Underfist: Halloween Bash
Underfist: Halloween Bash (otherwise known as Underfist) is an American animated spin-off special of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. It originally aired on Cartoon Network on October 12, 2008. The special was going to be the setup for a new series spin-off of Grim & Evil, but the contract of Maxwell Atoms with Cartoon Network expired before moving to Disney Channel for the TV series Fish Hooks, and the special was (at the time) ultimately the finale of the Grim & Evil franchise. The special did not become a series due to the fact that Cartoon Network’s president at the time Stuart Snyder chose to focus on new ideas, which included live–action. This move resulted in long-time creators for the network such as Atoms, Mr. Warburton, and Craig McCracken to leave the network.
A real live living marshmallow bunny plans to destroy Endsville with real chocolate bars. Mindy is enslaved by Bunbun, a marshmallow bunny to take over the world from the Underworld power. Only the team of Underfist can stop the Trick-or-Treater Eaters: Irwin, Fred Fredburger, Jeff the Spider, Hoss Delgado, and General Skarr. They rescue the new President of the United States, which turns out to be Mandy. Hoss Delgado refuses to be part of Underfist, but is forced to team up with the vampire-mummy Irwin after he realizes that Underfist is the only team he can trust. Evil chocolate-bars, Halloween-pumpkin fire-solidiers, and armed-ice cream tanks rampage through Endsville as Underfist must decide whether to accept their leadership or give up their attempt.
Why It Rocks
- Whatʼs probably the main reason for this film's success is its premise. Unlike the previous Grim & Evil series, Underfist: Halloween Bash is an action-superhero movie, and it works.
- Irwin now serves as the main protagonist of the film, which is a nice change of pace.
- Billy, Mandy and Irwin’s costumes look pretty cool, with Billy as a spooky witch, Mandy as the uniform of the Spanish Inquisition and Irwin as Dracula, but the ones Grim puts on the Underfist crew look spooktacular, along with the Underfist uniforms Jeff makes out of spider silk and even Irwin’s mummy costume.
- Some emotional moments, such as: Irwin sadly saying that Mandy and him won’t be able to go trick-or-treating on Halloween night when they grow up, the song sang when Irwin goes back home about him ending his trick-or-treat days to the point where credits were shown, and then Irwin explains his problem to Hoss Delgado, Jeff the Spider, General Skarr & Fred Fredburger on top of Mindy getting kidnapped and turned into a witch by Bun Bun.
- Plus, Fred Fredburger crying when finding out that no-one wants to play and the backstory Hoss Delgado tells Irwin about him being scared of monsters all the time as a kid to the point where he wet his bed every night - explaining why he hated every monster he saw.
- Although Mindy calls Irwin a loser just because "he looked", she called him back while the end credits for Irwin’s sad song were playing and asked him to go into the "haunted" house that’s selling full-sized Chocolate Sailor Crunch bars as she’s too scared to do it herself.
- Having Halloween candy warriors lead by a bunny named Bun Bun (with their purpose being to hunt people to get back at them for hunting their own kind) is a pretty cool and original villain concept. Their designs look great and the ways they attacked Endsville were all amazing.
- Besides that, almost all of the fighting scenes were cool and action-packed to watch, especially the ones from Hoss Delgado where he annihilates the candy warriors in almost every way and puts an exploding spike bomb on their pumpkin ship.
- Fred Fredburger finally returns since the season 5 episode, "Be A-Fred, Be Very A-Fred" (or the Codename: Kids Next Door crossover if you count cameos), and is portrayed much better and is hilarious like in his debut episode.
- One example of him being hilarious is when he attempted to spell his name while Hoss Delgado and General Skarr were being attacked, with another one being him trying to label/name the Underfist team - which inspired Jeff to knit some uniforms from spider silk.
- And of course, his famous quote "Yes!" & "I like chicken".
- His drawings on the walls in the inside of Hoss Delgado's tank look decent, and the reason why he chose the name for the fighting domain is pretty funny.
- Good Moral: As Jeff the Spider says, "It doesn't matter who wins, it only matters when we had fun".
- Hess Delgado's tank looks extremely impressive, especially containing a giant hand on the left, along with Jeff the Spider knitting some uniforms for their fighting domain, "Underfist".
- The song Witch Mindy sings about her, Bon Bon’s and the candy warriors' plan to take over the world is extremely catchy and pays homage to the 1884 Shakespearean tale, "Macbeth" when Mindy was adding in some ingredients to her magical pot, along with the one Fred and Jeff sing about not wanting to grow up and even the music used for the end credits.
- Irwin shoving Bun Bun down to the ground was somewhat satisfying due to him capturing Mindy, turning her into a witch and planning to take over the world with his Halloween candy warriors, along with Mindy feeling remorse for being a real witch and taking her temper out on everyone else and even General Skarr pushing Bun Bun into some hot chocolate when he heard about his cruel actions.
- Some memorable/suspenseful quotes, such as:
- "Mankind’s last defense is a fist...an Underfist. At Underfist, we don’t give bad guys a hand, we give them a fist" - Jeff the Spider explaining to Irwin how their domain got their name.
- "But Hoss Delgado’s gotta do what Hoss Delgado does best, he’s gonna blast every monster he sees and he’s gonna do it on my own!"
- "I will never, ever wear the same uniform as a monster! I swear on my mother’s tomb that I’ll never do it!"
- "Gentlemen (and I use that term lightly), this has been a long Halloween night and it’s not over yet! I won’t call the information you bozos collected "intelligence". But we now know that Mindy returns to the surface world with her trick-or-treater eaters!"
- Grim’s opening sequence quote: "When you’ve been around for as long as I have, man, you have some crazy stories about annoying little monsters, stories about monsters who think they’re people, stories about people who fight monsters and stories about people who fight people".
- "That’s what I call dis-armed, yo".
- "I guess there are some good monsters after all".
- The way Fred and Jeff try to stop the candy warriors is nothing short of hilarious and beyond clever, as they perform a musical number about not wanting to grow up, and the way Billy "defeats" the large pumpkin monster is also clever, as he simply eats all of him.
- Suspenseful/Great Ending: When General Skarr pushes Bun Bun into some hot chocolate after hearing his cruel actions, we see the Underfist team get rewarded with some medals by Mandy (Fred mistook his for chocolate), while Dracula gets a penny from Mandy - serving as his karma for giving her, Billy and Irwin pennies at the start when they were trick-or-treating. But suddenly, another monster appears outside in Endsville with the work of Uncle Burgersnatch, who wants to destroy the Sun using his disgusting magic and uses his legion of squid fiends, and it ends with the Underfist team wanting to stop Burgersnatch’s evil plan.
- The end credits had a rockin’ and catchy beat, and it was pretty funny seeing the upcoming Underfist shows/films.
- Thanks to the first 13 reasons mentioned above, it saved the Grim & Evil franchise after the terrible ending of the final Billy & Mandy episode, "Heartburn", and ended it on a high note.
- Granpapa (or "Dracula") giving Billy, Mandy and Irwin pennies rather than candy at the start when they stand behind his door was pretty lame.
- Although Fred Fredburger was much more funny here, we never got to see him apologize to Grim for his poor actions from "Be A-Fred, Be Very A-Fred".
- Lots of gross-out humor, such as the witch blasting fart gas around the Underworld in the rain, Jeff the Spider and Fred creating spider webs through their butts, a close-up of witch Mindy’s rotten teeth (so rotten that a coughing chicken can be seen) and witch Mindy getting a big booger from her nose.
- Technically, Bun Bun was responsible for making Mindy ugly by putting a witch worm in her hair, being the monster that scared Hoss Delgado as a child, making Billy afraid of spiders and even sawing Fred’s tusks off while he was sleeping!
- The ending, while pretty good, does feel like a bit of a cliffhanger, this is likely due to the fact that it was meant to get a TV series, as well as film sequels.
Underfist tied for first in ratings for the week it was aired and has been nominated for Best Animated Television Production for Children in the 36th Annie Awards. Jacob Paschal of Toon Zone gave the film a negative review, saying "Overall, Underfist is your typical annual Halloween film fluff designed to fill the airwaves and get younger folk hyped on something other than candy. Maybe you'll find that enough". It holds a rating of 7.3/10 on IMDB.
For 13 years, Underfist: Halloween Bash serves as the series finale, but according to Maxwell Atoms in Youtuber The Roundtable's video "The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy DESERVES An Ending" in the "Pizza Party Podcast", he said that there is potential that The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy or Underfist might come back as a series as it was original plan to, including its movie sequels.
- Fred Fredburger is the only Underfist member that didn't debut in the Grim & Evil era.
- The characters who make up Underfist are all side characters who started gaining popularity after appearing in the series (sometimes called "Ensemble Darkhorses"). This is most likely why they were chosen as the main characters and Grim, Billy, Mandy and Mindy are secondary characters this time.
- Irwin was, arguably, the most popular of these characters, as he started gaining larger roles as the series progressed. This is probably why he is the main protagonist of the film.
- Chowder and Courage the Cowardly Dog made cameos on a Halloween float.
- According to Maxwell Atoms, he initially approached online artist Vinson "Bleedman" Ngo, known for creating a fan-comic inspired by Billy & Mandy title "Grim Tales", for character design work on the special, but he declined due to commitments with his own work.
Review & Full Episode
Note: This version of the full episode doesn’t have the opening sequence and credits.
List of Underfist Film Ideas
- Underfist vs the Dinosaurs
- Underfist Against the Astro-Vampires
- Underfist: Easter Beatdown
- Underfist: Return of the Spider Queen
- Underfist: Action Squad Miami
- Underfist Teaches Traffic Safety
- Underfist Babies