Studio: Paramount Studios
Starring: Various voices
Directed By: N/A
Running Time: 180 minutes
Ratings: CAN – 14A, USA – NR
Now over 50 of your favourite calls from Comedy Central’s Crank Yankers are available in this glorious DVD collection. Look back on all your favourite moments, from Hadassah’s obnoxiously uncomfortable questions about poop to Spoonie Luv’s liberal use of the word “badonkadonk,” to the time Special Ed yelled “I got mail!” 48 different times in one called (we counted).
Well, if the concept of the show wasn’t dumb enough (recording prank calls), they had to lower the bar even further by re-enacting what the real-life situation might have been like in a muppet-verse.
As ridiculous as it was for me to have to sit through this presentation, I will admit that there were a couple of calls that were genuinely amusing. Two particular segments come to mind specifically. The first involves a woman complaining about human feces in her car to a towing company. The other is a restaurant call that pulls a 180 and becomes a conversation about secrets to better female hygiene. However, these 10 minutes (if even that) do not even come close to making up for the other 170 minutes of crass stupidity.
My first major objection to this as entertainment is that prank phone calls, even when done properly, are not very entertaining. Most people are very passive on the phone. Pulling off a charade in person with hidden cameras is always far more effective as people are more likely to react to the situation. My second objection lies in the puppeteering of the situations. Sure, it adds a visual element. Unfortunately, that visual element actually takes away from the quality of the calls for this viewer (not that there was much quality to begin with).
The biggest turn-off about this presentation came when the lines of morality were clearly being violated for the sake of entertainment. One call in particular was founded on the principle that the Taco Bell head office was calling their store locations to check on phone pronunciation by employees. At the end of the call, the person claiming to be from head office tells the employee to take as much money from the till as they’d like. Since the employee seemed to believe the ruse, this could have led to some serious life altering aftermath for the person taking the call. There were several calls of this nature that targeted the prank victim to make decisions that could ruin their lives. It was disheartening to listen to these people take the call seriously and despicable for the caller to try and influence them in such a manner.
I highly recommend that everyone avoid this presentation like the plague.
Crave Factor – 0
No extra features are presented on this release.
Crave Factor – N/A
1.85 Anamorphic Widescreen
The visual presentation doesn’t suffer from any major transfer anomolies. Some minor banding and artifacting does occur during segment transitions to/from a flat black screen. The colouring of the puppets are consistently vibrant and balanced throughout the 3 hr presentation. There isn’t much to judge in the way of black levels since the image is always meant to be bright and active. Overall, this is an above standard DVD transfer.
Crave Factor – 9
Dolby Digital Stereo
Given the nature of the audio being recorded phone calls, there is plenty of opportunity to criticize the audio. The pranker was obviously recorded on high-quality audio equipment as they are always clear and audible. The quality from the feed on the other end of the phone is another matter entirely. Aside from the obvious volume difference presented between both people on the phone, the person receiving the call is not always as discernable in their speech. However, these problems are obviously understandable given the nature of the situation. And there is no need or sign of any surround sound.
Crave Factor – 6
A static screen image where the options are presented vertically in the centre of the screen with a burlesque style broadway theme song overlaying it. The options exist to play the entire collection as a single presentation, to break it into individual calls, or to break your selection down into characters and their calls specifically.
Crave Factor – 4
If this DVD is the “best of” the Crank Yankers franchise, I am glad that I haven’t been subjected to the rest of their material. The very concept of the show is ludicrous and the quality of entertainment sets a very low standard for comedy. The DVD itself looks good in action and sounds decent enough to pass the grade, but those alone can’t make the presentation entertaining. I don’t even think that the inclusion of extra features could have saved this from being some of the worst comedy that I have ever seen.
It is strongly recommended that you DO NOT BOTHER with this release.