Saturday, August 28, 2010

Still Beating My Dead Six Legged Horse

  Not really.  While thinking about Avatar, I remembered that there was a character named Avatar in Ralph Bakshi's vehicle Wizards.  The plot is pretty basic: A long time into the future an evil wizard discovers films of Adolf Hitler, which he uses to inspire his troops to go forth and conquer.  The good elves, led by Avatar (who happens to be the bad wizard's brother) try to stop him.  It's frequently animated in glorious rotoscope, an ancient technique that starts out with live footage which gets traced over and colored.  I like the look, but some consider it cheating, probably because it has become associated with tight budgets.

  The film itself is a mixed bag.  It's one of those productions where the sum isn't as good as the parts. Often the more rounded, well... cartoonish characters are out of place in front of the sharp and angular Ian Miller backgrounds.  There can be a sudden shock when well done animation runs out of cash and turns into a rough hack job.  It's like Jake is about to fly off the cliff with his lizard thingy when James Cameron calls  "Halt! OK, did the intern make that blue pipe cleaner figure?  Great, put it on a paper airplane and throw it out the window.  No blue screen, just film it on the way down.  That's a wrap!"  It's that sudden, and it's that crude.

  It's got some good points too.  This is the earliest example of the Working Class Minions of Evil trope I've come across so far.

  If you don't want to watch the whole movie, this clever editor has made a music video which compresses the whole movie into five minutes.

  Lastly, here is the dramatic finish.  I sometimes wonder why Lawdog doesn't have this scene on a MP4 player surrounded by candles.

  By the way,  if you know your AD&D, you'll have noted that Blackwolf is a lich.  Since they didn't destroy the phylactery, he can come back for the sequel providing that Bakshi can finally get the funding.

  "A lich?  Are you serious?" Asked Dr. Cato, giving a smile of disbelief.  "You are a a man of science, a man of learning.  How could this be?"

  "I know it sounds incredible,'' Responded Professor Ibrahim from the holophone, "But like the Prophet said, if you remove all improbables,  whatever is left must be true."

  "But why?  Why would this thing come back to life after slumbering for so many centuries?" 

  "We think it's because you removed the objects from its tomb.  Replace them, and it should become quiet again."  Ibrahim held up his hand.  "I know what you are thinking, why not just ask for them back?  Why go on a killing spree?  You have to remember that this thing comes from an evil place in the distant past.  Amerikkka, during the age of Jahiliyah.  Things were very different then.  We don't know all the details, because the seemed to be ashamed of their evil and put all of their 'learning' on materials which were designed to disintegrate.  High acid paper, plastic which would crumble, and so on, but enough remains for us to determine that Chrishotep is a cereal killer.

  "Yes, we all know the great mental risks you take to reassemble this hideous past", said Cato as he rolled his eyes at Sabrina and made an obscene gesture.

 "What was that?"  Demanded Ibrahim.

  "Nothing"  Replied Cato, I just thought I heard something outside.  "Go on."

  "Well," Said Ibrahim, trying to regain his train of thought, the Old Amerikkkans still believed sacrifices were necessary to maintain the fertility of the soil.  Cereal killers roamed the land kind of like freelance priests."

  "How horrible!" Injected Sabrina.  "Weren't people shocked?"

  "On the contrary, Sabrina.  These people were heroes.  There were movies about them.  Books about them.  They were the most studies and admired persons of that era.  The key is the coins.  Chuck E was a famous cereal killer.  Many believed he couldn't be destroyed.  Those coins could have been a reward, or permission to kill.  We just don't know.  It's too bad they were destroyed."

  "I really don't believe you" Said Cato.  "But for the sake of argument what do we do now?  We are stuck here with this thing roaming around."

  "I'll come and get you when the storm lifts, so find a safe area and sit tight.  I've saved the best for last though.   Get this: We have determined that the crypt isn't just a burial chamber.  It's a time machine!"





  1. I'd buy that book.

    Love the blog, BTW. It's entertaining as hell.

  2. Interesting post :-) Avatar was nothing more than Pocahontas, John Smith and the Navajo tribe thrown in for effects... JMHO...