The Venture Brothers Season 5
Adult Swim Animated
8 Episodes
Warner Home Video 2014

The Venture Bros is an Adult Swim cartoon so you know it is weird. Imagine how much weirder it is when you are not familiar with its mytharc and encounter it with the season 5 Blu-ray. That said, this mix of weird mad scientist, slacker teens, and offbeat and sometimes questionable humor is a hell of a lot of fun to watch. The Fifth Season features 8 episodes, a bonus Halloween episode, an MTV-like feature on Shallow Gravy, and deleted scenes and commentary track for all episodes.

Hank and Dean Venture are the teenage sons of mad and somewhat incompetent scientist Rusty Venture. The boys tend to be killed off a lot and, consequently, are clones of the originals. Venture’s nemesis The Monarch and a bunch of others also reside on the Venture compound. The show is supposedly inspired by Jonny Quest.

It is hard to say anything else about this show in terms of story as it just piles on the bizarre. For example episode 1 (a double episode) has Venture building some kind of space shield but he radiates all the help so it all mutates. He must find an antidote so he can deliver the space shield on time.

Episode 2 has Venture go to some jungle country to fix one of his inventions, Venturestein. Turns out Venturestein joined the revolution he was supposed to fight and went to hide in the jungle. There he discovered and liberated a bunch of other weird creatures created by a whole bunch of other mad scientists. Venturestein wants to create a new nation for all the weird creatures, an abomi-nation. Look for the creature from Centipede as a sight gag near the end.

The Venture Bros also changes tone from time to time. Episode 4, Spanakopita, has Venture on vacation on a Greek Island where he must beat his nemesis St. Cloud at various games. The tip of the hat to king of stop motion animation Ray Harryhausen is way cool. Episode 5 Momma’s Boys is also pretty weird and fun to watch. Look for references to Pink Floyd and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Each episode features very good and imaginative writing (like the student green gag in episode 1), some funny sight gags, and quite a few plot twists and ideas that send a shiver of glee up your spine.

It takes a bit to get into The Venture Brothers but it is worth the investment.