The Cult of Cartman region 1 DVD review

A compilation pack of South Park episodes starring Eric Theodore Cartman. And little expense has been spared...

The Cult Of Cartman

Pushed out in time for the holiday shopping season, Comedy Central has proven that they will pull out all the stops for their DVD collections. The Cult of Cartman boxed set is no exception. This is one of the most beautiful DVD boxes I’ve ever seen.

When I first received my copy, I had to dig through some boxes, because I needed to compare this DVD to something else. From the gold leaf on the cover to the pebbling and the mock gold of the side of the box, The Cult of Cartman is exactly like the Bible I was given back when I used to attend church. The actual Bible is a bit thicker and not quite as long, but otherwise the resemblance is uncanny. This is a great-looking case (and is going on my display shelf next to my Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2 in the foam rubber Necronomicon-styled cases, which should tell you how impressive the packaging is).

The DVD’s title and all the outer markings are shiny gold-colored foil, and Cartman’s face is front and center on the front of the ‘book’. My only complaint is that instead of using pebble-grained cardboard, they could have sprung for some actual leather for the covering, or at least pleather. A few years ago, the special edition collection of the Speed Racer TV show was packaged in real rubber, made to feel and look like a tire. It was very impressive. This looks impressive, too, but isn’t quite up to that level of coolness.

Opening the case (which does not snap and opens like a book) reveals a couple of neat throw-ins. One of these is a sticker of Cartman from the Faith+1 episode, hands raised in exultation (the same image is embossed in gold foil on the back of the cover itself) and a little business card endorsing me as an official member of The Eric Theodore Cartman society. Generally, I feel about organizations the same way that Groucho Marx does, but it’s a neat little add-in that also serves as a flier to publicize a give-away on the website. It’s better than the usual glossy print ad that you normally find stuffed in DVDs.

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Upon first sliding the DVD into the player, the title splash screen features pompous string music and the Eric Theodore Cartman society’s logo. The episodes themselves are all introduced by Cartman, who wanders onto screen and imparts a lesson from that particular episode. That is the extent of the new content on this DVD. There are some episodes from Season 12 included that have never been released on DVD before now, but they will be soon and aren’t worth getting the box for unless you really can’t wait to see Super Fun Time in its uncensored glory.

Here’s the episode list included in the DVD:

Scott Tenorman Must Die (Season 5, Episode 69) AWESOM-O (Season 8, Episode 116) The Death of Eric Cartman (Season 9, Episode 131) Cartoon Wars Part I (Season 10, Episode 142) Cartoon Wars Part II (Season 10, Episode 143) Le Petit Tourette (Season 11, Episode 161) Tonsil Trouble (Season 12, Episode 168) Eek, a Penis! (Season 12, Episode 172) Cartmanland (Season 5, Episode 71) Up the Down Steroid (Season 8, Episode 113) Super Fun Time (Season 12, Episode 174) Ginger Kids (Season 9, Episode 136)

The episodes look as good as can be expected. After all, this is South Park and not more sophisticated animation, so it’s not like there is much requirement for any audio/visual tricks. The transfers are clean and sharp, with rich black and lots of contrast. The sound is very well done as well, with good use of stereo. There’s not much you can do with TV shows, but everything looks and sounds better than it did during the original broadcasts (I don’t have good cable reception).

Unless you’re just completely smitten by the packaging or you have no desire to get the individual season boxed sets, there’s not much reason to get this DVD set. The episodes are very good to great, though they don’t all seem to fit with the Cartman theme, and the lack of special features (or even the features that have been on the season DVD set releases) is pretty damning. Surely the creator commentaries could have been added to the DVDs, especially considering for three-quarters of the collection the work has already been done.

Episodes:

3 stars
Special Features:

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1 stars

US correspondent Ron Hogan is now an official, card-carrying member of the Eric Theodore Cartman Society. It’s hella sweet. Find more by Ron at his blog, Subtle Bluntness and daily at Shaktronics and PopFi .

 


 

Rating:

3 out of 5