For those of you who haven't been keeping up, Regular Show is the brainchild of J.G. Quintel and follows the adventures of a blue jay named Mordecai and a raccoon named Rigby who work as groundskeepers in a neighborhood park. It features the voice work of Quintel (Mordecai), William Salyers (Rigby), Sam Marin, Mark Hamill, and Janie Haddad Tompkins among others. The stories are surreal and entertaining (usually), featuring a smarter humor than I was expecting. It's not by accident that Cartoon Network has paired this cartoon up with Adventure Time.
As far as the Fright Pack is concerned, every episode included is a winner. The disc kicks off with "Terror Tales of the Park" parts one and two, and it's a great introduction to the characters, the concept, and the overall theme of the collection. The stories are clever, appropriately spooky, and overall, just plain weird. This was my first time experiencing the world of Regular Show and it won me over from the first few minutes.
All of the included episodes are horror-themed, making it an excellent disc to put in during spooky all-ages Halloween gatherings. My own personal favorites were "Ello Gov'nor" about a haunted British Taxi, and "Grave Sights" about a fund-raising zombie movie viewing in the local graveyard that goes horribly wrong. The appearance and re-appearance of Death in was also a highlight, as the first appearance sets up the second in a very unexpected way. What I thought was just a casual throwaway joke turns out to become an important plot point later in the disc.
I can honestly say that I marathoned my way through this collection with hardly any pauses and enjoyed nearly every single episode. This is the fifth Regular Show collection and while it's nice to get a single disc with a healthy dose of Regular Show episodes all centered on a specific theme, ultimately I have to question the economics of the thing.
You see, I'm poor. Really poor. And what we have here is essentially an evening's worth of truly excellent cartoons that would be great to pop into the DVD player on Halloween and just let run for about three hours. But when this retails for $19.82 (but sells for around 11 bucks on Amazon) and the entire first two seasons of forty episodes – from which some of these episodes are culled – retails for $36.94 and actually goes for about 25 bucks, I've just gotta look my wallet in the eye and make a tough choice.
There are really no special features on Fright Pack, except for a Villains Gallery – and calling it a special feature is stretching the meaning of the term almost to breaking point – so there's really no reason to add this to your collection unless maybe, just maybe, you don't really know whether or not you like the show and just want to sample it. Or maybe you're throwing an all-ages Halloween party and need something to put on in the background to keep the kids distracted and the adults entertained. It's not like you can whip out your European cut of Fulci's Zombie at just any gathering.
Another thing to consider is that the majority of episodes in this collection are from the as-yet-unreleased Seasons 3 and 4, so this is your only place to get them. At the moment.
So if Cartoon Network is going to be stingy and not release the full seasons in a timely manner, this is really the only option for building your collection. But given that Seasons 3 and 4 are each practically as big as the first two seasons combined, maybe Fright Pack isn't nearly the wallet-gouging money-grab it seems to be at first glance. Maybe it’s a way to trim the fat from the show and just grab the highlights.
Paul Brian McCoy is the writer of Mondo Marvel and a regular contributor/editor for Comics Bulletin. His first novel, The Unraveling: Damaged Inc. Book One is available at Amazon US & UK, along with his collection of short stories, Coffee, Sex, & Creation (US & UK). He recently contributed the 1989 chapter to The American Comic Book Chronicles: The 1980s (US & UK) and has kicked off Comics Bulletin Books with Mondo Marvel Volumes One (US & UK) and Two (US & UK). Paul is unnaturally preoccupied with zombie films, Asian cult cinema, and sci-fi television. He can also be found babbling on Twitter at @PBMcCoy.