Crossing Over: “YOUR PRETTY FACE IS GOING TO HELL”Fearful Features,Movies/TV,News Ken W. Hanley
Welcome, FANGORIA Readers, to CROSSING OVER, a column that highlights the films, series and content out there outside of horror that is fashioned towards or pays tribute to our beloved genre. By shining a light onto these projects, FANGORIA hopes to open a world of entertainment perfect for fright fans that lies just beyond the borders of the horror community. So without further ado…
When it comes to the world of comedy, few outlets keep a firm foot in the world of horror more than Adult Swim, the late night alter-ego of Cartoon Network. From their Brett Gelman specials to METALOCALYPSE and even last year’s viral sensation TOO MANY COOKS, Adult Swim knows that the darker side of comedy goes hand-in-hand with the absurdist humor more often than not. When it comes to the nexus between horror, adult humor and absurdism, Adult Swim’s perfect blend of weird and wicked comes in the form of YOUR PRETTY FACE IS GOING TO HELL, an FX-heavy workplace comedy where the boss is literally The Devil.
From the minds of Adult Swim’s Casper Kelly (TOO MANY COOKS) and Dave Willis (AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE), YOUR PRETTY FACE IS GOING TO HELL features rising comedic talent and LAST PODCAST OF THE LEFT co-host Henry Zebrowski as Gary, a demon who works in Hell and just can’t get anything right. Whether it’s demonic possession, convincing people to commit gruesome suicide, getting people to sign away their souls or exacting revenge on an evil magician, Gary’s plans to help out Satan (THE SOPRANOS’ Matt Servitto) never go as plan, often backfiring in a bloody, self-destructive fashion. The problem is that the consequences for messing up a project in Hell isn’t an HR meeting; it’s being shoved into a tiny box where your body is ground up into pieces.
While the ultraviolent comedy-of-errors is Adult Swim’s forte, YOUR PRETTY FACE IS GOING TO HELL plays to the supernatural side of things pretty impressively as well. In an episode in which Gary loses his summoning word, their depiction of the stupid things one would make a demon do is alternately hilarious and, by the end, surprisingly bloody. And from there, YOUR PRETTY FACE IS GOING TO HELL gets much pleasure out of twisting the eerie elements of the dark arts as well as Hell, especially the cruel and unusual punishments, to absurdly horrific places that you just can’t help but laugh at.
YOUR PRETTY FACE IS GOING TO HELL also benefits from Adult Swim’s use of fairly obvious but always fun FX work, whether it’s the fluffy Cerberus (as pictured above), the red-skinned-and-horned demons or the random objects in Hell, including computer modems made of mangled viscera. While the creature and gore FX of YOUR PRETTY FACE IS GOING TO HELL isn’t going to give Greg Nicotero’s WALKING DEAD work a run for its money, it’s the type of imaginative, slightly off-color D.I.Y. aesthetic that would make Troma and Full Moon proud. Even the hilariously low-rent digital effects of YOUR PRETTY FACE is endearing when paired with the sillier-than-thou subject matter and the over-the-top practical FX.
Overall, while the series doesn’t exactly go for subtle or even traditionally clever laughs, YOUR PRETTY FACE IS GOING TO HELL instead embraces the hilariously insane elements of a Hellbound sitcom. Guaranteed to please those who love Adult Swim’s near careless swandives into the irreverent and questionably tasteful, horrorheads should find common ground in YOUR PRETTY FACE’s devil-may-care humor (pun definitely intended) and bizarre bloodletting as well.