Sunday, October 02, 2022

Solar Opposites Halloween Special, on Hulu

Normally, Tales from the Crypt’s Crypt Keeper is our host for horror stories. This time he is the guest star, when Terry and Jesse, the two younger pro-Halloween aliens from Planet Shlorp, mad scientist him out of a purloined corpse as a way to celebrate the scary season. Chaos and foul language ensue in A Sinister Halloween Scary Opposite Solar Special (a.k.a. Solar Opposites S3 E12), which premieres tomorrow on Hulu.

As fans of the series know, Korvo dislikes Earth, but he really, really hates Halloween. Yumyulack isn’t too crazy about either, but he is less emotional and more contemptuous expressing his distaste. However, Terry and Jesse, who act like the kids of the space-expedition-turned-family are totally down for it. Frankly, they show us why Halloween, which very much is a nostalgic throwback to small town Americana, can never be canceled (outside of pandemics or inclement weather)—because an army of kids would rise up in arms.

Excited to participate in the neighborhood house decorating campaign, Terry and Jesse plunder a grave, reviving and mutating the body into an EC Comics like horror host, who constantly spouts off little macabre anecdotes—in the voice of John Kassir, from the long-running
Tales from the Crypt franchise. Naturally, the Crypt Keeper drives Korvo to distraction, but Yumyulack is not around to be annoyed, due to a rather unfortunate misadventure.

If you have not seen
Solar Opposites before, it is easy to pick up the gist of it from the Halloween special. Think of it as My Favorite Martian with cussing and oral sex jokes. It is raunchier than The Simpsons but it also has a sharper edge, while being far less didactic. Just about anyone across the political and cultural spectrums can laugh at the Solar Special without ever feeling attacked.

That kind of throwback rudeness is quite refreshing and it lends itself really well to Halloween. The Crypt Keeper’s guest appearance is high-caliber fan service. There is also a reference to another nostalgic Halloween icon that is inspired, but also potentially scarring for viewers who cannot roll with creator-writers Justin Roiland & Mike McMahan’s take-no-prisoners sense of humor. (Seriously, it is hard to imagine this show was originally supposed to be on the Fox Network.)

It definitely still looks like a Fox animated series though, but a partially black-and-white sequence adds a smidge of style. There is an important point to all the madness that puritanical censoring killjoys should take to heart: don’t mess with Halloween, because it will mess right back at you. Recommended as old-fashioned tasteless comedy (which these days you can only get away with in animation), the
Solar Opposites Halloween Special starts streaming tomorrow (10/3) on Hulu.