The Addiction (The Addiction, duh)
The Blues She is my Friend (Down by Law)
Martian Serum Seven from Mars (Ed Wood)
The Godpappy (The Godfather)
Naturally Sewn Killers (Natural Born Killers)
Parodies are always a mixed bag comedy-wise, but Greg and company give it the old college try. One of the complaints that the creators had about the Fox show was that the network wanted them to focus on the human characters. Not so on IFC and now (wisely) the puppets are the stars of the show (they probably get paid less too). Their parodies have a self effacing quality and this works for the show.
For example, the puppet cast’s commentary about doing another parody of Pulp Fiction. Also Warren wants to go to the wedding party in the Godpappy and is told that they can’t afford to stage such a scene are they’re only allowed to pretend that there’s a wedding party. There’s some funny stuff here for fans of both Greg the Bunny and of the films that they’re parodying. The shows are short (about 10 minutes apiece) and the lack of a play all feature was very annoying to me. Que sera sera. They’re also free from network censors and are allowed to let the F word fly – so don’t think that this puppet show is for the kiddies, Blah.
Though the set does make up for the lack of a play all function by loading it with special features. Almost everything has a commentary by show creators Dan Milano, Spencer Chinoy, and Sean Baker. I don’t think that the previews and FBI warning have commentary, but I could be wrong.
Disc one has 3 minutes of deleted scenes from Sleazy Rider (with optional commentary) and two featurettes. The first is 6 minutes and called “Ezekiel 25:17” and has the puppet cast attempting the scene from Pulp Fiction (with optional commentary). The second is 3 minutes and is called “Affurmative Action” and is a skit about the AFCLU (American Furry Civil Liberties Union?) requiring that a puppet be on the crew (with optional commentary).
Finally we have a 20 minute gag reel and a still gallery (oddly both without optional audio commentary). Disc two contains 4 minutes of deleted scenes from Sex, Button Eyes, and a Video Ape, Martian Serum Seven from Mars, and Naturally Sewn Killers (with optional audio commentary). There’s also another still gallery, but without commentary, Blah.
Greg the Bunny fans will want to check out these parodies. If you’re a fan of IFC or any of the films parodied then you’ll also want to check it out. Shout Factory has loaded up this DVD with audio commentaries that should make fans of the show happy.