Quick Shot: First official image from BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, PART 2!

A few weeks ago, Rishard reviewed BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, PART 1. I just got a press email from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment with this action packed first official image of Batman attacking the obese running to save the day in Part 2 of this excellent animated movie based on the classic Frank Miller comic (coming out in early 2013)! Looks pretty exciting! Check back after the release for our review!

Movies You May Have Missed: Starchaser: The Legend of Orin

If you ever felt like watching an animated film that blatantly shows off its inspirations, this is the one for you.

Now, a lot of people like to simply brush off this film as a blatant “Star Wars” rip-off. It’s not hard to see how they came to that.

TOTALLY not a lightsaber…

I mean, you have your poor boy who comes across a sword hilt presented to him by a ghostly, bearded apparition that when used produces a sort of energy-blade that makes a nice electro-whoosh sound. He meets up with a smarmy smuggler who has an anxiety-laden, yet pompous droid/ship. Their villain at first wears an ominous mask, but is soon shown to be more than that…. I get it. But you’ve got to believe me when I say, this movie is so much more than that.   Continue reading

WTF Did I Just Watch!? #3

Oof….I just don’t even know where to begin. 

So, I hesitated to share this on the site, which I’m trying to keep relatively “family friendly” in content, but I knew, once I started down the road of this particular post series, the lines would begin to blur very fast, and eventually, all weird, twisted, roads will lead you here.

Ladies and Gentlemen, you shouldn’t allow me to introduce you to, “Sloaches”. *facepalm*

During the time before youtube, there were few avenues to travel to find the truly weird and bizarre. Whether it be cult & indie films, shorts, or animation. Thankfully, however, I could always count on Spike & Mike to bring wonderous new cartoons to me with their animation festival.

Many, many great well-known cartoons and animators got their start on the Spike & Mike’s circuit (which would travel to art-house movie theaters across the country). Examples:

  • Mike Judge got his start there, “Beavis and Butthead” premiered in the fest,
  • Don Hertzfeld, famous for the Oscar Nominated, “Rejected”
  • Nick Park, creator of “Wallace and Gromit” gained prominence with his short, “Creature Comforts”.
  • Craig McCracken, who’s perhaps best known for the “Powerpuff Girls” and “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends” started out as a festival staple with his fan favorite “No Neck Joe”
  • John Lasseter, “Mr. Pixar” himself, became recognized with his short, “Tin Toy” touring the Spike & Mike’s circuit.

All these great things have come from that festival. But then again, for the more “deviant” minded crowd, there was the festival sub-section, the aptly titled “Sick & Twisted Animation Festival”.

This series of animations was special. Most of them were simply tasteless or crass, but some were downright disturbing. In 1998 we would find that none, NONE, were more so than “Sloaches”.

I will not describe it to you. I don’t even know that I could. It’s creator and “Clayboy” studio practically don’t exist online save for some trademark reports. I
n keeping with the relatively “safe haven” of this site, I will not directly link you to any of the uncensored or full-length “Sloaches” videos. As a matter of fact, I only found ONE short that was “okay” enough to allow me to feel comfortable posting it here.

So, I will first warn you, with the minor exception of this one here, THE “SLOACHES” VIDEOS ARE NOT SAFE FOR WORK AND SHOULD NOT BE VIEWED BY ANYONE UNDER THE AGE OF 18.  If you wish to search out the rest, my conscious is clear, I’ve warned you.
Without further ado, the “Sloaches Humanoids” eat pizza:

This Song Sends Love Through


Written by: Christopher Lee

From “Rock & Rule” – 1983 – Nelvana Studios

Odds are, even if you are in your mid-30’s+, you may not have seen or remember this movie. But if you have and you love it, you’re a better person in my book.
If you haven’t, there’s never a better time than now to check it out. I still kinda holds up I think. Even if it didn’t, the music is definitely amazing with contributions from punk, rock, and new wave legends of the 70’s & 80’s like Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Blondie (Debbie Harry), Cheap Trick and Earth, Wind & Fire.

Rock & Rule poster

As the opening dialog reveals

“The War was over, the only survivors were street animals, dogs, cats, and rats. From them a new race had evolved. That was a long time ago.”

From there, we’re told that aging rock legend “Mok” (himself looking like a conglomeration of Iggy Pop and Mick Jagger), has been researching the means to open the door to a dark dimension. At this point, he has everything he needs, save a single, special voice….and now, his search has led him back to his roots, in “Ohmtown”. There’s plenty of futurism in the movie playing on the themes of apocalyptic tech and electricity, but that just lends to the films wonderful atmosphere.

If nothing else, Mok is a good host.

From here we meet our “heroes”, Omar & Angel, and their sidekicks, Dizzy & Stretch (effectively whose characters are sort of tropes of Donatello from TMNT and Shaggy from Scooby Doo). They’re a band, and they’re performing at a seedy little club and having a bit of tension. This is what you see in the clip I posted.
Mok has found his voice.

Our heroes!

The movie itself is a big-budget remake of a 1978 Nelvana cartoon called “The Devil and Daniel Mouse”, which had been a Canadian Halloween special, itself, if you traced back the inspiring tales, a retelling of the story of “Faust”.

“Rock & Rule” had started production in 1979 and was in constant peril over the next 4 years of it’s inception due to constant rewrites (from the studios, not certain what to do with the film, shelving and un-shelving it), a high turnover (over 300 animators worked on the film) and almost bankrupting the company (it ended up costing Nelvana around 8 million dollars, unheard of for the studio at the time, which had yet released a film produced for English-speaking audiences), was finally release 4 years later in 1983 to unfortunately lackluster reviews.

Their hadn’t really been a film like this. A (relatively) big budget animated film aimed at adults. It had drugs, bad language, “sexual situations” and what is/was considered “satanic” imagery.
In 1983, cartoons were still considered “kiddy fare” even with the underground and fairly obscure movies like “Heavy Metal” or Ralph Bakshi films like “Fritz the Cat” and “Wizards” running the back alley theater and midnight movie circuits. Unlike them, however, “Rock & Rule” had a distinct quality to it. Above par animation, a soundtrack featuring some of the bigger artists of the time. I mean, c’mon, Blondie practically DEFINED the early 80’s. Still, the film had trouble. The studios didn’t know how to market it. The theaters didn’t know when to show it. The public didn’t know what to make of it. It sort of faded away.
Had it not been for late night showings on cable TV stations like HBO and Cinemax, it may never have developed it’s following. Thanks to them and the growing convention circuits, it had become a Cult Film phenom, with copies of the hard-to-find home video versions and bootlegs of the very rare laser discs, making their way into circulation. As a matter of fact, there were two versions of the film to hunt down! The theatrical version, and the American release with a bit of editing (ohhh…we love editing don’t we?) and some different voice acting. The VHS release is actually included on the DVD released a few years back by Unearthed Films.
For me, it was always so exciting to find someone else who loved the movie, much less knew about it. Honestly, it’s sort of still like that today. I’m okay with that.

So, long story short, do yourself a favor. Go out and grab the DVD. It was released as a double disc collector’s edition that includes different versions of the film AND the original “Devil and Daniel Mouse”, along with a booklet telling a more detailed history of the production.

Here’s some AMAZING fan art by Deviantart user, Fpeniche!

Rock & Rule fan art


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