InsidePulse DVD Review – Beavis & Butt-Head: The Mike Judge Collection Volume 2

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Release Date: June 13, 2006
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 40
Running Time: 226 minutes
MSRP: $38.99

Created by:
Mike Judge

Voices:
Mike Judge …. Beavis/ Butt-Head/ Tom Anderson/ David Van Driessen/ Bradley Buzzcut/ Principal McVicker/ Mr. Stevenson/ The Great Cornholio
Tracy Grandstaff …. Daria Morgendorffer/ Mrs. Stevenson/ Cassandra
Adam Welsh …. Stewart Stevenson

The Show

Many people have their own little lists of films and TV series they want put out on the ever so convenient format of DVD. If you grew up in the 90’s there’s a very good chance that Beavis and Butt-head are on there somewhere. Who hasn’t sat around the house during the summer with friends watching music videos while providing their own commentary ripping apart all the bands they hated? That’s what this show was all about and in the process provided a few short cartoon clips that chronicled the life and times of two slackers from Highland Texas.

Beavis & Butt-head were two boys on their own with no parental supervision, didn’t attend school regularly and learned the facts of life from watching TV. Once out in the real world no matter what problems they got in to they seem to always walk away possibly dumber from the experiences. How is it that these two slackers who sit on their couch all day and watch music videos captured the nation by storm? Well, perhaps I answered my own question there. These were two characters that, for better of worse, were relatable (or at least enjoyable) to its target audience.

For the longest time, Time Life would advertise late at night allowing viewers the opportunity to purchase volumes of the series along with made for TV specials. But fans wanted something a little more legitimate, something with the Mike Judge seal of approval, and at long last they did. Only what they got didn’t make them happy. After the first volume of this three part collection was released fans were very distraught. First for the fact the series wasn’t being released in season sets, and then again when they found out that the music videos that made them fall in love with the show would not be included. And that the skits themselves have been edited by Judge and the studio. Sadly those bits are now gone but as tough as it might be for some to not have them, the animation and stories for the most part still hold up.

Mike Judge himself has stated that while he enjoyed working on Beavis & Butt-head there were still about a third of the shows that he was ashamed of making. Perhaps due to them being rushed to the final stage or near the end of the shows run where burn out was starting to settle in. Either way, Judge would rather them be forgotten. So with this series he has decided to hand pick the shows he personally enjoyed making and make them available for fans to enjoy. Even if they’re not happy with his decision, there’s no denying that it’s nice to now have the show available for purchase.

Forty episodes are included in all, running around six minutes each. There are some classic segments here along with a few clunkers but the good certainly makes up for the weaker material. Episodes we can list in the “good” category include: “Lightning Strikes” where the boys plan to imitate Ben Franklin’s experiment with electricity after viewing a special on TV. “Animation Sucks” is the one where Beavis and Butt-head show their more artistic side, with pitchforks and airplanes. In “Candy Sale” the two get caught up in that candy selling scheme that everyone seems to have been a part of at one point or another in their academic career. Another classic is “Tired” where the boys find an abandoned monster truck tire and use it to roll down hill. Nothing bad could possibly happen here. Some others that are hilarious to watch are “Patsies”, “US History” and “Prank Call”.

There are however some poor selections for the set like, “Party” where Beavis and Butt-head plan to throw a party in hopes of getting in with the cool crowd only to find themselves kicked out. In “Stewart Moves Away” Beavis and Butt-head mistake the vacation that Stewart and his family are having as the family moving away. When two robbers break in pretending to be movers Beavis and Butt-head help the two thugs. “Here Comes the Bride’s Butt” is a show that has nothing of entertainment whatsoever. The boys try to get lucky at a wedding because they heard women put out at weddings. Proving even more how unoriginal Wedding Crashers was. When Beavis and Butt-head find out that there’s a possible bomb in the school in “Premature Evacuation” they do the only logical thing, go and search for it. “Top O’ the Mountain” is a phrase very memorable by fans of the show, too bad the episode it originates from isn’t. Here the dynamic duo go around town looking for a hot hair dresser in hopes of looking at her rack while she washes and cuts their hair. Other episodes that similarly fall flat on their faces include “Spanish Fly”, “Date Watchers”, “Womyn” and “Feel A Cop”.

The majority of the collection are episodes that are neither good or bad but provide a healthy amount of entertainment. With the episode “Oil Change” The manager at work wants the boys to change the oil in the frialator after customers complained about the taste of the fries. So of coarse the boys take the meaning literally and head to the local auto body shop to pick up a few quarts of motor oil. Beavis the dimwit that he is, mistakes a stomach ache from eating too many nachos with being pregnant in “Pregnant Pause”. The gym teacher Mr. Buzzcut plays a joke on the boys in “Wet Behind the Rears”. Other episodes to point out are “Green Thumbs”, “What’s the Deal”, “Stewart Is Missing”, “Blood Pressure” and “Spare Me”.

Also included in the set is the Halloween special “Bungholio: Lord of the Harvest” where the boys try making their own Halloween costume then try stealing candy from children. The special runs about fifteen minutes and is filled with laughs from start to finished. There’s even an appearance by the great Cornholio.

Beavis & Butt-head pushed the envelope for shows like South Park to break in to the business showing that not all cartoon had to be for children or politically correct. For a show that was so moronic at face value it had a very subtle way of including sporadic moments of pure genius. The visuals don’t matter as much as the ideals and stories. While it doesn’t have the gloss or tedious attention to detail like most other animated shows have there’s no denying that Beavis & Butt-head had something special.

Score: 7/10

The episode lineup is as follows:

Disc One: Plastic Surgin, Stewart Moves Away, Top O’ the Mountain, Bad Dog, Lightning Strikes, Party, What’s the Deal, Wet Behind the Rears, Animation Sucks, Candy Sale, Here Comes the Bride’s Butt, Pregnant Pause, Oil Change, History of Women, Beavis, Can You Spare a Dime, Premature Evacuation, Bang the Drum Slowly, Dumbass, Close Encounters, Vidiots, Tired

Disc Two: Whiplash, Spare Me’, “Womyn, Murder Site, Another Friday Night, Patsies, Spanish Fly, Sexual Harassment, Green Thumbs, Bus Trip, Blood Pressure, Feel A Cop, US History, Date Watchers, Gang of Two, Stewart Is Missing, Prank Call, Babysitting, Buttniks, Bungholio: Lord of the Harvest

The DVD

Video:
(Presented in 1.33:1 Fullscreen)
The show was made to look specifically rough and that’s what we get here. A lot of the grain and dust that appeared on the show in syndication and from the old VHS tapes have been cleaned up. I can honestly say this is probably the best we’ll ever see these shows presented.

Score: 7/10

Audio:
(English 2.0 Stereo)
The shows was made and presented with a 2.0 track and that’s what we get here. Had the music videos been included in the shows this would have been a problem. Since all we ever here are mainly laughs and grunts, I could live without it being in surround sound. The episodes sound clear with no distortion.
Score: 7/10

Extras:

The third disc in the collection is where you’ll find all of the bonus material. Most television shows will usually get a couple deleted scenes a handful of commentaries and perhaps some “behind the scenes” or “Making-of” featurette. This set isn’t very different from all the others, it may appear to be better with all of the extras housed in a single disc by themselves but added up it doesn’t seem to equate to much. Sure there are things here that were dug up but the lack of much substance is sure to disappoint many.

First up is something for all fans of the show to enjoy, music videos. Included on the disc are thirteen music videos that combined run slightly over twenty minutes. The chosen music videos include: Beastie Boys “Sabotage”, Seaweed “Kid Candy”, Pantera “I’m Broken”, Mercyful Fate “The Bellwitch”, Compulsion “Delivery”, Madonna “Secret”, Six Finger Satellite “Parlour Games”, Pizzicato 5 “Twiggy, Twiggy”, Rush “Stick It Out”, Radiohead “Fake Plastic Trees”, Extreme “Hole-Hearted”, Helium “Pat’s Trick”, and MC 900 Ft. Jesus “If I Only Had A Brain”. The music videos are in clip form usually running around a minute and a half each. This is certainly the best thing included in the set for special features.

The main piece to the collection outside of the music videos is Taint of Greatness: The Journey of Beavis & Butt-Head Part 2 (19:51) which is the middle section of what is a three part documentary. There are appearances by creator Mike Judge, South Part co-creator Matt Stone, a variety of writers and musical talent such as GWAR and Snoop Dogg. The featurette tends to be a little too clip heavy at times but it’s trying to show the history of the show. Seeing as this is a middle section of something larger there is clearly a lack of completion that it could have had.

The Special Appearances has a selection of rare promotional footage used for the MTV network while the show was on the air like, an MTV 20th Anniversary Special, Calvin Klein ad parodies, moron-a-thon clips with Snoop Dogg, and lastly an Unaired I Love the 90’s Segment that should remain unaired.

Finishing up the set are a few Promos, montages and some previews.

Score: 6/10