John Callahan's QUADS! (2001)

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Released 15-May-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Callahan: He Won't Get Far On Foot
Short Film-How Much Is That Window In The Doggie?
Featurette-Interview with Steve French (Director)
Featurette-Interview with John Callahan
Short Film-I Think I Was An Alcoholic
Featurette-Making Of-The Making Of The Music for John Callahan's QUADS!
DVD Credits
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 164:38
RSDL / Flipper RSDL
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Chris Labonte
Steve French
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring James Kee
Terri Hawkes
Matthew King
Cliff Saunders
Paul Haddad
Hamish Hughes
Case Gatefold
RPI $34.95 Music John Clifford White


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    QUADS! is an animated series based on characters by the controversial cartoonist John Callahan. It has storylines that no other series, with the exception of South Park, would touch.

    I have not been a regular viewer of QUADS! and have only seen parts of episodes occasionally on both SBS and the Comedy Channel. My first reaction was...what the hell is this?! After watching the highlight episodes of Series 1 of Quads! for this review, I found it much more enjoyable than only catching pieces here and there on TV. This is definitely a very different animation series.

    The story of QUADS! is an ensemble piece built around a central character, Reilly, a recovering alcoholic. One night when leaving the bar suitably drunk, he is run over by a car driven by a millionaire, Mort. Reilly is now a quadriplegic and Mort, in an attempt to stop Reilly suing him, goes for an out-of-court settlement. Reilly gets a mansion in the settlement, situated right next door to Mort.

    Now that Reilly is set for life, he decides to perform a good deed and help those less fortunate than himself. He invites a group of handicapped acquaintances to live with him. His guests include Blazer, who is just a head that rolls around on a skateboard, Lefty, a former masseur who now only has hooks for hands, and Fontaine, a blind black man who has no musical talent. The other main characters include Griz, a local bar owner who is always drinking, Spalding, Reilly's gay Australian Therapist and Franny, Reilly's hippie girlfriend.

    With a cast of characters such as this, most of the jokes are very politically incorrect and revolve around the handicapped, alcoholism, gays and hippies.

Maimed Manor- Run Time: 23:31

    Reilly is run over, becomes a quadriplegic, and is fired from his job. Spalding becomes his full-time live-in therapist. Mort, the millionaire who injured Reilly, buys him a mansion. Reilly invites the rest of his handicapped friends to live there with him.

Christmas Holidaze- Run Time: 23:32

    Reilly is trying to cope with not drinking over Christmas. To help, he tries an AA meeting, but he finds an easier way. Reilly falls off the wagon and in the process loses Blazer.

Gonad's Faust- Run Time: 23:31

    Reilly has erection problems and can't perform in the bedroom. He tries everything to fix the problem, but nothing works. Finally, he makes a deal with the Devil.

The Son's Also Blind- Run Time: 23:31

    A reporter is doing a story on the QUADS! and what keeps them going. A boy turns up at the mansion looking for his father, and since he is black, blind and looks like Fontain there is only one obvious choice. With a child at the mansion, Franny becomes motherly, and wants a baby. Reilly does all he can to ensure Franny does not get pregnant.

Guinea Pigs- Run Time: 23:31

    The QUADS! go to group therapy and b**** about each other. Mort has a heart attack and Spalding helps him lose some weight.

Fatal Distraction- Run Time: 23:31

    Spalding falls in love with Bruce, a swimsuit model, and can't think about anything else. Griz's sister comes to visit and stays in the mansion. Reilly goes as Spalding's date to a party so that Bruce will be more attracted to him, making Franny think Reilly is turning gay.

Spalding in the Family Way- Run Time: 23:31

    Griz is afraid that the health department is going to shut his bar down. Spalding's parents are coming to visit, and they don't know he is gay. Franny agrees to act as Spalding's girlfriend but his parents bust her with Reilly and everything comes out into the open.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer was better than I expected for this animated series, but is not of reference quality.

    The transfer is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 Full Frame.

    The transfer is extremely sharp and clear throughout the entire season, with no noticeable grain. This being an animated series, neither shadow detail nor low level noise were an issue.

    The colours were clear and constant with no untoward fluctations evident. The colours used in QUADS! are intentionally bright and obnoxious and help convey the personality of the characters.

    There were no MPEG artefacts to be seen. There were minimal film-to-video artefacts present, with only a few minor occurrences of noticeable interlacing. Film artifacts were few and far between with only a few small instances over the entire seven episode series.

    There are no subtitle options available on this disc.

    These highlights of the first season of QUADS! are presented on two RSDL discs. Layer changes are not visible on either disc as they occur between features.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio transfer is more than acceptable, but like the video is not of reference standard.

    There is only one audio track to be found, an English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s) stereo encoded track.

    The dialogue is clear but intentionally is not always easily understood. A couple of the characters have very specific accents and at times their dialogue is intentionally a little hard to understand. Audio sync is not an issue with this disc.

    The musical score was written by John Clifford White and is quite unique. From the opening song during the credits "It's My Life, Such As It Is," you know the music to this series is going to be a little different, and it is, but it suits the series incredibly well and adds to the overall warped tone of the animation and storyline.

    As the only track offered here is stereo, there is no use for either the surround channels or the subwoofer.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There is a good selection of extras on offer, which, like this DVD, are a little different.

Main Menu Introduction

    The introduction to the main menu has Reilly rolling up to a door and head butting it to get let in. He is then greeted by the other main characters as if it were a surprise party. After viewing this a few times, it gets boring and repetitive and you soon wish it wasn't there.

Main Menu Audio & Animation

    The music underscoring the main menu is taken from the series. The animation shows some of the characters and is accompanied by the episode titles. This menu system is arranged a little differently and is at times hard to follow. The episode names do not appear when the cursor is over them so you are not sure which episode you are selecting.

Callahan: He Won't Get Far On Foot - 25:59

    This is a documentary about the series creator John Callahan. It is done in an interview style and has him describing how his life has affected his work. He also discusses the controversy surrounding his cartoons.

Short Film-How Much Is That Window In The Doggie? - 1:01

    This is a short cartoon drawn by John Callahan. Once viewed, you will better understand the title.

Interview with Steve French (Director) - 9:26

    This featurette is an interview with the Australian director of the series. He describes the animation processes and how the distinctive style was achieved.

Interview with John Callahan - 20:11

    This is an interview with John Callahan conducted in a question and answer format. It covers a lot of areas already covered in the documentary.

Short Film-I Think I Was An Alcoholic - 4:20

    Short cartoon by John Callahan about his life experience with alcohol.

The Making Of The Music for John Callahan's QUADS!

    Documentary style look at how the musical score is written for QUADS!. Band members and the score writers are interviewed.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    As far as we are aware, this title has not been released in any other Region.

Summary

    QUADS! is at times very amusing. It has a unique animation style, unique storylines and unique music. It is not for those who are easily offended, as this series prides itself on being very politically incorrect. The video transfer is excellent, the audio is more than acceptable and there is a good range of extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Geoff Greer (read my bio)
Wednesday, July 09, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-S525, using S-Video output
DisplayBang & Olufsen BeoVision Avante 82cm 16:9 Widescreen. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderDenon AVR-1803. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVR 1803
SpeakersParadigm: Phantom Version 3 Front, Jensen SPX-13 Centre, Jensen SPX-5 Rear, Jensen SPX-17 Sub

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