It was only a matter of time until Eric Cartman got a respectable compilation DVD release. Having been one of the major focal points of South Park for years, and usually the instigator of everything that goes wrong in one way or another, Paramount Home Entertainment has released a great-looking collection with piles of great South Park episodes, even some that haven’t made it onto the DVD format as of yet. So, is this compilation worth picking up on top of the season collections, or are fans better off waiting until the next season compilation is released? Let’s get the synopsis out of the way and find out.
Featuring 12 classic episodes with Cartman at his very worst! The 2-disc DVD will feature a new-to-DVD episode from Season 12, as well as super cool new footage that will make this a true “must own” for every South Park fan. Just when you thought Cartman couldn’t cause any more trouble, well, these 12 episodes will tell you otherwise. Watch Cartman do everything from plotting his revenge on an older tormentor to, well, giving Kyle HIV. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg! He has so much more to show us and teach us! Witness the worst of Cartman!
For fans, the big draw will be the inclusion of a few “new to DVD” episodes to the release, and they’d be right. The three “new to DVD” episodes are remarkably solid and while they may not be the best Cartman-themed episodes, they are pretty enjoyable overall. The three “new to DVD” episodes are “Eek! A Penis!,” “Tonsil Trouble,” and “Super Fun Time,” all found on the second disc in this two-disc set. The other nine episodes featured on the set include “Scott Tenorman Must Die,” “Awesom-O,” “The Death of Eric Cartman,” “Cartoon Wars, Parts 1 & 2,” “Le petit tourette,” “Cartmanland,” and “Up the Down Steroid,” and “Ginger Kids.” If you’re a fan of Eric Cartman, then it goes without saying that not only do you likely enjoy all of these episodes, but you’ve watched them many times.
Given that this set is a basically a compilation release, fans will be unsure on whether or not to buy it. Personally, if you can find it for a low-enough price, it’s worth getting. Some of these episodes, like the absolutely twisted “Scott Tenorman Must Die” are considered classic by the die-hard Sout Park fans, and deservedly so. I still get uncomfortable and a little bit shocked by the end of the episode and just how far it goes. Now, I know that some South Park episodes have gone further in terms of content to shock people, but this one? I don’t know, but it’s just a crazy and uncomfortable ending.
The three “new to DVD” episodes are from the latest season of South Park and, for the most part, tend to stick to the formula. Out of the three,”Eek! A Penis” is probably my favorite, namely for the hilarious subplot of Cartman going to teach in an inner-city school. “How do I reach these kids” is just an absolutely hilarious line, especially how Cartman drags it out. Of course, the shaved head/combover bit is pretty classic, too. “Super Fun Time” and “Tonsil Trouble” are also pretty solid and include some great gags, such as Cartman dressed up in garb similar to what Tom Hanks wore in the movie Philadelphia, and the employees who never break character at Pioneer Village.
All in all, if you haven’t purchased any of the season set releases of South Park, then I think this is worthy of picking up. Hell, even if you own them, this would still be worth picking up if you can get it for the right price. The really nice packaging alone almost makes it worth it. What you get here are twelve episodes, not a mediocre one in the bunch, that come together to make a really enjoyable Cartman-a-thon. Plus, for those who can’t wait for the next season release, we have three “new to DVD” episodes in here to add on a little extra value to the package. If you’re a die-hard South Park fan, then South Park: The Cult of Cartman comes Recommended, but it’s a title that can easily be skipped if you pick up just the season set collections.
Now, Paramount Home Entertainment has given the two-disc South Park: The Cult of Cartman release a really nice package design. The packaging is made to basically look like the Bible, especially with the gold trim and faux-leather like casing. Open up the package, like a book, and you’ll see the two discs housed in an overlapping plastic tray. Also included is a bonus sticker and an official Eric Cartman Society card. All cute little additions to the packaging.
The audio and video are fair for this release, looking slightly above broadcast quality. Just a fine transfer with no additional bells or whistles. As for the extras, well, there’s really nothing here save for a few seconds of new animation per episode. Before each episodes there’s an introduction by Eric Cartman, telling us the lesson brought forth in each episode. The animation is very minor and, unless you’re a die-hard South Park fan, nothing of real value.
Overall, like I said above, there’s not much new content here. Save for a few extras in the actual packaging on top of some new animation before each episode, there’s no real bonus features to be found, effectively making this a bare-bones release. Still, the release does have three episodes that are new to DVD and, if you can find it for the right price, this set could easily help pass the time until the next season release sometime next year. So, if you’re a die-hard, I’d recommend running right out to get this release, but to all others, I’d recommend a Rental before opting to purchase South Park: The Cult of Cartman.
South Park: The Cult of Cartman hits DVD on October 7th, 2008.