This episode rolls all of your favorite horror myths into one. Part Dracula, part Christine and part werewolf lore, this one explores robot afterlife, Bender’s family ties and manages not to suck too badly. What the hell, is there anything good on TV these days? Pop it in your DVD and set aside 22 minutes, who’s it gonna hurt?
Bender’s Uncle Vladimir passes away and leaves Bender his spooky old family manse on the condition that Bender spend one night there. He and the rest of the Planet Express gang settle in for the night, but a series of spooky happenings has Bender in a panic. The rest of the crew all head for the graveyard to discover an electrical problem is to blame for the “haunting” while Bender runs off into the night. He is struck down by a mysterious sinister car and left for dead. Fry and the others discover him the next morning, but in spite of the tire tracks, don’t really believe his hit and run story.
Once back in New York, a similar hit and run is reported, leading Bender to believe he’s being followed. He also hasn’t been getting any sleep due to recurrent dreams about cars running people down. We watch as, the next night, the phantom car runs down two ruffians. When he awakens in an impound lot, Bender takes Leela and Fry with him to see a gypsy-bot in order to diagnose his affliction. She tells him he’s a were-car, the curse beamed to him from his hit and run car’s headlights. He will turn each night at midnight and attack with increasing violence until he kills his closest friend. The only way to cure the curse is to hunt down and kill the original were-car.
Leela and Fry bolt Bender to the wall to keep the populace safe and head off into the night, shortly before midnight. Bender breaks free during his transformation and goes gunning for Leela. She manages to escape by picking Bender up with a magnetic crane until morning. Fry gets pissed that he’s been snubbed by Bender, but he still goes back to the old homestead with Bender and Leela to help find the original were-car. They track the curse through several robots until they come to Calculon, acting robot extraordinaire. He tells them the story of Project Satan. Back when he was just a computerized arm at a car factory, the government tried to build a vehicle using parts of the most evil cars in history. They succeeded and were rewarded with death at the hands of their creation. He tells them that the car will probably still be at the abandoned automotive factory in which it was created.
Sure enough, they find Project Satan sobbing by the furnace about his lonely life. Leela is armed with a silver potato, hoping to use it to plug the evil vehicle’s exhaust. They try to reason with the car to no avail. As evil car’s will do, it gives chase. Unfortunately, midnight rolls around and Bender joins in. Bender finally goes after Fry, much to his glee. He managed to get Fry into the driver’s seat and takes him on the ride of his life. Leela discovers that Project Satan has no exhaust; it’s electric. She tricks it into jumping into the furnace, ending its life and the curse. Bender thinks he’s killed Fry, until he crawls out of Bender’s chest cavity safe and sound, beer in hand. Bender is glad he didn’t kill Fry and Fry is glad to have been a target. At least until Bender tries to kill him for taking his last beer. Friendship, ain’t it touching?
I give this one 666 out of 10.
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Futurama reviews are © 2006 Chrystal Litchford.
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Images courtesy of The Leela Zone