Updated on 16 October, 2021
The original version of The Pluggers was a French comic book series that ran for twelve seasons on France's satire TV station. The original plugger was a sidekick to the comic's protagonist, a bald and impotent professor who possessed magical powers. The name plugger came from an old radio programme where the character Vitus van Gogh tried to outsmart the other characters using his "automatic pencil". The name stuck as the ultimate power source for all pluggers. The TV show lasted for twelve seasons, and then went off air.
The cartoon version of The Pluggers is the one we know today. It's basically a bunch of guys in uniforms, each sporting a unique plug. They're always shown working late, which is when they find the latest vixen in their office... err, in their apartment. Pluggers is based on a storyline from strips that were run in comics during the nineteen eighties, where the comical elements were replaced with a more down to earth, but funny twist was retained.
The basic plot of The Pluggers Comic is a group of misfits who get their powers through a mysterious force. Vitus is the most powerful of them all, but because he's really just a loser who doesn't have any friends, he can't really utilize his abilities to fight evil. Instead, he just wants to hang out with his buddies and share their secret. The others are each of different descent, from a super powered geek to a punk with a cross, so they team up to form a new crew, the Pluggers.
Their first mission involves battling some vampires who turn into werewolves. The comic is not very graphic, but if you haven't seen it, you might not want to continue reading. The werewolves are vicious, and they attack the gang members randomly. Vitus even has a cross that gets ripped off by one of the werewolves, which leads him to stab the vampire.
One of the greatest things about The Pluggers, other than the excellent, humorous strips, is that writer Eric Carle uses the same format, story structure, and style throughout the entire series. It's easy to tell that the man behind the curtain put together a well-written script for this comic, as it reads like a comic book. Action is engaging, and the dialogues are witty and poignant. The only problem with the comic, which occurs very early in the series, occurs when one of the teenagers plugs a live-in android, a GIRL, into his head. The android's mind starts to malfunction, and she ends up killing everyone in her path.
Eric Carle has stated on his website that he wrote the strip for a "teen" aged boy, because as he grew older, he became more socially inept and would enjoy a more mature read. He also mentioned that he didn't want to draw blood and make the female characters look like porn stars. While he admitted that there were some people who probably won't like the strip, he assures readers that those who are fans will find it to be a truly charming and funny read. He has even released an entire collection of the strips for fans to enjoy.
In order for fans to experience the joys of the pluggers, you'll need to see the movie itself. Although Carle has never produced a feature-length film before, he has written and directed a few shorts, and those are the movies fans will want to see. The movie itself is very enjoyable, and I really feel that if you're a true Carle fan, you have to see the movie in order to appreciate his writing. The movie isn't perfect, but it's not like one of his previous movies, Bedtime Story, where he only created one really great short film.
Regardless of what you think of the strip, the movie is definitely worth your time. The animation is pretty good, and the pluggers themselves are quite humorous. If you haven't picked up a copy of the comic, I highly recommend that you do. It's something that kids will love, adults will enjoy, and anyone in between will probably fall in love with the strip. If you are a true Carle fan, I highly recommend that you pick up a copy of the Carles Black Comedy Funnies.