Top critical review
Inhumanoids deserves better than this!
on July 18, 2003
I love this show, it's easily one of my all-time favorites of the 80's. - So why two stars? Because of Rhino's crap treatment of it! They get one star for it simply BEING Ihumanoids, and an additional star for the episodes being in order. As for the rest, read on....
Just a few points - This is easily one of the more under-rated 80's cartoons out there, and really deserves better treatment. How about a Complete Series set? You could easily squeeze all 13 episodes on 2 DVDs (or, preferably, 3 to maximize picture quality).
Think of this series as "Cthulu Lite," with Lovecraft-esque creatures bent on world domination, the only thing standing in their way being a small group of environmental explorers. Not as cheesy as it sounds, Inhumanoids boasted some of the best one-liners (genuinely FUNNY one-liners, not the typical 80's cheese) and genuine peril for its characters than any series of the period. Plus the series was actually a continuing saga, with the events of each episode affecting the next. If you watch them out of sequence, you'd be completely lost as to what was going on. At least I'm glad to see Rhino was releasing the episodes in their proper order, something the previous 80's video release didn't.
I've never seen any official word on the subject, but it would not surprise me in the least if one of the reasons the show was pulled (aside from low ratings and poor toy sales) back in 1986 was for excessively violent content. I can easily believe parents forbidding their young ones to watch this show. Unfortunately for the curious, the most violent episodes are the final 4, which have yet to be officially released in any format (aside from the original TV broadcasts, of course). All Rhino has succeeded in doing is re-releasing all of the episodes which have been available for the past 17 years in one video release or another, with the elusive final 4 still being unseen outside of fan bootleg videos. This may partially explain the poor sales - most people HAVE the episode they've released already, and want the last 4 episodes more than anything else! Release THOSE episodes, and maybe you'll get more people buying all 3 volumes as a set! Myself, I held off because I wanted to get the whole set. I've got all the old video releases, and they're in great shape, so I saw no reason to re-purchase the same episode in a different format, unless the quality was significantly better (which it doesn't seem to be - if anything, the quality is WORSE than my old VHS tapes) and if they released the final 4 episodes, thus allowing me to finally replace my old TV recording. But it looks like I'll be holding on to that TV recording a while longer...
Now, a clarification - I don't know why people are thinking the series had animated closing credits, it didn't. I still HAVE my old TV tapes I recorded back when the show was originally on, and I can honestly say, with the proof of the original broadcasts themselves, that the closing credits NEVER had animation, they were always the still frames. I remember thinking at the time how odd it was, since all of Sunbow's other shows had animated closing credits. Just wanted to clear this up, clearly some of you are mis-remembering this detail.
As for the opening theme, yes the original version is considerably different than the version presented here. The music and animation is the same, but there is some character and narrator dialogue that accompanies the main song. I don't know why this version of the opening isn't on these DVDs. The original version makes for a far more exciting intro than the watered-down alternate version presented here. The version on Rhino's DVDs is the same intro sequence that was used on Malofilm's (Canadian) VHS release of the pilot movie in 1995. It seems that the only official videos that have the original openings are the old Hi-Tops videos releases in 1986-87, and good luck finding those.
Now, the angry rant - If Rhino was going to buy up the rights to all of Sunbow's old shows, the least they could have done is PROPER releases of them. Inhumanoids deserves far better treatment than it has received with this DVD set. In this day and age of Season sets, there is no longer any acceptable excuse for releasing volumes of a handful of episodes of an already short-lived series! If it's a 13 episodes series, just release a boxed set of all 13, for cryin' out loud! Rhino screwed up the sound (and editing in some episodes) in ALL the Transformers sets, they completely mucked this series up, what's next? Why bother getting the rights to all these great old shows if they were just going to -
A) Dole them out a handful of episodes at a time,
B) Not even bother to complete the set, as in this case, and
C) muck about with the original audio/video in an effort to "improve" upon the originals? (Such as the remixed sound and re-edited episodes in the TF sets)
Just leave the dang things ALONE, and give the fans what they WANT! Or hand the rights over to someone who actually cares about delivering a quality product to the real fans! Do they actually think they're marketing to KIDS with these shows? Nonsense! Today's generation (overall) could care less about some 20 year old cartoons. It's ADULTS who are buying these sets, ADULTS who grew up with the shows and want to relive those great old memories, and therefore ADULTS to whom they should be aimed.
Hopefully someone at Rhino will read this and give the subject some thought. Although I guess placing this review in one of their lowest-selling titles may not do much for the chances of it being seen...sigh...
To sum up - Do Inhumanoids properly. Stop messing with the sound and video in these sets. Be aware of who is buying these sets and market accordingly, since it is most definately NOT the current generation of kiddies.
Oh, and if anyone is looking for the last 4 episodes, I'll happily dub them for you since Rhino doesn't seem to care two hoots about this show anyway...