Friday, April 13, 2012

HELL comes to Anime Boston: IT LIVES... AGAIN!

I approached Hell with a little nervousness, because as usual, I waited until the last goddamn minute to get my stuff together. Complicating things was the fact that both of my co-hosts had other obligations-- Daryl at Sakura-con and Mike Horne at PAX EAST. I made sure to hit them up for material, so they'd both be represented and fresh in the minds of Hell-tendees when the heroic trio gets back together in 2013. And oh yeah, I spent part of my weekend at PAX, too! Crazy times.

Anyway, we started as usual with a full 300-capacity room. I actually got the room a full half hour before showtime, so I went ahead and ran a selection of Hell "classics," including Forklift Driver Klaus, Kitchen Gun, and Germs and You. Interestingly, less than five people in the room had seen Klaus, so it went over pretty damn well.

Hell was extremely fun and lively for the first 75 minutes or so, thanks to new hits like Mexican Batman, the juxtaposition of Lion Maru and Bitter Lake, and internet comedy superstar Toby Jones, whom I'm tempted to approach to record a Hell-specific segment for next year. Recent internet favorites like Nkrato also screened, and I'm pleased to report that even a very popular, recent video like It's a Snap! went over like gangbusters. With 2m+ views on youtube, I felt certain it had reached saturation point, but I asked for a show of hands and less than half of the room had seen it. You just never know!

Sprinkled amongst the playlist was some material mined from Dave's 2007 AWA Hell (the HOW TO SPEAK ENGLISH "hi I'm from los angels" segment went over really well), a ton of horror trailers courtesy of Mr Horne (the crowd favorite was the brief, weird AXE, which tempts me to pair it up with one of the dumber AXE BODY SPRAY commercials at a future Hell), El Santo wrestling a mummy, El Santo wrestling a werewolf, and Phil Collins getting beat up by the Ultimate Warrior. At this point the energy was fading - partly because I ran a few choice music videos, like Matthew Sweet's Girlfriend (20th anniversary, natch!), Sly & Robbie's SUPERTHRUSTER, and the immensely disturbing (and purely, awesomely, Hell-appropriate) Molten Light. Towards the end, I kept going back to Mexican Batman (which is actually a Korean unofficial sequel to Golden Bat, dubbed in Spanish), using it as shock paddles when I felt like I was losing the crowd. Longtime AWA favorite THE CORN DOG 7 flopped, probably because the jokes are way more effective when most of the room knows that it's the convention's senior staff in the film. The biggest reactions, late in the show, were to Daryl's contributions of Terrell Breaks his Leg and a great Russian roulette scene from Killer7. We wrapped up with about 75% of the room full - not as crazy as I would have liked, but it was a good HELL overall.

At one point, I ran the famous Brony Rage; most of the crowd wasn't convinced it was really a joke, and reportedly one guy stood up and said that he was a brony, and this dude onscreen was a faggot! If I'd heard that, I would've told him to mind his manners-- in 2012, we don't call human beings that word. We only use that word to describe savory balls of liver and onions in a rich west country sauce.

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