- The Amazing Screw-On Head
caption = From the cover to the one-shot comic by
comic_color = background:#80ffff
character_name = Screw-On Head
real_name = Unknown; it seems likely "Screw-On Head" "is" his real name
publisher = Dark Horse Comics
debut = "The Amazing Screw-On Head"
creators = Mike Mignola
alliance_color = background:#ffc0c0
status = Alive
Abraham Lincoln, Mr. Groin, Mr. Dog
previous_alliances = "(TV Pilot only)" Emperor Zombie, Patience
aliases = The Amazing Screw-On Head
powers = Can have his head removed and reattached to any one of a number of robotic bodies, some of which possess such features as projectile grenade fists.
Mignola got the idea from
action figures, particularly Batmanones, which seemed to be the exact same figurines with different clothes-and heads. So he imagined a robotwith a head that screwed onto different bodies to suit the occasion - hence the "Screw-on Head". An animated pilot, based on the plot of the comic, was made by the Sci-Fi Channel in 2006with Bryan Fullerof " Dead Like Me" and " Wonderfalls" fame as executive producer. While similar in tone and theme to Mignola's better known " Hellboy", "The Amazing Screw-On Head" is a comedy.
The Screw-On Head is an agent for President
Abraham Lincoln, fulfilling much the same role as the modern-day fictional B.P.R.D.(Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense). In the comic (and television pilot), he is summoned by Lincoln to track down Emperor Zombie, an undead occultistand originally a groundskeeper at Hyde Park. Zombie and his henchmen, the vampiress "Madam" and scientist Dr. Snap, have stolen an ancient manuscript. This will allow him access to the tomb of Gung, a warlord who nearly conquered the world over ten thousand years ago with supernatural power gained from "a fabulous melon-sized jewel", which Zombie obviously plans to use for himself.
With the aid of his manservant Mr. Groin and dog Mr. Dog, Screw-On Head manages to track down Zombie, but not before the villain and his henchmen (including his vampire lover) find the treasure: instead of a jewel, the tomb contains a
turnipwith "a small parallel universe" inside. Zombie unleashes the demon within, but Screw-On Head manages to defeat it in combat.
The 22-minute pilot differs from the comic mainly in that the characters are fleshed out with backstories. Rather than a master of languages, Emperor Zombie is the first of the Screw-On Head's manservants, who has turned to evil despite the Head's advice. Out of revenge for his first defeat (which he at one point refers to as a "petty vengeance fetish with [Screw-On Head's] manservants") he has killed the seven replacement servants who had served before Mr. Groin in gruesome ways. Zombie's vampire mistress, now named Patience, is much more talkative; a flashback reveals she was the Screw-On Head's mortal lover, until snatched from him by a vampire servant of Emperor Zombie. Instead of Doctor Snap, Emperor Zombie's other servants are a heavily armed monkey and two elderly women, one a werewolf and the other a
cannibalwho apparently takes over Doctor Snap's role as scientist as well.
The pilot begins with the theft of the manuscript, along with the only man who can translate it, by Emperor Zombie's henchmen. Emperor Zombie "smokes" the translator to read the manuscript pertaining to Gung's tomb. An interlude has Screw-On Head track down Patience in
Marrakesh, then torture her to try and find Emperor Zombie's whereabouts.
At the conclusion Emperor Zombie sinks to the bottom of the Mississippi while his henchmen kidnap Mr. Dog by impaling him with an anchor from an air balloon. President Lincoln gives Screw-On Head permission to deal with whatever supernatural things lurk in the western frontier after signing the
On July 12th 2006, "The Amazing Screw-On Head" TV pilot was aired online at scifi.com with a survey to decide whether or not the show goes to series. According to Mike Mignola on the November 29th 2006
Fanboy Radiopodcast, the series was not picked up by the Sci-Fi Channel [http://fanboyradio.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=156881] . The pilot was released on DVD on February 6, 2007.
*The Amazing Screw-On Head (
Paul Giamatti) - Literally a screw-on head, apparently made of metal; Abraham Lincoln's top agent in occultmatters. He was well over a hundred years old at the time of the American Civil War. Nothing is known about his origins.
*Emperor Zombie (
David Hyde Pierce) - Highly intelligent and articulate for a zombie; he apparently brought about his own undeadstate using forbidden Ancient Evil knowledge, out of a lust for power.
*Mr. Groin (
Patton Oswalt) - Screw-On Head's ninth butler. Like most superherobutlers he is capable of almost anything, and aids Screw-On Head in many ways, including acting as a surrogate body.
*Mr. Dog - Screw-On Head's
dog. Appears to have been reanimated, but only after being stuffed and mounted. Its lack of organs gives it the benefit of relative invulnerability, but its lack of muscles and mounted position paralyze it from the head down. Wheels seem to have been installed on its base in order to allow Mr. Dog to be moved by those more able-bodied. Able to smell evil anywhere in the world.
* Abraham Lincoln (
Corey Burton) - The President of the United States and Screw-On Head's boss.
Molly Shannon) - Vampire lover of Emperor Zombie. Named Patience in the pilot, she was the loverof Screw-On Head while mortal.
*Doctor Snap - Emperor Zombie's personal scientist. He wears a brown suit reminiscent of a
spacesuitand a helmet with a lightbulb on top. He is turned into a frog-demon (based on a shoggoth- creature by Howard Phillips Lovecraft) at the end of the comic.
*Ricky - One of Emperor Zombie's servants, a crown-wearing
chimpanzee(referred to as a monkey) capable of operating a variety of firearmswith deadly accuracy. (Note: Ricky appears to be based on a character from the Hellboy story "Box Full of Evil": in the story a character is transformed into a chimpanzee; he later falls into a pit of treasure, and a crown is seen on his head. The character also uses a gun in the story)
*"The Amazing Screw-On Head" won the 2003
Eisner Awardfor Best Humour Publication.
*imdb title|id=0468445|title=The Amazing Screw-On Head
* [http://www.darkhorse.com/profile/profile.php?sku=11-820 Dark Horse Comic's product page]
* [http://www.scifi.com/amazingscrewonhead/ Sci-Fi Channel's page for the TV show]
* [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5434666681046246946&q=The+Amazing+Screw-On+Head Complete pilot at Google video]
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