A sphincter says what?

You woke up this morning knowing that today is like a holiday, even if the calendar doesn’t say so. Friday the 13th is meant to be a day of horrors, though it usually just boils down to a lot of bad jokes and lame attempts to scare one another.

You woke up this morning knowing that today is like a holiday, even if the calendar doesn’t say so. Friday the 13th is meant to be a day of horrors, though it usually just boils down to a lot of bad jokes and lame attempts to scare one another.

This year the shitty humor seems to have concentrated itself in one place: the new Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters. The title and acronym are much too long to use for every reference to the film, so I’m just going to refer to it as Colon in this review, because colon is the only word from the title that reflects the content properly. After watching this movie, I can’t help but wonder if a full-length film about the function of sphincters would have been funnier–though Colon had plenty of fart jokes.

Colon is a film based on the similarly titled Williams Street animated show featured during Adult Swim, the late-night programming block on Cartoon Network. This block of shows pulls no punches in being obscure, and most of the humor is meant for the “I’m so cool because I hate the cool kids” crowd. Aqua Teen is a show that follows three fast food items around New Jersey as they crack non-sequitur jokes and force some far-reaching premise on the viewer during each show.

The episodes are generally non-canonical, as each main character has died at least once. There is something to be said for the attempt at stream-of-consciousness humor in the show, given that many of the jokes are funny because of their sheer “what the fuck?” factor.

The show itself is a hasty endeavor on late-night TV that ends in the time it takes to make and eat a sandwich, making it easy for your mind to let the weirdness slide as you wait for a laugh. Colon is 80 minutes long, lacking the ADD-fueled humor and those famous Adult Swim bumps–you know, the quick captions that run between a show and a commercial? The only real improvement over the show that Colon offers is the speech of Meatwad, whose thick-tongued and mildly autistic voice is somewhat more intelligible in the film.

I suppose it’s a good idea to explain the plotline, but the whole point of the film is to be funny with minimal plot development. This may work for a 15-minute show (with commercial time), but it’s difficult to enjoy such a lack of structure for an entire movie. The only real plotline is an evil-tempered exercise machine that rampages New Jersey, leading the main characters, Meatwad, Master Shake and Frylock, to team up with their furry-chested neighbor Carl and set out to destroy the machine. There’s almost no other plotline to point out here…no, seriously, that’s about it. This film takes many pages from the book of Napoleon Dynamite without producing nearly as many laughs.

Colon is laden with inside jokes that will be well received by those who regularly watch the show. Point in fact, news of Colon probably wouldn’t have reached any new audiences if it hadn’t launched an advertisement that scared the shit out of the Boston police. If you’re unfamiliar with this story, the creators of the show placed blinking LED panels throughout the nation’s largest cities, and in Boston the police saw one such panel attached to a bridge and thought it was a bomb.

Following the scare, the remaining panels were taken down, a big lawsuit was paid to the Boston Police Department and college kids the nation over put their own mini-panels in their dormitory windows. (I’ve even seen a few in the windows of West Hall and the Blackstone.) The gag did spread news of the film far and wide, which begs the question of whether or not the show’s creators were hoping for such a fiasco. Given the arcane sense of humor that the show carries, this idea isn’t too far-fetched.

Either way, Colon’s advertising was mostly limited to Adult Swim’s block of programming. For April Fool’s Day, Williams Street showed the first 15 minutes of Colon during the show’s regularly scheduled block and then continued to show the film in a screen-on-screen display, with a little box in the corner showing the movie during the remainder of Adult Swim. There were no sounds or captions after the first 15 minutes, making this prank one of the film’s funniest jokes.

Actually, the first 15 minutes of the movie weren’t bad–the lead characters parody the “let’s all go to the lobby” ads from older films that used to serve as a preview, particularly at drive-in theaters. This parody of the dancing food and hints to hit the concession stand are hilarious, particularly Master Shake’s idea on how to get you to buy popcorn and soda. I won’t ruin the scene for you, because this parody is the only reason to see Colon. I’m not telling you it’s a good idea to waste $10 at a theater, but the film will definitely be worth the rental in a few months, if only for the first 15 minutes.