Futurama: The Beast With A Billion Backs

Futurama: The Beast With A Billion Backs
The second of four feature-length Futurama adventures, The Beast With A Billion Backs contains every bit the same asinine humour one would expect from creator Matt Groening’s cast of upstart, futuristic miscreants. With this latest drawn-out episode, space itself is torn apart, creating a gateway to another universe. This universe, however, reveals itself to be inhabited by one sole creature: a gigantic, one-eyed, tentacle-laden monster that is lonely. Eventually establishing contact with our protagonist Fry, the two fall in love and Fry manages to convince our universe to love the planet monster Yivo (amusingly voiced by David Cross) back. Jealous of this relationship, foul-mouthed robot Bender launches an attack on Yivo in order to win Fry, Leela and the rest of his beloved "meat bags” back. While cameos from the likes of Stephen Hawking and Dan Castellaneta are amusing, overall The Beast With A Billion Backs has a premise that is a touch drawn-out even by Futurama standards. One-off visual gags and non-sequiturs are more awkward than funny and at points, elements and subplots feel thrown in more to elongate things than to flesh-out the script. Still, The Beast With A Billion Backs has its moments, most notably Bender’s rugged hilarity and because few single-disc releases boast such a strong list of special features. Naturally, the commentary featuring Groening and cast is entertaining for its improvisational gusto, and an episode-length adventure originally created for the videogame finds the group striving to save Earth from evildoer Mom, which is almost better than the full-length film. Technical aspects such as 3D modelling, storyboards and deleted scenes are modestly interesting, as is the preview for Bender’s Game but as a package, this beast features some impressive backs. (Fox)