Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Anime Hell report from Ikasucon

greetings from the midwestern Hellkeeper emeritus,

Last weekend at Ikasucon in Cincinnati I presided over one of my 'pantented'? Anime Hell / Midnight Madness combo. A two hour Hell showing followed by my wacky parody dubbing madness.

I've been working with digicapped archived Hell footage i've made over the last few months, along with stuff still on tape, and other stuff i've personally come across in the last few weeks ^^. Thanks to Hellmonkey Goofyrobo we have a new music video performance from the 'Yatta' japanese group, called 'Fish Fight'. The audience was extremely hot at Ikasucon, was a quite 'new' to Hell audience, only a handful had been to a performance, so even 'old' classics like Bring me the Head of CB, & The Farting Evangelist 1 went over huge.

The con had basically only 1 dvd,1 vcr & a mike for me, no mixer for the video. I had about 80% of the footage mixed out onto a DVD in my playlist order, spread out with 4 or 5 videotape segments to spread stuff out.

Among my new contributions in this show were:
Arcade84 (awesome example of 3d Modeling and can't go wrong with an Arcade & Journey music ;) )
'The Gayest Moment in The History of the History Channel' - a small segment i taped myself years ago but forgot about...let us just say it involves LARPing ;)
new preview for Midnight Madness
Star_Wars_Kid a New Hope - Heino Remix (cheap way of getting Dancin Heino without showing Dancin Heino ^^)
Futurama - if life were a videogame short.
The Exploding Whale

The main 'chunks' of shorts I created were the 'Oops' chunk, the 'Video games' chunk, and a 'Musical' chunk, interspersed with misc bridging material.

I now have quite a lot captured and archived , but always needing more stuff to archive ^^...and i still can't find a copy of Old Glory Robot Insurance in my possession...


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Panel OF DOOM at Anime Festival Orlando

At Anime Festival Orlando 5, I'm scheduled to put on my take of Anime Hell, which I've dubbed the Panel OF DOOM.  I'll be running it off a computer--playing a clip, talking on the mic a bit, playing the next clip--but if I get some mailing addresses from you guys, I'll dub some tapes of the footage I've used and pass them along, even though some of it will probably consist of clips that Dave retired from his AWA Hell cycle.

This will be the first time I'm going to attempt using a slideshow/playlist presentation.  The disadvantage of this is that the spontaneity aspect is not actually there, despite my theatrics implying otherwise.  Why no VCR setup?  Would you believe that most anime cons multimedia panel rooms (or video rooms) these days aren't set up to easily allow use of them?  Not only would I have to bring my own, but I don't have any of the extra equipment listed in the Hell manifesto (extra VCRs, monitor, mixing board, cassette deck, CD player) and can't get cons to provide any of them save a microphone.

Currently my lineup's looking something like this (this isn't comprehensive):

* Sealab 2021 clip of Tornado Shanks' rant about "if you don't like it, watch anime"
* LOTS of clips from TV Carnage: Bibleman, Love Tips from Fabio, David Hasselhoff sings musical theater, Huntress Heidi has her son shoot a squirrel then shows us how to cook Squirrel Melts, a serious father/son moment from Power Rangers, old Nintendo-related commercials (Freedom Stick, the Power Glove), and more.  Since these clips are so short (30 to 60 seconds on average), I'll just intersperse them throughout
* The "Frustration" segments from Mr. T's Be Somebody or Be Somebody's Fool
* Some clips from Adam and Joe Go Tokyo (BBC miniseries in the vein of Japanorama): one about cosplay, one that's just a commercial for Post Pet, and one featuring a performance by the Tokyo Shock Boys, the Japanese equivalent of the cast of MTV's Jackass
* A couple of those banned WW2 cartoons featuring Donald Duck/Bugs Bunny/Popeye
* Both of Pierre Bernard's anime-related rants from Conan O'Brien
* The last use of the Walker, Texas Ranger lever from Conan O'Brien
* Daily Show piece about the lack of Asian males in porn where George Takei says "young wet bitches" as only he can
* The Evangelion discussion scene from One Hour Photo (and for kicks, the quick "eyes bleeding" shot)
* Christopher Walken pranking a "Stiffly Stifferson" sketch from SNL
* Unbreakable clip where Samuel L. Jackson is in the comicbook shop
* Chappelle's Show Samuel Jackson sketch
* A few clips from this old 70s Bollywood film called "Don," most of them consisting of badly choreographed fights and the titular character--whose actor is sort of like Bollywood's answer to Sean Connery--getting out of perilous situations by throwing exploding briefcases
* Mad TV sketch for Terminator 3 where the Terminator is sent to protect Jesus
* Clip from GTO where a girl mistakenly walks into a room where guys are talking about Gundam

And so on.  Currently I have 90 minutes of raw footage, and my policy for panels is to always have more footage on-hand than you can actually show.  I plan to add in a couple clips from sentai shows that Danno provided me--namely Cyber Cop and Jetman, though to be topical I'll put on a clip from the Japanese Spider-Man--along with one or two selections from the Educational Film Archives DVDs linked on the blog.  I think I'll choose one drug-related one and one sex-ed related one, since I have a Mad TV sketch called "VD: What a Drag" which is a parody version of those old sex-ed films.

I've also got that awful old Manga Video trailer that they'd slap at the beginning of their VHS releases (the one where they dub in the guy screaming "MAAAAY-NGAAAAAAAAH!"), along with the just-as-awful "What is Anime?" trailer that ADV is currently front-loading on all their DVDs.  I wish I had the  Time/Life "Best of Japanimation" TV commercial that would air late at night for what was essentially the Streamline Pictures catalog, but alas I don't have that.  Throw in that old Heino clip that Dave doesn't use anymore, a 1970s movie trailer or two, a CPF short here and there, and the "Let's Fighting Love" scene from South Park, and I've got a panel! 

Once I'm done with that, then it's on to AWA panel preparation, and since Dave's already got Hell scheduled there, I figured I'd resurrect my "Off the Beaten Path" panel from last year's AFO: two hours showcasing anime material that's relatively obscure. In this day and age, that means "stuff that isn't on DVD yet/stuff nobody bought or is downloading." Wouldn't take too long to update my old two hour lineup, which means I could actually mail it out to Neil Nadelman for DVD authoring purposes within a reasonable timeframe before the con.

Daryl Surat

AnimeHELL Rules!

I need two VCRs hooked to the main circuit. I need a cassette deck and a CD player hooked into the main circuit, or a RCA jack I can plug into. I need a mixing board that isn't too complicated, a microphone, and a clear space to put my tapes. I need spectators and well-wishers to give me room to move, and I need chairs set aside for my posse. I also need a VCR and a monitor for cuing tapes, and I need a half-hour before start time for setting up.

Submissions: If you have something you want me to show at Hell, I need the videotape or the VCD in my hand a month before the convention. Do not hand me a tape at Hell and claim that it's really funny and that it's cued up and that everybody will like it; God hates liars. Don't give me a URL; my computer don't play those things and I can't get it out of my computer anyway, and if I could, it'd come out all fucked up. I need videotape or a VCD. I've got loads of stuff to trade so it's not like you wouldn't get anything in return.

You may, however, feel free to hand me a potential Hell tape at a convention - but I'm going to take it home and preview it, and THEN it might make it into rotation, at some other convention. Just not THAT convention.

I'm interested in educational films, industrial and military training films, TV ads from 1960-1980, shitty American cartoons from 1960- 1980, footage of actors or famous people screwing up, funny Simpsons clips, funny SNL fake ads, funny fake ads from anywhere else, and funny foreign footage of whatever provenance. The thing to usually keep in mind is "funny in spite of itself." Keep that in mind and you can't go far wrong.

I'm NOT interested in anime music videos, anime parody films, homemade Star Wars films, episodes of 'Poochie' that feature characters with names similar to Tenchi Muyou characters, or whatever stupid Internet Flash movie happens to be making the rounds of 'funny links' this week. All of these things are well and good, and they all have their place, and it ain't Hell.

Please don't tell me that I should just put the whole show on a tape and sit back and relax - what makes Hell Hell is the real-time selection of material and the mystery of what might happen next. I'm not going to burn the whole thing to VCDs, and I'm not going to convert it all to computer files and play it all out of a computer, because the computer would fuck up, and don't tell me it won't. I haven't lost a videotape yet.

Don't come up to me halfway through Hell and ask me "When does Midnight Madness start?" because when you ask a drunk with a microphone stupid questions, you get what you deserve.

-Dave Merrill

AnimeHELL Manifesto!

I get suggestions for Hell programming all the time, either on message boards or at conventions themselves - usually during Hell - so I figured it was about time I made up a little set of rules for people to follow if they want to give me stuff to show at Hell.

For those of you unfamiliar with Japanese Anime Hell, it's a presentation that I, or a few others, put on at various anime cons. It's sort of a visual disk-jockey kind of thing - short clips of bits from Japanese cartoons, commercials, movie trailers, educational films, short animated films, pop culture detrius, bleeps, blunders, and practical jokes. For some reason it's pretty popular.

I started off doing Hell in its modern form about ten years ago- it started as me showing full-length comedy anime for six hours on Saturday night at Dragoncon. Eventually I got bored both with running full-length anime and with spending six hours behind a table, so I trimmed down both the length of the show and the length of the clips. Now if anything runs more than ten minutes, I yank it, and if the show goes more than three hours I start to run full-length stuff again. The key is to keep everything short and to keep hitting the audience with new experiences.

ANYWAY, everybody wants to get into the act. Sometimes they're people who "get it" and provide me with really entertaining stuff. However sometimes they provide me with absolute shit. This is why I have been forced to institute the preview rule. If I (or someone who's opinion I trust) haven't previewed it, I don't show it. I've been burned too many times before - and it's not that I'm being bored, but the hundreds of people in the audience are being bored, and that's inexcusable. Hell isn't about me or you, it's about the audience. I might entertain them or disgust them, but I don't want to bore them.

It used to be people would give me blanks at conventions for me to copy anime for them, and I'd forget the blanks or forget who gave them to me or what they wanted. Now people try to give me tapes while I'm attempting to set up Hell, when I'm already tense and irritable, and they get all offended when I tell them to take a hike.

So I'm going to nail all this shit down and make sure everybody knows it, so I won't have to deal with hassles at the show.

-Dave Merrill

Welcome to AnimeHELL!

I'm gonna make this the new homepage for, and we'll post news, commentary and new AV Geekery here. If you're interested in joining this blog send an e-mail to tohoscope at!