Sunday, October 09, 2005

AWA anime hell report

Okay, three weeks later, the fog's lifted, here's what went down.

Peelander Z put on a great show, everybody loved it, the people who got on stage for the last number sort of stayed there and prevented the band from packing up, so we had to clear the stage. Then we had to keep the lights up so that Peelander could pack their instruments up backstage. So we finally got the lights down and ready for Hell about 25 minutes after the hour, which is typical, actually.

This year I used PRINCE OF SPACE heavily; clips of the film were interspersed with commercial bumpers from shows like ROBOTECH, RONIN WARRIORS, STAR BLAZERS, TRANZOR Z, SAILOR MOON, CAPTAIN HARLOCK & QUEEN OF 1000 YEARS, etc. PRINCE OF SPACE is a terrible movie and I think I had about two segments too much, but in the end it worked as a unifying theme and I might try it again with another film and shorter clips.

Other Hell clips included:
vintage 700 club ad
Motocross in the Omni ("We're gonna turn the floor of the Omni into a GIANT MUD PIT" -this ad came from a tape of Starblazers recorded off-air in 1984.)
70s ads for church, the Marines
Subgenius ad
GI Joe PSAs -the Nensler ones, always a hit
Negativland- Drop The Mermaid - good for a "WTF" moment, but not actually enjoyed. I blame Tim Maloney.
Soviet TV 1-800 number - from the Discovery Channel's marathon of Soviet TV in the 80s.
Uzbeks PSA from SCTV's "The Russian Show".
Mini-Wini ad
Harmonica Heino -Next year I might run the "Wig Wam" clip, and that might be it for the old Heino. I'm so sick of looking at that guy. I think we've wrung all the comedy we can out of that motherfucker.
Forklift Driver Klaus - a big hit. Apparently the subtitled version isn't as widespread.
70s Air Force ads
Marlboro car ad - "It's interesting and practical!"
Flinstones Winstons - always a hit. Might retire this one for a bit though.
Purina ad with fursuits, disturbing.
Zingers and Wonder bread ad with Peanuts characters
Bring Me The Head Of Charlie Brown - got a decent reaction, but might get retired for a bit next year.
Dancing in the future clip show - finally got to use the funniest bit from SPACE PATROL ORION. Also Buck Rogers. I had to bring the actual tape of the Buck Rogers episode because that tape is MACRO ENCODED!! Who would pirate Buck Rogers??
Star Trek ad from Nashville TV set to "The Heat Is On".
Geraldo Trek convention footage - the kid cosplaying Kirk is funny, but his diction is so terrible that nobody in the audience knows what's going on. This clip might work better with more setup.
Angry Japanese Toys - found in a thrift store. Might go back to the thrift store.
Japanese Yamato toy ads- Yamato bike always funny, IMHO.
Live VS Anime- Nadelman missing his cues nonwithstanding, the audience really enjoyed the 3D Gundam segment and the Cutey Honey film is a good clip. The Gravitation clip has terrible animation! Does it always look that shitty? Robbie Rist can actually play instruments, BTW.
Cartoon All Stars is always a hit, though I might retire it for a year or so, or at least make a new edit that's not so rough.

Around this time PRINCE OF SPACE clips ran out. I actually skipped an entire segment because I could feel the audience reaction. I interrupted one segment with REJECTED, which gets GREAT crowd reaction.

DOG RIDING BICYCLE was next, which is just what it says.
JUMP OVER CAR, he doesn't make it. Always funny.
NEW ZOO REVUE CHARACTERS give each other puppet sex. I didn't even know I had this clip until a week before the show.
Danno ran clips from the Tetsujin 28 movie and the Godzilla Final Wars segment where he kicks the CG Godzilla's ass.
LIVE STAGE ANIME SONGS - found in a video store on our last day in Vancouver, stuck on the end of a bootleg VCD of anime themes. I was curious as to how well this would go, and it went pretty well. The giant inflatable Astro Boy at the end is a show stopper.

All in all we had the room full of people, (roughly 1000 chairs) we kept it full throughout the Hell, and everybody stuck around for Midnight Madness which started right on time. I didn't have to do nearly as much commentary, which works fine for me. I think the clips work better with as little setup or commentary as possible. Ideally they should be self-explanatory. Maybe I'm not drinking as much as I used to, or I'm not as nervous as I used to be, but the appeal of making a obnoxious drunken microphone spectacle out of myself just isn't there any more.

A great hell, on time and under budget, with terrific assistance from Gavv and Danno and Surat and the wonderful folks at MMI. I think the technical side of things was the smoothest ever, sound was great and the video looked sharp even on the crappier copies of things.

From what I see on the message boards and at closing ceremonies people loved the Forklift Driver, hated Prince Of Space, and want more hollering.


Unknown said...

So next year it's maybe INVASION OF THE NEPTUNE MEN? Or MESSAGE FROM SPACE? One of the STARMAN movies?

I tought it was a fun show, too. And what a great opening act!

d.merrill said...

Probably won't be INVASION OF THE NEPTUNE MEN. That movie is a hard watch under any circumstances...

Something will present itself for my use.. dunno what yet, but if you build the Hell, they'll come.

Chris Sobieniak said...

Wouldn't mind seeing that flick just for the spliced-in WWII footage inbetween space battles!

Unknown said...

The best parts of INVASION OF THE NEPTUNE MEN is watching Sonny Chiba fighting the Neptune Men...

d.merrill said...

Actually there really aren't any 'best' parts of "Neptune Men". It's pretty tepid, even Sonny Chiba is restrained by the material. The MST3K version is very funny, though.

Unknown said...

Although my compact flash card ate my photos of the show the audio recording survived intact. With any luck I'll have the first part of the AWAhell podcast up before the weekend. LoFi Monotastic fun!