Futurama: The Beast With A Billion Backs

Futurama: The Beast With A Billion Backs


Reviewed by: Daniel Hooper

After a hasty introduction continuing from the first DVD movie Benders Big Score, The Beast With A Billion Backs sees the Earth in the grip of panic at the prospect of the end of the world and Professor Farnsworth and his nemesis Dr Wornstrom must team up to save it. Meanwhile, a tentacled creature Yivo takes over Earth with Fry as his Tentacle Pope, Bender joins the League of Robots, and Kif and Amy get married - so its business as usual for the Planet Express crew.

Improving on the limp and annoying nude alien scammers of Bender’s Big Score, the tentacled monster planet Yivo (voiced by the ever-enjoyable David Cross) seems more at home in the Futurama universe and Yivo’s tentacles/gentacles provide a good array of disgusting jokes. In addition, there are more reference gags than Big Score, although nothing quite as enjoyable as Torgos Executive Powder (a powder made from the executives of the ‘Box’ network, used often in Big Score).

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Like their previous effort, the narrative of Billion Backs contains too many disparate elements (not surprising as the movie is to be cut up for TV), but when the comedy is this consistent it isn’t too much of a compromise. The weakest subplot is Fry’s romance with polygamous Colleen (voiced by Brittany Murphy). It feels as though concessions have been made to the storytelling to accommodate her - especially considering Fry’s on-off romance with Leela - but even this strand raises a fair amount of laughs.

Futurama may not be as accessible as some animations (there is a notion that the sign of a geek is if they prefer Futurama to the Simpsons) and these DVD movies will do nothing to change that, but for fans the return of Futurama is most welcome. The Beast With A Billion Backs is an improvement onthe fractured but amusing Bender’s Big Score, and fans will enjoy the reappearances of Stephen Hawkings and the Robot Devil (his scene features one of the all-time great Futurama jokes). Although Billion Backs isn’t much grander in scale than an average episode, this is not the fault of the film – the world has been in peril many times on the show.

Reviewed on: 13 Jul 2008
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Futurama: The Beast With A Billion Backs packshot
The world is threatened by love struck alien Yivo.
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Director: Peter Avanzino

Writer: Matt Groening, David X Cohen, Michael Rowe

Starring: Voices of Billy West, Katey Sagal, John Di Maggio

Year: 2008

Runtime: 85 minutes

BBFC: 12 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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If you like this, try:

Futurama - Season 1
The Simpsons Movie