Laughter is the Best Medicine

Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus – Correctly Doing Crude and Non-Sequitur Humor With Jhonen Vasquez

Tonight on Mysterious Mysteries of Strange Mystery,
we take a look at the youtube series Only Nice Things, the review show that has a built
in drinking game. Hi I’m Zero and this is Only Nice Things,
the show that punishes negative opinions with alcohol. I’m dressed up as Dib Membrane and today we’re going to talk about Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus. It’s been years since we last saw Zim and
Gir, but now the alien and robot duo have resurfaced… and they’re doing stretches! And nobody stretches like that unless they’re
warming up for evil! It’s now up to Dib and his sister Gaz to
stop Zim and the evil Irkin empire from taking over the Earth. Will Dib be able to get back in shape to take
on his alien adversary? Will he also be able to convince his father,
Professor Membrane that aliens do exist? And finally… will Zim even remember phase
2 of his plan…? Oh yeah and what’s a Florpus? Now let’s say some nice things about this
film. Invader Zim is back and looks as pink and
purple as ever thanks to a Netflix budget and shiny HD visuals. Anyone not familiar with the original show
can still enjoy this since the opening anime, inspired sequence quickly sums up the basic
premise. I love that they continued the show’s warped,
almost distorted look and kept the abundance of alien technology. Throughout the story, the backgrounds bounce
from exaggerated perspectives to being filled to the brim with mechanical oddities. When realities start colliding towards the
end of the film, the screen gets so overloaded with constantly shifting art styles that you’ll
want to go back to see the different versions. There’s also an animator inside joke that
was perfectly up my alley. It never gets old seeing these characters
constantly engage in battles of wit using hilariously, absurd exaggerations. Chair Dib is a grotesque site to behold but
Zim definitely steals the show with all his silly emotes and condescending victory poses. The movie cranks up the crude and non-sequitur
style of humor but could still play alongside other Nickelodeon cartoons. They never miss an opportunity to visually
bombard you with gross-out visuals or hit you with jokes that conveniently come out
of nowhere. One of the things that Jhonen Vasquez does
so well is have gags that seem inconsequential, but then calls back to it later so it feels
integral. This helps it from turning into something
that just happens randomly for a cheap a laugh. I also like Jhonen’s very cynical approach
to depicting the intelligence of all non-essential characters. You can’t help but laugh at how easily everyone
is duped by Zim’s “human” disguises or their failure to see all his obviously
evil intentions. The voice actors really help sell many of
the jokes that go way over the top and the reactions that come along with it. Richard Steven Horvitz sounds like he’s
having a blast manically laughing his head off as Invader Zim. He’s got this infectious cackle that really
grows on you as he constantly undermines Dib and annoys him any chance he can get. Andy Berman perfects the neutered cries of
Dib and Roger Bumpass plays blissful ignorance so well, as his science focused father, Professor
Membrane. Well that’s it for the Only Nice Things
portion of this show. If you’re sensitive to negative comments
or criticisms you’ll probably just want to leave now. Otherwise stay tuned for the drinking game. Cheers! While the main cast all sounded great in the
movie, I could not stand the newly introduced character Clembrain, a Profession Membrain
clone created by Zim. Series creator Jhonen Vasquez said that he
“did not want actors who were just capable of zany voices because it sounded less natural”
to him when casting for the TV show. Oddly enough he casted himself as this character
and it’s very obvious he’s doing an obnoxious voice. Anytime Clembrane was on screen and started
rambling, I felt nothing but annoyance and just wanted him to be sucked into the Florpus. So I did say earlier that there’s some good
non-sequitur jokes do that tie back into the plot, the ones that don’t… come across as a little too out of left field
sometimes… Horvitz laughter and confusion really help
sell these gags but …..why peanuts? I guess it’s a slight callback to the “Voting
of the Doomed” episode… but it’s still pretty random. I’m pretty disappointed they couldn’t
write in Zim and Dib’s teacher from the TV show, Ms. Bitters. Understandably her character doesn’t really
work in the plot of the film, but her demonic presence was such a dour delight and her nihilistic
shaming always put a strange smile on my face. Maybe it’s because she reminded me of the
nuns reprimanding me when I was in grade school but she was greatly missed. Time to tally up the drinking score. As you can see, I’ve had 10 drinks. Despite the negatives, I
really liked Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus and was pleasantly surprised to see one of
my childhood cartoons get a modern day makeover. I’m not sure if this is supposed to be a
proper ending to the show or the start of a new series, but I hope this isn’t the
last time we get to get to see Zim’s futile attempts at taking over the Earth. I’m sure fans would love another opportunity
to eat waffles with Zim and Gir. That’s it for Only Nice Things, thanks for
watching a come drink with me next time.

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