Danger 5 is an Australian TV show that sees the eponymous spy group trying to kill Hitler in the 1960s. The first season is readily available on Hulu now, and you really should stop reading this and check it out. Still here? Did I mention that the team’s leader is a giant bald eagle and that there are Nazi dinosaurs? No? How about the fact that the group's leader has a sit-down gun, or that they foil the Nazi plan to steal the Statue of Liberty and combine it with other landmarks into a robot like Voltron ? Go now, then return. Go.
Watched all six episodes of the first season? Good.
Now imagine a second season that’s somehow even more insane. The creators of the show came to Fantastic Fest with the first three episodes and they have honestly made it even better, creating one of the best, most irreverent absurdist comedies of recent years. It shouldn't be a surprise - these are the guys behind Italian Spiderman, after all - but the jump in quality is remarkable.
The first episode of Season Two, Merry Christmas Colonel, starts off with Danger 5’s leader Chestbridge being murdered. The team has been scattered: Tucker and Claire have just married (but not consummated their marriage yet), Pierre (played by a new actor) is an international star that owns 1,000 nightclubs, Jackson is trying to shake off the memories of Vietnam (did I mention the show is apparently set in the 80s?), and Ilsa is working for the KGB, but they all get together to hunt down Chestbridge’s murderer. They head to Argentina and soon find out that Hitler isn’t nearly as dead as he should be, considering the hundreds of bullets they pumped into him at the end of the first season.
They also deal with killer prawns, fight coked-up snakes, and find out that Hitler does, in fact, wear hats, despite all evidence to the contrary. As usual the shows end with a fake commercial- this season’s ones are all kid’s toys involving Hitler in some way. It's the finest in cringe humor.
The second episode, Johnny Hitler, may be the highlight of the three. For some reason Hitler decides to infiltrate an American high school and the show turns into a John Hughes comedy. No one seems to realize that Hitler is an old man and he ends up being the coolest guy in school, complete with varsity jacket, big capital “H” stitched on back. He beats Pierre in a handball game and just solidifies that status, although he really wants to become the King of the Christmas ball and takes the beauty queen of school to it. When he doesn’t win- things go south.
Let’s just say there are sharks involved, and flame-throwing chainsaws.
Episode 3 Revenge of the Lizardmen sees Josef Mengele returning, sporting a lizard-man growing out of his belly. He's got a whole army of dinosaurs to fight against our heroes, and the much-improved budget means that they actually look great- except when they're obviously action figures held on screen with sticks, as they are in a high-speed chase scene.
Hitler is still on the run but now he’s joined the FBI and is helping to track down Danger 5, who have been framed for crimes they didn’t commit and are being hunted across the globe by a crack team with the best American accents Australia can provide, a team who believes that the 5 are against the American dream ("Not the dream!" they shout in unison and clutch their hearts.)
This may sound absurd, but I ensure you, the reality is even sillier. There's almost no time to breathe in-between laughs. Seen altogether, the three are almost too much to take. There’s only so much absurdity the mind can take before caving in on itself.
This was easily the comedy highlight of Fantastic Fest, and seeing it with a crowd was certainly an experience to be treasured, especially since this may be the only time these episodes are shown for quite a while.
See, Australian TV channel SBS delayed the planned November premiere of the show indefinitely because of ISIS. (No, really.) The only possible way this can make any sense if you know that the first episode features a beheading. Of course, then you'll be trying to connect the actions of man-sized wolf with a samurai sword and a fake head and not a real-life terrorist, but hey.
It’s funny that this, of all the many, many offensive and over-the-top violent things in the show, is what caused this. The terrorists have truly won.
Hopefully someone comes to their senses and releases Danger 5 season two sometime soon, as it’s a shame to have something this hysterical languish. There are seven episodes in total and the creators are promising us that it only gets better.
Now, more than ever, the world needs Danger 5.