Archive for January, 2008

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Cartoon Hell #6 – “Les Escargots”

January 31, 2008

Cartoon Hell is TheKarpuk’s attempt to review every single installment in an awful $5 collection called “150 Classic Cartoons” purchased at his local Wal-Mart. Your prayers are welcome.

Try not to think about it too hard.

There is not a man or woman in France who has not had their hearts warmed by the antics of the cartoon characters, “Les Escargots”. To this day the presence of Les Escargots lunch boxes, video games, and even fanciful snail hats indicates that the cartoons series still holds a vice-like grip on the hearts and minds of the French population. To see this, their first appearance on such a heinous collection is both an insult and a faint hope that this under-appreciated classic might finally find an audience stateside.

My god this must be sophisticated!

Before the film even begins, we see a list of the prizes “Les Escargots” has won. It has not be translated to English, because that would have a detrimental effect on its pride. Note also that there is a hair on the frame. We would make a joke about the French and hair removal, but that would sully this cinematic classic.

As you might have noticed on the title card, the film starts with one woman on what looks like a peach and sounds like a creaky balloon. The frame expands outward to show that this is apparently some sort of creaky peach aerobics class.

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Cartoon Hell #5 – “Let’s Sing With Popeye”

January 23, 2008

Cartoon Hell is TheKarpuk’s attempt to review every single installment in an awful $5 collection called “150 Classic Cartoons” purchased at his local Wal-Mart. Your prayers are welcome.

Let’s not…

Being the neurotic I am, I couldn’t help but realize that 150 cartoons presents some odd organizational challenges. Unfortunately this epiphany resulted in my scanning through 150 by-in-large awful looking cartoons cataloging their title, disc location, and star.

There were two annoying things I discovered overall:

  1. There’s a metric ass-load of Popeye cartoons on this damn thing.

  2. There’s roughly half a metric ass-load of Betty Boop related shorts.

So in order for this to not devolve into the Betty Boop and Popeye comedy hour, I’m going to do a Betty Boop or Popeye cartoon on every multiple of five. You have been warned.

Popeye appears to be trapped in an awful afterlife the Greek’s like to torture the sadistically violent with. In his eternal torment, he’s also forced to rescue a stupid baby or an equally stupid 50 pound woman from a 400 pound bearded rapist every day. Occasionally, when this grows boring, he’s harassed by nephews that appear to be a shameless rip off of Donald Duck’s next of kin.

If my review seems a bit heavy on the details, it’s because I feel like I can take my time. And you know why? It’s because “Let’s Sing With Popeye” clocks in at under 2 minutes! This tiny little clip qualifies as one of the 150 shorts touted in the title. There are hundreds of old Popeye cartoons, as well as thousands of crappy full length cartoons they could have acquired instead of this music video for Popeye’s shitty anthem.

It’s also the first Popeye cartoon on the collection, so for some trailer-damned Wal-Mart orphan this is going to be their introduction to the grizzled, seafaring bastard. A part of me thinks that’s fitting, but I also think it leaves them ignorant of the terrible content to come.

We begin with Popey strutting along the deck advising you that he is indeed Popeye the Sailor Man. Much like a Top 10 Hip Hop artist, he has to regularly remind you in song who he is lest you bitches forget.

All will be punched!

While singing, Popeye struts up to an anchor and punches it into fish hooks. Clearly he doesn’t think the ship will ever need to come to a stop or remain stationary. I imagine someone else had to inform the captain that there would now be a need to string together several thousand hooks if they ever want to get off the ship.

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Cartoon Hell #4 – “Along Came A Duck”

January 17, 2008

Cartoon Hell is TheKarpuk’s attempt to review every single installment in an awful $5 collection called “150 Classic Cartoons” purchased at his local Wal-Mart. Your prayers are welcome.

God Help You If A Duck Comes Along and You’re Unprepared!

 Today’s entry sounds a bit like the third line of a dirty joke, after the priest, minister, and rabbi are seated at the bar, then along came a duck.

 Really, the title isn’t setting you up for an story of wizardry and wonder in the far east. If a friend of mine said, “So I was sitting there, and along came a duck…..” I wouldn’t immediately yell, “Shit man, don’t leave me hanging, then what happened? What did the duck do? I bet it quacked, tell me it quacked!”

Stamped and approved by the Kaiser himself!

 The first thing I noticed upon loading this film is that I don’t recognize the title card. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard of “Official Films” before, though you can’t beat a title that immediately encourages you to ask, “officially what?” I’m sure it spits in the face of all things unofficial, but I’d like to know who exactly they’re representing.

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Cartoon Hell #3 – “The Friendly Ghost”

January 8, 2008

Cartoon Hell is TheKarpuk’s attempt to review every single installment in an awful $5 collection called “150 Classic Cartoons” purchased at his local Wal-Mart. Your prayers are welcome.

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Unlike the previous two entries in this series, today’s cartoon is a change of pace, which surprised me considering the wasteland the “150 Classic Cartoons” appeared to be on the outset. I knew a few famous Paramount and Fleischer characters would appear sooner or later, but they’ve actually included the first appearance of Casper the Friendly Ghost, appropriately titled, “The Friendly Ghost”.

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This short opens with a set of credits that I found to be genuinely creepy. A few of the pictures would actually make cool posters if properly cleaned up and enlarged. Considering this is effectively a children’s series, I’m actually kind of impressed.

A friendly and folksy narrator says something approximately like the following as we zoom in on a spooky house: “If you believe in ghosts, this is the story for you. If you don’t believe in ghosts, well I suppose you can just fuck right off.” I’m probably paraphrasing.

In the interests of full disclosure, I must point out that I’m thoroughly unconvinced that ghosts exist. In my estimation, they fall somewhere between “wishful thinking” and “bullshit”.

I mean really, let’s do some math here. Let’s suppose that only .01 percent of all people who die become a ghost. An average of 150,000 people die worldwide every day, so that would mean 15 ghosts a day, 105 ghosts a week, and 5460 ghosts a year. People seem to believe that ghosts haunt an area as long as need be, so we can basically assume that this trend goes back to the dawn of man. Even going with such a slim percentage, we’d have been up to our assholes in ghosts years ago. If ghosts were that common, ghostbusting wouldn’t be cool, it would be just another form of pest control. You’d be able to buy ghost traps at the local Wal-Mart.

“Booooooo-SNAP!”

“Oh, honey, could you deal with that. I hate throwing out the dead ghosts.”

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