Thursday, December 29, 2016
Monday, December 19, 2016
Friday, December 16, 2016
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Thursday, December 01, 2016
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Friday, November 25, 2016
Had nothing better to do than put this playlist together of nearly all the occasions this Off-Broadway Musical was played and replayed countless times in the schools, colleges and theater groups of the world, and a few other goodies in between! In loving memory of Tohoscope, who would've turned 50 today! Warning, the first piece is a tad NSFW unless you hadn't noticed it!
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Friday, October 28, 2016
"I just don't want them to see what's waiting for them in the future."
Xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) is a rare autosomal recessive genetic disorder of DNA repair in which the ability to repair damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) light is deficient. In extreme cases, all exposure to sunlight must be forbidden, no matter how small; as such, individuals with the disease are often colloquially referred to as "Moon child".
Here's a quick little thing to watch at lunch. Use it as a writing prompt.
For me, it's the kid who rescues the moth.
Monday, October 24, 2016
There was the house that gave out raisin, the one that gave out pennies, and the ever-dreaded house that came out CHICK TRACTS.
Well, Jack Chick has died. I'm sure you're all very sad. Enjoy this clip from the magical film HOT CHICKS.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Saturday, October 15, 2016
Friday, October 14, 2016
Friday, October 07, 2016
The story Betty tells is a simple one. She needed "the perfect dress" for a very special occasion. Betty describes in amusing detail how she found just the right one, spent more than she could afford for it, modeled it for admiring friends, felt absolutely transformed and then...never got to wear it. The story and Betty are witty, engaging and delightful. Then Betty is asked to tell her story again. This time the story is strikingly different. While the facts remain the same, Betty reveals how she really felt: her anxiety over buying the dress, her discomfort at being praised for beauty she feels she doesn't have, and her subsequent bewilderment at the way things turn out. Betty becomes withdrawn, sad and vulnerable, and her voice, body and words express the painfulness of the memory. The contrast between the two stories is haunting. Our culture's emphasis on female "beauty" underscores the poignant saga of Betty's search for "the perfect dress". The film is as meaningful and moving today as it was when it was made.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Sunday, September 18, 2016
Thursday, September 15, 2016
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Wednesday, September 07, 2016
Friday, September 02, 2016
Monday, August 29, 2016
I was very saddened to see that Gene Wilder had passed away today. I'm pretty sure all of you have seen him in The Producers, but there were a couple other things with Zero besides that.
Rhinoceros is a great flick with all kinds of people in it (Anne Ramsey as "Woman with cat"!) If you can't find a legit copy somewhere, I know there's ones online. You should see it at least once.
And I'm dating myself here when I say I watched these all the time as a kid. That's Gene as Letterman, Zero as the Spellbinder, and Joan Rivers narrating. We'll see if we can get Chris to put a playlist of those together. I'm pretty sure there's at least 20 episodes.
Saturday, August 27, 2016
I accidentally called it "stop-action" instead of "stop-motion" in front of Danno once and he told me no one would know what I was talking about.
Thursday, August 25, 2016
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Sunday, August 14, 2016
You win some, you lose some.
I took a risk on this video and I should have either played it later in the night or not played it at all.
too hard to read
on the back row.
It had pretty much the same effect as the driving scene in Tarkovsky's Solaris. It's a learning experience for us all.
This was really the show I was the most worried about, as Anime Fest is the bigger show of the year, and the oldest audience. Luckily, I had Eileen from PONG along with me, and--like me--when you hit a certain age and weight as a woman, you're free to do pretty much whatever the hell you want.
Our technical issues were pretty much finding a cable long enough. The solution I bought shortly after A-Kon worked very well to join two cables and boost the signal, so we did fine there. It didn't dig much off the audio, so we had a slight hum during the show, but I think it all worked out OK. As per usual, the staff we had for the room were more than helpful and helped move tables around, re-positioned the screen for us, and were all around awesome.
Other from that? What an great show. Came out strong, got hot with some meteors, gamed out with some punks, and we even had some fun with some old ads, including a personal, local favorite. I had no idea electronics ads from the 70s would do so well. It's all stuff Danno and I had talked about, but it was interesting to see it in action.
Besides Eileen stepping up to the plate on this show, I think our real star was Katie. Y'all already know and love Katie, but I think this weekend she did something really special. We've done the Hard Gay pose-off before, but you have to remember that Hard Gay is always trying to make things better for people. It's a big part of why those videos are called "Social Improvement" videos. Katie had our contestants do the pose-off and then asked them, "If you were Hard Gay, how would you make your community better?"
This totally changed the contest.
One guy talked about how he would encourage others to find the Hard Gay inside themselves, one talked about encouraging children, one guy: "Five words: Hard Gay Soup Kitchen, FOOOOOO!" (He won, BTW, and for extra prizes, took two noodle packets.) We had one fellow who--yeah, his dance wasn't all that exciting--but his Hank Hill impersonation was dead on and that made all the difference.
And the audience loved every moment of it. Once I've got the video, I'll get that posted.
We tried similar with the Camay walk of "What soap would you recommend?" but that that didn't hit as well.
Nonetheless, this was the first year we've done this without Danno, and that we still had folk in the audience at 12:45 (show started at 10), I'm going to take as a positive. It was a good learning experience and I want to thank everyone who came to the show and stayed through our rough spots. We know a lot more about what to do and how to do it and I'm pretty confident we'll be giving you guys great shows for many years to come.
Oh yeah, I found my glasses. And the case. I need to let Lost and Found know everything is fine. Sorry I threatened an imaginary kid who had stolen them. I was probably just angry about having wet pants from the sudden thunderstorm. Every con should start with a shower.
Thursday, August 11, 2016
Sunday, August 07, 2016
We'll have candy, songs, and I've got a video that's going to knock your socks off.
Thursday, August 04, 2016
Thursday, July 28, 2016
Monday, July 25, 2016
Thursday, July 07, 2016
Tuesday, July 05, 2016
Friday, June 24, 2016
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Sunday, June 19, 2016
Thursday, June 16, 2016
Dallas fans! I always promise you something good and so here's 25 minutes of Mel Blanc and some old Dallas footage. It's scary how much the city has changed in 40 years.
This was first posted by the Texas Archive and please go show them your support. They are great people doing good work.
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
For over 30 years, the school has been participating in the Annecy International Animation Film Festival. It will also be the occasion for GOBELINS to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of its Animation Department!
Sunday, June 12, 2016
Pre-Hell Dance Party:
"Time" by Vinylgroover; "Discoland" (Radio Edit) by Tiny Tot; "99 Red Balloons" ('96 Remix) by Jimmy J; and "Rainbow to the Stars" by Dune.
01 - TRIANGLE - Providing another excellent opportunity to test my theory that you can open Hell with anything, especially incredibly unsettling experimental animation.
02 - A Prank Time - "Hey, it's time to cause some mischief!" Some eye-blasting, psychedelic mischief.
03 - Carpenter Brut: "Turbo Killer" - The Satanic Neo-80s were like that all the time. Your home assignment is to write a paper explaining exactly what in the hell is happening here.
04 - Kool Cigarette Commercial - And now a word from our commercial sponsor.
05 - Yakuza Apocalypse trailer - This completely unhinged genre-film trainwreck from the hyper-prolific Takahashi Miike would have been golden Hell material no matter what, but it's the stinger at the very end of the trailer that really makes it magical.
06 - Agressive Retsuko Episode 1 - Introducing our heroine, an adorable red panda office lady who likes to relax in her off-hours with some karaoke.
07 - Wild Boys Advance - "Who likes Japanese cartoons?" I should probably give a strobe warning here, 'cause, woo boy.
08 - Go! Samurai - Having cruelly mislead the audience I relented with an anime short they might actually enjoy . Weird, I know.
09 - Kung Fu vs. Yoga trailer - I'm looking forward to the sequel, Kung Fu vs. Yoga Pants. *rimshot*
10 - Cthupid - An adorable, heart-warming non-Euclidian nightmare.
11 - The Hobbit: 10 Guaranteed Improvements - Presenting another series of much appreciated modifications from the Aurlanuats.
12 - Mighty Mister Titan - And, having hit the halfway mark, it was past time for a nice stretch and exercise break with Mister Titan. However, the audience didn't realize we had a very special surprise episode lined up for them this year; you can see the crowd reaction here; the rioting starts at around 2:45
13 - Stop-Motion Camel Ad - And now, another word from our commercial sponsor.
14 - Aggressive Retsuko Episode 2 - Our heroine has a bit of pleasant, low-key interaction with her co-workers.
15 - Group Inou: "Catch" - "Who likes Japanese pop music?"
16 - Black Thunder - Since it's a big election year and SuperPAC money is flowing like water, we decided to cash in and throw in some political advertising.
17 - Super President: "Man of Steel" - And, since it's an election year, I couldn't help but show my admiration for America's greatest president: James Norcross, whose great desire to serve his country in the cause of justice brought him to the highest office in the land.
18 - Tony is Back! #1: Candy - We received some complaints that showing cigarette ads to an all-ages audience wasn't going to cut it, so we opted to show comemrcials for a more wholesome product: delicious Frosted Flakes. (NSFW)
19 - Awesome and Possum: "Material Song" - If only all hipsters could fall prey to the whimsical vengeance of their cartoon avatars.
20 - Don't Open 'Til Christmas trailer - Because Hell wouldn't be complete without at least one trailer from the glory days of the grindhouse era. (NSFW)
21 - Pizza Boy Diaries - Courtesy of our friends at Bottom Shelf Films.
22 - Tony Is Back! #2: Rick - Can Rick carry out his duties as a law enforcement officer? He can if he has a complete, nutrious breakfast! (NSF Innocent Bystanders)
23 - Agressive Retsuko Episode 7 - Finally, our heroine adds a relaxing touch to her office work space in an effort to relieve stress. This works just as well as you expected.
24 - Manipulated Man - "Who still likes Japanese cartoons?" Surprisingly, the audience expressed their continued love for Japanese cartoons and were not rewarded in the slightest.
25 - Tony Is Back #3: Anna - And, we squeeze in our final commercial break with something incredibly tasteless. (NSF...well, anyone, really.)
26 - Man of Action II: Ashes of Vengeance - And, for the grand finale, our friends at MK12 provided the North American premiere (no, really ) of their long-awaited Man of Action sequel, starring President Steve Elvis America. The whole film isn't up online yet, but you can admire the teaser here and dig the title sequence here.
All in all, another great year of Hell for all to enjoy. Kudos as always to the Hellions: Chris Culpepper, Cameron Blashka, and Jared Blashka. Also, special thanks to William Bloodworth for a very special installment of Mighty Mister Titan.
Tuesday, June 07, 2016
Sunday, June 05, 2016
Make sure you enable safe search before you Google anything about this video.
So! We had a great show. Considering we were starting much later than usual, I'm still pleased we were able to fill the room (with some left standing at the back for a while). Granted, we had contacted A-Kon later than usual this year, so I'm thankful they were able to squeeze us in.
And this year, all video had to be done via HDMI, which was OK because the laptop I was using was HDMI out only, but it was kinda not OK because of stupid HDCP and I'd left the laptop on a non-administrative account but that's neither here nor there and we were able to run the show from the back where all the devices could talk to each other without anyone completely losing their mind. This is more the fault with the protocol than it is with A-Kon's equipment and a purchase will be made to remedy that.
I want to thank our audience for sticking it out with us for two hours. I was worried we wouldn't have enough of the old stuff to keep our old fans' loyalty or enough new material to interest the newbies (and we had a shocking number of new people this year).
Now that I've done it, I'm a lot more comfortable with doing it again. I played it safe this show. Next time, we're really going to see some weird. I think it's the kind of thing Danno would have enjoyed.
As per tradition, we had a late meal at the Metro afterwards. According to Katie, they have the best chicken-fried steak.
Saturday, June 04, 2016
And that's where we'll be! If you click on the picture, it will take you to a full map in PDF form.
I have ten pounds of candy to throw.
Thursday, May 19, 2016
Are you MAN or WO-MAN enough to make it all the way to the end of MIDNITE MADNESS? Well, I guess we'll find out, won't we?
Monday, May 16, 2016
buy a copy.
The surviving members of the Dallas chapter of Hell will be doing a show at A-Kon. Hope to see you there.
Friday, May 13, 2016
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Sunday, May 08, 2016
Yes, Friday night at 10 in the big ballroom in the Toronto Congress Center it's Anime Hell! Saturday night at 8 in the International Ballroom in the International Plaza Hotel it's Totally Lame Anime! And Sunday at 1 it's a trip back in time to take a look at Corn Pone Flicks' Bad American Dubbing!
This and much much more, all happening May 27-29 at Anime North!
Wednesday, May 04, 2016
Sunday, May 01, 2016
Charlie Parker played be-bop
Charlie Parker played saxophone...
That video above, "Ko-Ko", was made in 1988 and made by hand. It should give you a whole new appreciation for beans. Someone played the music tonight and it reminded me of all this.
I've talked about Alive from Off Center on this blog before, as well as what a huge influence it was on me. What I'd like to do here is share with you one episode in particular.
If you have a copy of Danny Elfman's "Music for a Darkened Theater", then you've heard this track before. Now you can see the animation that inspired it, plus a little extra song by Mr. Elfman himself. Enjoy.
This is the one that I was most happy to find. The song that Me-an and her sister sing to the bird (09:55) is one that pops into my head to this day. I still find myself humming it, even if I don't know the words. That's how memories work.
Sadly, I wasn't able to find a copy of Jane Aaron's "This Time Around". I did find this story about her death earlier last year, which you should go check out. Turns out, she did a lot of work for Sesame Street and they have a good showing of it there. You never know what you're going to find.
Monday, April 25, 2016
Friday, April 22, 2016
OK, so, Passover starts tonight and I thought I'd share some Nina Paley with you guys so you can understand a bit more about what went down.
The Plague of Blood
The Plague of Frogs
The Plague of Lice
The Plague of Flies
The Plague on Livestock
The Plague of Boils
The Plague of HAIL
The Plague of Locusts
The Plague of Darkness
The Plague of the Firstborn
Thursday, April 21, 2016
Saturday, April 16, 2016
Friday, April 15, 2016
Monday, April 11, 2016
Tuesday, April 05, 2016
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Monday, March 21, 2016
Friday, March 11, 2016
Tuesday, March 08, 2016
Borrowing a lot of imagery from Hieronymus Bosch, Yōji Kuri really goes all out with this independent film.
Don't click on any of the related videos if you've just eaten or plan on eating soon.
Thursday, March 03, 2016
Wednesday, March 02, 2016
Friday, February 26, 2016
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
PREPARE your eyeballs for the coming of SPRING, and also JAPANESE ANIME HELL!! I (Dave Merrill) will be presenting Anime Hell at ANIME BOSTON on Saturday March 26 at 10pm in a location yet to be determined - and Anime Hell returns to ANIME NORTH on Friday May 27, also at 10pm, in the ballroom in the Toronto Congress Centre North! I'm looking forward to my first-ever visit to Anime Boston! Are you?
Monday, February 22, 2016
Sunday, February 21, 2016
It's come to my attention that there's a rumor going around we're not going to do any more Anime Hell shows in the future. This is not true.
Yes, it's true that Danno's sudden death kinda set us on our heels a bit. We weren't sure what was going to happen and that delayed our communication with A-Kon and Anime Fest, but we still plan on keeping the show going. I said just as much last year when I had to make the announcement that Danno had died.
Will there be rough spots? Of course. We are delayed but we are not down.
I'm disappointed that people who are not part of this would be spreading this sort of rumor and we're taking the appropriate steps to deal with it. In the meantime, the basic rule of thumb is if you don't see it on the blog, then it's not from us. We're down a cast member, but Katie and I will still do conventions until we have to use walkers or go blind (or everyone gets bored with it). The two of us will keep going because we're not going to let what Danno built here locally die like that.
In his memory, at the very least, the show continues.
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Monday, February 15, 2016
Monday, February 01, 2016
Friday, January 22, 2016
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Monday, January 18, 2016
Saturday, January 16, 2016
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Sunday, January 10, 2016
Yes, I know I'm starting with part two. You can go back and watch the introduction if you like, but it doens't add anything to the flick.
Watching this, I think about all those guys who do impersonations and how no one does a Peter Ustinov. Pity that. Maybe Peter Serafinowicz has one hidden in his repertoire, but I've not heard it.
Alexander Stitt of Abra Cadabra fame is our animator here. The film is based on the book by John Gardner, which you probably had assigned to you if you were in AP English. There's ten parts total, several songs, and a strangely sad ending.
At the very least, it's in modern English and there's no Crispin Glover.