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Futurama: The Beast With a Billion Backs

One disc; 20th Century Fox; $29.95

By Richard von Busack

Slouchy robot Bender evolves from mechanical bad example to armed and dangerous rebel who dares to take on God (voiced by David Cross). "Yivo" (close enough to "JHVH" for blasphemy) is not God as most people imagine him; he's a pink multitentacled orb who desires personal knowledge of our spinal chords. In subplots in this made-for-DVD feature, Kim and Amy tie the knot on the oozing planet Amphibios 9, and hapless Fry finds romance with a polygamous new girlfriend who apparently "sleeps in a big pile, like hamsters." This consistently amusing sci-fi farrago on the nature of love in all its awful varieties co-stars the senescent King Kong, the talking heads of Richard Nixon and Stephen Hawking, the demon Pazuzu, hambot actor Calculon and studly, velour-wrapped Rear Brigadier Gen. Zap Brannigan. Bender's wicked summing up, a parody of that noble passage from 1 Corinthians cited everywhere from Odd Man Out to Kieslowski's Blue, is a resounding endorsement of human and robot selfishness. The Beast With a Billion Backs is guaranteed to be the only animated mashup of Star Trek V and Paradise Lost you'll see this year.

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