"I take orders from the Octoboss."

Highlander: The Search For Vengeance

HIGHLANDER: THE SEARCH FOR VENGEANCE is by far the best animated version of Highlander that they’ve made. Okay, that’s not saying jack shit, but I did sincerely enjoy this 2007 DTV (or OVA) anime spin-off. Like HIGHLANDER II and Highlander: The Animated Series it brings the Immortals saga into a dystopian future: “After a century of terrorism and global warming, the earth has fallen into chaos and decay,” the opening text says. And I really like this line: “Life is cheap and death comes easy, save for some.”

From the dawn of 1986 they came…moving stylishly down through the decades. Movies, TV shows, cartoons, struggling to reach the time of the reviewing, when Vern will write about the franchise

It’s a well told (if simple) tale and the design and animation are legit. Director Yoshiaki Kawajiri also directed WICKED CITY, NINJA SCROLL and VAMPIRE HUNTER D: BLOODLUST, plus segments in THE ANIMATRIX and BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHT. Shit, I’ve seen some of those! He also wrote the live action AZUMI 2. But the screenwriter for this one is David Abramowitz, a writer, producer and creative consultant for Highlander: The Series and Highlander: The Raven.

Let’s get this out of the way first: it does not involve any characters from any previous Highlander. It never mentions Connor or Duncan MacLeod. Instead it stars Colin MacLeod (Alistair Abell, “Officer Goodman,” FREDDY VS. JASON), an Immortal who comes to the MacLeod clan a stranger but is accepted by them when he dies fighting for them in battle (and then chased off when he comes back to life).

I think it would be cooler to see an anime Connor MacLeod with his white sneakers, but I guess they needed a new MacLeod because they need him to have a backstory that doesn’t match up with the other two. Colin does wear a trenchcoat and use a katana. But he wears a headband tied around his head Rambo or Daniel-san style. I can’t imagine Connor with that headband. That’s another good reason to invent a new MacLeod.

As in HIGHLANDERs I, II, III and IV and surely episodes of the series we have a power mad Immortal villain from our hero’s past. This time it’s not about trying to stop him from winning The Prize – it’s a personal vendetta Colin has against this guy Marcus Octavius (Nolan North, voice of Frankenstein in DEATH RACE 4: BEYOND ANARCHY) for having killed his wife during the Roman Empire. I mean, it was the Roman Empire, everybody made mistakes, but this particular one is hard to forgive. So ever since, Colin has followed him from country to country, war to war, era to era, some of them glimpsed in flashback throughout the story.

Marcus is very good at raising empires and conquering others. He has a cool Japanese-Immortal henchwoman/concubine named Kyala (Janyse Jaud, THE KARATE DOG) and he rules New York City by giving only his people the antidote to a deadly virus while the poor live literally underground trying to avoid it.

The introduction of Marcus got me primed for a great time, because it’s a long zoom in across New York City to the top of his golden tower, where we discover that he is the one doing the guitar noodling we’ve been hearing on the soundtrack.

That made me laugh and I think it’s very much in the corny/awesome rock ‘n roll spirit of Mulcahy’s original, where the Kurgan can start singing “New York, New York” and then Queen will play along on the soundtrack.

In one of the flashbacks he’s playing a mandolin, so he’s been playing for an awful long time. He better be good. Kyala says his playing is “Beautiful,” and he says, “But not perfect. Just like this city.” I guess that’s why he feels the city has to be patrolled by his armies of robotic soldiers, spiders, and these, uh, pyramid tank things:

I’m not saying this is a reference, but it makes me think of the also pyramid-shaped Shield in HIGHLANDER II.

When Colin wanders into 2187 New Jersey he rides a swamp boat through the flooded Meadowlands stadium and walks under hanged corpses to face a gang of mutant cannibal cyborgs having a cookout of lizard-man arms. He senses the presence of an Immortal, but it’s just some thousand year old dude with sharp teeth and a giant chainsaw, not Marcus. He doesn’t give a shit about The Game, so he’s gonna leave, but the guy insists on a duel. I like this guy because his severed head stays alive long enough to express surprise at his defeat. “This can’t be! Who are you?” And his body takes several more steps up an escalator before the Quickening comes.

There’s a great moment of melodrama when Colin realizes he’s found Marcus. He sees him on a giant Big Brother style video screen, and it dissolves to a long flashback explaining who he is, before it comes back to Colin smashing the screen.

“Don’t tell me you know him,” says Dahlia (Debi Mae West), the prostitute/rebel trying to enlist him to help break into the tower to steal the antidote for the dying children. “He’s the asshole that owns us.”

Naturally the point of the movie is for Colin to go from only helping because it’s a way to go after Marcus to actually caring about the cause. The titelistical search for vengeance is not portrayed as particularly healthy. Dahlia, as much as she hates Marcus, doesn’t immediately accept the premise of Colin’s quest.

“You expect me to believe that you ran out on us because you and Marcus are both immortal, and you’ve been chasing him all this time, for revenge. All this time?”


“Because he killed your wife. Two thousand years ago. Two thousand years. I think you’re out of your fucking mind!

I guess she’s probly saying she doesn’t believe he’s that old, but I first took it as disbelief that someone could hold onto a grudge that long.

In Colin’s defense, Marcus has done plenty more to prove he’s an asshole than just kill his wife. Throughout history you could count on him to join all the most oppressive regimes. In France during WWII he had no qualms about flying with the Nazis, and Colin had no qualms about diving onto the wing of his plane and trying to have a duel with him. So it’s very clear who to side with here.

I love that we get to see these two characters facing off in a variety of cultures and eras. For example we see them in samurai armor.

It’s natural, if you have characters who live for thousands of years, to put them into different historical periods you’re interested in, especially when it’s animation and you can use it as an excuse to draw cool shit. But I also take it as an extension of the grand Highlander tradition of interchangeable nationality, going back to the counterintuitive casting of a Frenchman as a Scotsman and a Scotsman as an Egyptian-Spaniard.

Instead of a Ramirez type, Colin has a magical little druid named Amergan (Scott McNeil, “Crackhouse Junkie” on one episode of Street Justice) who follows him around hassling him. I guess he’s a ghost, and he also turns into different animals like the lady in WILLOW.

He doesn’t teach him any sword tricks, but he explains the Immortal rules and stuff. He’s not a very Highlandery character, but a list of Kawajiri’s trademarks on his Wikipedia page includes “old men of small stature who act as wise sages.” So while this takes some elements from Highlander (a favorite: Stonehenge is used as the “holy ground” where Immortals are forbidden to fight) it’s very much molded for the artist and the medium.

The best thing about being animated (specifically by Madhouse, a well-regarded studio co-founded by Kawajiri) is that it allows for more action than in the live action ones. There’s lots of cool slicing up of robot security goons, organic humans, even a giant sewer crocodile.

And I enjoy this movie’s use of the samurai trope of swordsmen passing each other and not realizing that one made a quick, deadly slice until the delayed sliding off of a limb or head. It happens to both man and machine.

Eventually Colin embraces his destiny and leads the army of the poor in revolt. Before that he also embraces Dahlia, who had initially tried to have sex with him as a recruiting tool (he rejected) but now is actually into him, as would happen in a romantic comedy. They have a passionate sex montage full of time-jumping dissolves and spontaneously lighting candles (inside a church). Definitely Highlandery. Then when she’s asleep afterwards he jams her apartment door with a wrench to try to keep her from joining the battle. That’s a problem with Immortals, they’re never gonna let go of that old paternalistic bullshit. But she escapes from his unlawful confinement and comes and saves his dumb ass.

I know what you’re asking. Is there a giant fan with a light behind it? Or is this not a true heir to the Mulcahy/Highlander legacy? The answer is the first one – there is a giant fan that Colin has to climb through as part of the attack.

Also I want to share this cool “camera” angle that doesn’t remind me of anything specific from HIGHLANDER but does seem to be in the Mulcahy tradition of dynamic visuals:

More proof that this is a true HIGHLANDER movie: there’s an alternate version. The 10-minutes longer director’s cut was released in Japan.

If there’s anything that ties specifically to the TV series then I didn’t pick up on it. There’s no reference to Watchers, for example. But Jim Byrnes, who plays Joe Dawson on the show and in the two related movies, apparently voices two characters, Rudy and Doc. Since he’s a prolific cartoon voice actor, though (G.I. Joe, Double Dragon, Mega Man, Transformers Beast Wars, RoboCop: Alpha Commando, X-Men: Evolution, Hot Wheels: Battle Force 5), I suspect this is closer to a coincidence than a nod to fans.

Like all Highlander motion pictures so far, I recommend this one. I actually wish they would’ve made more of them and explored this territory more. It would be nice to see Colin MacLeod have more adventures now that he’s not burdened by a drive to search for the ol’ vengeance. And we could hope that some day there’d be one that’s not as good looking but that teams him with Quentin MacLeod from Highlander: The Animated Series and they eat hot dogs together.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 4th, 2019 at 11:39 am and is filed under Action, Cartoons and Shit, Fantasy/Swords, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

70 Responses to “Highlander: The Search For Vengeance”

  1. “From the studio that brought you CARDCAPTOR SAKURA, comes an adventure that transcends time!”

    This is my favorite of the sequels and follow-ups and maybe the best of the ‘anime is mainstream now right?’ phase of the time period this came from. Has a bunch of fun and stays faithful to the mythos and like Kawajiri’s other movies, is interested in being ‘cool’ and ‘stylish’ rather than make sense (making him perfect to follow Mulcahy). Plus, he doesn’t bring in some of the things that would usually sink a Japanese cartoon.

    Since all attempts to make a sequel failed, we’ll just have to head canon it here: How do you folks think Colin would take his hot dogs?

  2. Yes but are there overt political messages in this cartoon?

  3. I mean, at some point the non-immortal members of Clan MacLeod had start looking around and asking themselves “hey, are *we* actually the weird ones here or what?”

  4. If Colin is over 2000 years old, that makes him even by immortal standards fucking old! When Darius was introduced in the TV show, it was special that he was over 1000 years old and Methos, the oldest immortal ever, is 5000 years old. I don’t know how long Duncan made it (Never saw THE SOURCE and therefore don’t know if he survives that one), but it’s nice to see that at least one MacLeod joined the prestigious 4 digits age club.

  5. So glad to see Highlander is still getting priority over the new Godzilla. Perhaps the King Of the Monsters is The Prize after all the Highlanders battle until there can be only one.

  6. Fred: Let us not speak of that movie… the wound is still healing…

  7. This is so far the only HIGHLANDER movie I’ve seen and it’s been a long time since I’ve seen it, not since 2007 when it first came out, I really need to watch it again.

    Any connoisseur of badass cinema should be able to appreciate Yoshiaki Kawajiri’s other films like NINJA SCROLL and VAMPIRE HUNTER D: BLOODLUST whether you care about anime or not because it’s very atypical among most anime, for starters his character designs are more relatively realistic than most anime and there’s just overall so much badassitude, we’re not talking BLEND S here.

    I REALLY miss the ‘anime is mainstream now right?’ period of time geoffreyjar mentions, it’s one of the most nostalgic things ever to me, while anime has gained a new momentum in recent years, it’s never quite gone back to the way it was in the 2000s.

    As evidenced by the fact that there was a short lived trend in the 2000s of anime based on western properties, spurred on by THE ANIMATRIX I’m sure, in addition to HIGHLANDER I also think of the anime WITCHBLADE TV series, since they came out around the same time, wonder what Vern would think of that one?

  8. Oh man, looking it up I see that Yoshiaki Kawajiri has not directed another feature since HIGHLANDER: THE SEARCH FOR VENGEANCE.

    That really blows, I can’t believe that.

  9. It blows my mind that 4 of the 9 Highlander iterations take place in dystopic futures. (And not a single one of those dystopias is related!) Like, almost half of this franchise is cyberpunk. Why did they keep going back to that well after The Quickening?

    It’s just such an odd hat-on-a-hat. The high concept for about half of these stories is, “a group of immortals who can only be killed by decapitation battle for supremacy.” Meanwhile, that’s the *ordinary world* for the old half, before the high concept of dystopian futurescape is added.

    It’s hard to explain it in text, but it’s like Transformers: Age of Extinction. In that film, the warring factions of transforming robots is *not* the high concept. The third group of invading aliens bent on using a magic element to terraform earth is the high concept. The franchise’s original premise is relegated to the position of the ordinary world that is interrupted by the movie’s main conceit.

  10. CrustaceanLove

    June 4th, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    Why do they keep introducing new, hitherto unmentioned MacLeods? I know the film is called “Highlander”, but couldn’t they at least come up with a different clan?

  11. Well he only later becomes a MacLeod when he’s adopted into the clan. And was made to promise to never forget it before his banishment from the lands of said clan.

  12. I wonder if Fox McLeod is immortal. Or Scottish.

  13. Griff:

    Kawajiri suffered from shifting interests in the industry. His type of thing doesn’t seem to sell anymore unless it’s ATTACK ON TITAN. So he’s in the super-fun position of not being able to get any of his stuff off the ground. I also read years ago that he was almost always a bigger deal here than in his home country. If true, then that doesn’t help.

    As for the mainstream’s brief flirtation with anime, the majors may not be as interested in them any more (outside of maybe remaking them into live action at least) but now with Fathom Events and Crunchyroll, etc. I think anime fans are in a pretty good position right now. Anime fans still have a rep* but I don’t think it’ll hang around. From my perspective, it’s already died down over the years.

    When I got into it, it was a niche of a niche and everyone else I knew was into it were the same folks into comic books and tabletop gaming. Then either Toonami happened and brought in younglings or superheroes started to become mainstream and then the comic book fans turned their backs on anime. In the early 2000’s I was kinda surprised to learn that my fellow nerds/fans got splintered all of a sudden.

    There are still crossover hits like ATTACK ON TITAN though. So I don’t think it’s a step down from the early-2000’s. It’s just different.

  14. When was anime “in?” I missed that.

  15. What Griff and I are talking about is when the Toonami block on Cartoon Network was big with kids and nerds (and I’m sure some stoners) and adult swim played a lot of it. Disney was releasing Ghibli movies and Columbia/Tristar/Sony was also distributing some titles. It was also riding on the financial and critical success of THE ANIMATRIX. Also, a bunch of U.S. action cartoons was starting to mimic anime as well.* So it looked like it was going to go full mainstream but then the market kinda burst after CN ended it’s affair with anime so it looked like it was going to go back to being a niche of a niche but I’d argue it’s coming back pretty well.

    I mean it’s still a niche but I think after seeing how much money DRAGON BALL SUPER: BROLY made here back in January, and I can go to Wal-mart or whereever and buy anime titles and an ATTACK ON TITAN boardgame and even go to the local AMC theater and actually watch the SAILOR MOON movies it’s kinda hard to still say ‘Eh, that’s not going anywhere…’

    *Also doesn’t mention that there are a few probably ill-conceived live action remakes of anime/manga Hollywood is developing or even working on right now and Sony Pictures just paid an awful lot of money to buy Funimation, a popular anime distributor.

    P.S. – also NOT saying that anime fans can’t be annoying and obnoxious either. But even with that I’m getting (a little bit) more lenient on when we now see B.S. like GAME OF THRONES petitions and whatnot.

  16. Before this series, I thought the Highlander franchise died with Endgame, so thanks for the education.

    I kind of miss the anime tie in home movie. It was a fun way to expand on the theatrically released film, even if later movies, like The Dark Knight, pretended the tie in never existed. I actually just watched Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury, which was pulpy fun that didn’t overstay its welcome at thirty minutes.

  17. Even here in Germany was a time (early 00s), when the afternoon kids show block was suddenly filled with DRAGONBALL, POKEMON, CASE CLOSED and basically every cartoon was about badly animated characters with pointy noses and spiky hair. Suddenly every home video label released whatever japanimation classic they had in their archive in overpriced DVD boxes, PRINCESS MONONOKE, TOTORO and Co celebrated their prime time TV premiere and print magazines, that focused on everything Anime, where suddenly filling the newsstand shelves.

  18. Yeah, I recall that. I pretty much gave up on Saturday morning cartoons when anime took over. They just didn’t grab me the same way. Digimon was pretty cool, though.

  19. I also liked Riddick Dark Fury. It was from the creator of Aeon Flux, and I was really into that. Loved the deluxe dvd boxset the series got around the release of Dark Fury.

  20. DARK FURY is arguably the best of the RIDDICK CHRONICLES just cause they go in and do their thing and leave.

  21. Ugh…love the RIDICK series, but Dark Fury was junk. Completely worthless. Nit even something cool or weird or funny….just like an extra fight to add to one of the second movie.

    Would have been tollerable as a DVD extra, but as its own thing it barely even qualifies as existing. Maybe that’s what you mean by “They do their thing and leave”? Just seemed so inconsiquential.

    There is a new Riddick on the way by the way. I love that that weird franchise just won’t quit!!

  22. I love that Vin never grows out of his old toys. One of these days he’s gonna get a LAST WITCH HUNTER sequel off the ground, just you wait.

  23. Has there been actual new information on the next Riddick?

  24. I was inspired to watch Dark Fury because I finished playing the Riddick video game that I had somehow bought for whatever reason and then didn’t play play for years. I realized that Riddick is basically Conan the Barbarian in space, and I’m totally down for a fourth movie if it ever gets made.

  25. He’s not basically Conan in space, he is LITERALLY Conan in space. Didn’t you see the last shot of Chronicles? Dark Fury however, is basically a Metroid short film starring Riddick, iirc.

  26. Tawdry – I would mark that period of time as from 1999 to 2007.

    It all started in a big way with The Matrix and its anime influence bringing attention to the medium, alongside Toonami introducing it to a generation of kids (me included), I would say it hit its peak in 2005, with the highest number of anime airing on US television, no less than 3 different magazines devoted to it (we’re down to only 1 now, Highlander style and not the original 3) and just in general a lot of cultural cachet.

    This was also tied in with a general interest America had in Japanese culture in the 2000s, think back to movies like LOST IN TRANSLATION, KILL BILL VOL 1, THE LAST SAMURAI and MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA as well as J Horror remakes like THE RING and THE GRUDGE.

    But the beginning of the end was in late 2007 when US publisher Geneon folded, which ushered in a 4 year of period of US anime publishers (that is companies officially releasing translated anime on DVD in the US) closing their doors left and right, the entire industry seemed to be collapsing in the US, which would have left internet downloads and “fansubs” the only option, severely limiting the audience.

    That was also all happening around the time when suddenly it became very uncool to admit you liked anime, spurred on by an infamous 2009 ad for Seattle based Sakura con anime convention which went viral, the ascendency of “Geek Chic”, that is superhero movies and the like, left anime out in the cold.

    Thankfully things started to work their way back up in 2013, when ATTACK ON TITAN became a crossover hit and just when the general cultural shifts in the US, as Dr John said: “Mainstream has hit the rocks, outrageous has finally come of age” really started to take off, suddenly liking anime didn’t seem so strange compared to say, the MY LITTLE PONY “Bronies” fandom.

    Anime was also bolstered by the rise of streaming, which allows fans to legally view new episodes of a show the same time fans in Japan do, rather than having to wait a full year for DVD releases as the only “legal” method, which is why that version of the industry collapsed in the first place.

    geoffreyjar is right, anime and manga is in a healthy place again, but that “the sky’s the limit” vibe of the 2000s never really came back in full in my view.

  27. I would actually shift the years of the Anime in the mainstream earlier, to about 1995. But maybe that was when it was gaining a lot of speed in the underground and becoming ALMOST mainstream.

    I was in college around then and it seemed like everyone was head over heels into Anime as well as stuff like Jackie Chan movies, etc. There was an Anime club on campus that was standing room only. But maybe college screenings ARE the underground?

    Anime was never quite my thing but I like some of it, and actually my interest in it is growing lately. Maybe not having too much of it is what is fueling it. Kind of an ebb and flow.

    IMDB lists the new Riddick movie as “Furia” and directed by Twohy again. I hope this is true and not just on there because its a property or script that exists. I actually hope it goes HIGHLANDER and has a multitude of sequels and a couple of TV series spun from it, that never quite make sense as a whole. Similar to HIGHLANDER, the disjointedness weirdly fits.

  28. Oh….I love that damn ad!!! GIRGUAMESH!!!!! I watched it over and over lol!

    I actually kind of wish I was that guy!! Such a wacky pop culture bit part!!!

  29. Tigger – I actually met the voice actress featured in that ad, Tiffany Grant, of Evangelion fame, at a small con back in April

    But sadly I just totally forgot to ask her about that Sakura con ad, which I’ve been kicking myself over ever since, she was a nice, charming lady, I’m sure she would have had something interesting to say.

    Also 1999 was the year it really exploded, but there was certainly a lot of build up well before then.

  30. Don’t know about the US, but in Germany, Japanimation was always a bit mainstream. Three of our most popular cartoon shows from the 70s, that were still on constant rotation until a few years ago, were actually produced in Japan and looked like it. (MAYA THE BEE, VICKY THE VIKING and HEIDI). Of course our saturday morning (and later weekday afternoon) cartoon blocks always had a huge bunch of Anime shows.

    But it really wasn’t until the late 90s/early 00s when my country went with the rest of the world full J-POP AMERICA FUN TIME NOW and just dug deeper than SAILOR MOON and co.

    I agree with the “Anime is in a good place now” thing. It’s still there (One German cable channel still has a daily anime block in the evening and shows every Friday movies), fans still can get their fix easily, but it’s not as annoyingly dominant as it was in the last decade.

  31. CJ Holden: Oh yeah, the US had those too. I lived near Canada, and some came over through that too.

    MAYA THE BEE, ASTRO BOY and some weird off brand version of PINOCHIO kind of haunt my earliest memories of going off the grid onto the other channels and out of the normal cartoon timeslot. Some other stuff like VANGUARD ACE was also around. For some reason this stuff wasn’t commercialized or promoted much, it was just sort of…there.

    In the 80s more mainstream stuff came out like VOLTRON and ROBOTECH. AKIRA was a bit after that. It was around that time I started meeting guys who collected entire runs of GUYVER or UROTSUKADOJI or BUBBLE GUM CRISIS or whatever.

    When I got to college (my freshman year being 94) it seemed in pretty full swing. There was an Anime club that my roomate was in. They had weekly screenings and you could also check tapes out. Through him was how I first saw BATTLE ANGEL, VAMPIRE HUNTER D and the original Japanese version of POWER RANGERS.

    You’re right, it seemed to kick in mega high gear when POKEMON came out in the US. Around 98 I think. Thats also when I started to notice speciality stores in malls with GUNDAM models, etc, as well as Manga being at the bigger bookstores like Barnes & Noble. A couple years later PRINCESS MONOKE came out which seemed to be a big milestone. DRAGON BALL Z was mega popular around this time as well.

    I worked in a Media Play around this time, which had a lot of Anime. I couldn’t believe how much they milked this stuff. They didn’t come out in whole season box sets…they came out one DVD or tape at a time, with only a couple episodes each on it. And those were always the highest priced DVDs we had.

    The Anime collectors, by the way, were the most obnoxious clientel we had. The same 4 or 5 guys came in every week, checking when the new SLAYERS came out or whatever, and we just soooo socially awkward, weird, and somewhat argumentative. They also usually bought ONLY Anime, their interests rarly caried over into other stuff, not even other sci-fi/fantasy stuff. I’m a huge nerd….but these guys were really an extreme. I have never quite been sure what about Anime drew such a bizarre demographic, but it sure did!!!

    I have never gotten into Anime full swing, though I have seen pretty much all the big crossovers or very acclaimed stuff….as well as the stuff that had the reputation as being the most fucked up. I always enjoy it for a little while but get burnt out of the style rather quick. I’m a small doses guy with it I guess!!

  32. Oh, you guys should check out LOVE DEATH AND ROBOTS, a Netflix anthology of weird Animated shorts. Its very Anime influenced. Maybe a closer cousin to HEAVY METAL overall, but still along those lines. I watched it a few weeks back and my memory is already a bit dim…but I remember it being a fun ride overall with a couple really stand out episodes.

    I would totally watch another season of it, no question.

  33. I only kind of liked SEX DEATH AND ROBOTS, though I had high hopes. The only one I really remember still (I think I watched it the first weekend it came out, so a while ago) was the one with the stranded space guy and all the sex. Not even for the story or the sex (which were predictable and uncomfortably plastic-looking, respectively), but mostly because I really liked the design of the alien at the end. I just read a summary of all the other episodes to jog my memory and they ranged from “oh yeah” to “I don’t remember that at ALL”. It was like eating a bag of chips- overall not a nutritious experience, and I don’t remember any specific chip with particular fondness, but the experience was not an overall negative.

    That said, I’d also watch another season. What can I say? I like potato chips.

  34. Oh, LOVE DEATH AND ROBOTS, I mean. Oh well.

  35. “Maybe a closer cousin to HEAVY METAL”

    Closer than you think. David Fincher tried for years to get another HEAVY METAL movie off the ground. At one point Guillermo del Toro, Zack Snyder and Rob Zombie were set to direct segments of it, but I guess after this fell through, he just went to Netflix and asked them to do something like HM, but under a different name.

  36. I really liked the one where some Yogurt became self aware and then took over the world. Also like the one where a civilization rises and falls in a couple’s fridge. Those were the two that stood out to me, as well as the two that struck me as the most original concepts that fit the short form.

    I know what you mean about the bag of chips quality of it though. I think that has to do with how short they are and that its an anthology. I watched them all over a course of a couple days I think. Kind of a lot to ingest. And since it was all different artists/concepts it struck me a lot like seeing an animation block at a film festival.

    Totally would see more though!! Hope it lasts awhile. I have no idea how popular it is. Everyone I know watched it…but I know all weird nerds so I sometimes get a false sense of whats popular. It’s rated pretty high on IMDB, so its at least that popular.

  37. Tigger: I enjoy all the RIDDICKs though I feel they all go on a bit long. The cartoon gave me what I wanted so it pleased me. I have watched it in a long while so maybe if I do I’d come around to your way of thinking. I didn’t know a new RIDDICK was officially in the works outside of Vin and David’s mind so I do look forward to that.

    “The Anime collectors, by the way, were the most obnoxious clientel we had… I have never quite been sure what about Anime drew such a bizarre demographic, but it sure did!!!”

    My brother, who is also an anime fan, can concur with this and has some funny stories to tell on this subject! But yeah, cartoon and comic fans, in general, can be odd. So when you then go into the sub-niche (which it was at least at the time) you could tend to get extra ‘fun’ characters. Along with that, there is a lot of anime that caters to extreme weirdos that other mediums/genres do not.

    CJ: As someone who likes some of it and is open to it, as a cartoon fan I am happy we have more variety.

    Robert Rodriguez, Gore Verbinski, and James Cameron (apparently) also signed on to direct a sketch for that ill-fated HEAVY METAL movie at one time. Everything I read, said that it failed to take off because it was going to be expensive and Kevin Eastman and Fincher were not budging on the R-rating.

    Griff: I also got to meet Tiffany Grant. She was a sweet lady and very funny and energetic.

    I still need to watch LOVE, DEATH, & ROBOTS

  38. Tigger – Oh man, Media Play, that brings back memories, Media Play was Heaven on Earth for teenage me, I still have never seen so many anime dvds in one place.

    In 2005 they would throw these fun “anime night” get togethers that were like a mini convention, by that time anime fans weren’t just weirdos, those are great memories.

  39. We had nod Media Play down here…

  40. I think I might have single-handedly driven my local Media Play out of business by shoplifting like every single Anchor Bay clamshell VHS they tried to sell. The rounded edges made the security tags so easy to peel off that I just couldn’t help myself. I’d go in there fully intending to buy something and the next thing I know, I’ve got BLOOD AND BLACK LACE in my armpit. Hand skills like those I once possessed could be as much of a curse as a blessing.

    Remember when you had to actually, like, physically locate a movie if you wanted to steal it? Kids these days don’t know what they’re missing. They might have the world at their fingertips, but they’ll never know the adrenaline rush of strutting right through the detectors with a brand-new letterboxed copy of TORSO in your conveniently baggy 90s pants.

  41. I have experienced few things more exciting than pullling of a successful shoplifting heist. Even if it just were chocolate bars. Looking back on it, I can’t believe I used to do shit like that. It is really embarrassing now.

  42. When I worked at Media Play I caught a few shoplifters. Once the manager came to me with a photo off the security camera, “If you see this guy…let me know.” He had shoplifted a bunch of stuff. I immediatly recognized him….he had special ordered THE VIRGIN SUICIDES a week before! When he came in to get his special order they nabbed him lol.

    How much shoplifting there was there was insane. I was always finding empty cd cases jammed behind stuff lol!

    I went through a shoplifting phase myself around 12 years old. Mostly packs of baseball cards and marbles. Marbles were real easy, because you could kind of pop them out of the mesh bag they came in. Never got up the nerve for the more high ticket items though.

    My prize shoplifting achievement came from stealing those little flesh colored M.U.S.C.L.E. Men and a few of these weird little guys that were part of a series called ROCKS & BUGS & THINGS.

  43. Shoplifting financed my entire junior year of high school. A big scam was stealing stuff from one store and returning it for store credit at another, which I’d then use to finance other schemes, such as the speakerphone and blank tapes I need to kickstart the crank call album I sold for $5 a pop to all the guys in my class. If I needed straight cash, I had a buddy who went to prep school who’d find out what computer games his rich buddies wanted, then I’d steal them to order and use him my friend as a fence, giving him a cut of the profit. As far as I know, none of my customers even knew I existed. They thought my friend had an uncle who got him games wholesale.

    My life of crime was fun while I was a minor but I cooled off during college. afterward, though, I was so broke for a year that I stole most of my groceries. I even did most of my Christmas shopping that way that year. Then I moved to New York and was not trying to see the inside of a Brooklyn police station because of a fuckin’ $19.99 DVD, so I quit except for really special occasions (like when it’s so easy I can’t help myself). There’s nothing cool about getting busted for shoplifting past 25 anyway. I had a good run. No reason to push my luck.

  44. Oh, there was that summer in college when I got a job at the record store I used to rob mercilessly in high school. (I talked to one of the employees years later and he said I was notorious because everybody knew I was doing it but they could never figure out how. I’d tell you but a magician never reveals his secrets.) I learned that it’s much easier to steal from inside the system.

    Sorry, brick-and-mortar stores. If I’d known then what I know now, I might have gone easier on you.

  45. I only shoplifted once, but was caught twice when I didn’t steal anything.

    Once the security guy saw me listening to a CD, but never putting it away. Even if I showed him where I put it, he didn’t believe me, but what could he do? The other time I bought a pair of headphones and put them in my backpack on my way out, instead of right at the register, so he never saw me paying for them and followed me into the next store to approach me about it!

    I stole a pornographic magazine once. You can get them (at least the softporn ones) here in the magazine shelf at the supermarket and I put it in the middle of a thick TV guide, which I paid for. Damn, when the cashier grabbed the magazine and pulled it over the scanner, was one of the top three scariest moments in my life. (It didn’t fell out and nobody saw me putting it in.)

    It must be said that I never HAD to shoplift, because I had an aunt and uncle who lived from a really good pension (uncle was a coal miner) and were always willing to get me a few bucks or buy me expensive shit, most of the time even without asking. I got all my classic video game consoles and games from them!

  46. One thing I always wanted to try though, was, back when our big electronic store didn’t have an alarm beeper thingy for some reason, just grabbing a fucking huge TV or something similar and walk out of the store in front of everybody’s eyes, just to see if they would stop me or they would think that everything is fine, because nobody would be THAT stupid/brave.

  47. Unlike Majestyk, I wasn’ t raised by rats. So I did not have to shoplift to stay alive. In fact it was a completely pointless exercise I cannot even fathom why I bothered with. I was caught twice doing it. Yet I kept doing it. How dumb ate you then?

  48. My dad was sad the day they started charging people to get dogs from the pound because he thought it would be funny if one night in a drunken stupor someone tried to break into the pound to steal a free dog. It was such a weirdly specific scenario I think he must’ve thought about doing it himself for a long time. It sounds like something an Elmore Leonard character would do, which is not very flattering.

  49. Me and this guy down the street used to steal porno mags all the time.

    Once we sort of got caught at this Mom and Pop mini grocery store. We stuck a Hustler Video Guide (the ones that reviewed the porn movies always had the better pictures!) into a Wrestling Magazine and went to the back of the store with it. My friend took the porno out and stuck it up his shirt, and put the wrestling magazine back on the shelf. And then walked out.

    The old lady who worked the counter boldly stood in the way of the door, stopping us. Sternly, she asked, “Did you boys take a magazine???” My friend simply answered “No.” The old lady was stunned. A little too nice to let the conflict escalate, she stood aside and let us go!

    For the next few months I avoided that store. I remember a few times going with my Mom and trying to obscure my face from the old lady without being obvious about it lol. But nothing further ever came of it.

    At some point in the late 80s/early 90s, that cool little store became a Rite Aid. Kind of “if I knew then what I know now” type of things with it, but oh well.

  50. Never stolen any porn. Stole a sports magazine off the rack. Got caught immediately. Asked what the fuck was wrong with me. Did not have an answer.

  51. This is the type of “me and your mom never had to steal porn. We made our own!” discussion I haven’t had in ages.

    Everything was physical back in the day, and thus way more dangerous. The dirty old men didn’t sit in front of their computers, they jumped out from the bushes with no pants. Videos had to be rented and copied in real time. All grown ups seemed to be drunk and angry all the time. Porn had to be hidden in the woods. Shop owners would kick your ass if you got caught stealing. And Your parents sided with them!

    My kids are lucky bastards!

  52. “Porn had to be hidden in the woods.”

    This is something that I keep hearing, but only from Americans. I never heard from German kids that they had a hidden porn stash in the woods and frankly, I think the term of going into the woods as a kid, to dig out a box and look, maybe fap to weather-worn porn full of literal dirt and animal shit quiet disgusting. Even my stolen porn mag was quitly hidden in a lockable box in the basement!

    “Videos had to be rented and copied in real time. ”

    Coincidentally I found just a few days ago the thingy that I used to crack the copy protection for VHS tapes!

  53. 1) *I find the IDEA of going into the woods…
    (Don’T know why I wrote “term”)

    2)Let’s try the pic again


    Post with 0 views.

  54. The beauty was, nobody knew who were hiding the porn mags in the woods. You just found them. In Scandinavia it was called Wood Porn!

    Copy protection on VHS tapes? Oh, you’re young!

  55. If you are old enough to have copied rented VHS tapes, you aren’t young anymore…

  56. No, but there’s old and there’s really old! The first copy protection I encountered was in 1990…

  57. CJ- well you don’t go into the woods with the *intention* of digging up some hobo’s crate of waterlogged issues of High Society. That’s a surefire recipe for failure. You can’t find Woods Porn unless you’re *not trying* to find Woods Porn, you know? It’s like a perverted zen koan.

  58. Still yikes. Not even I was ever that horny and/or curious to touch random porn that was lying around in the woods.

  59. Oh, yeah. Woods Porn was definitely a thing in ’80s small town Arkansas. Also, Abandoned House Porn. I’d gather it up and sell it to my fellow 6th graders. I didn’t need it, as I had my secret pack of porno playing cards! I did eventually get caught, of course, but I was such a good student otherwise that I didn’t get in all that much trouble for it, haha.

  60. CJ, you’re German, porn was available everywhere in your country. We’re from repressed Scandinavia! Wood Porn was our only option! We didn’t search the woods for it, it just turned up!

  61. Germany: We have porn everywhere. Except the woods.

  62. Me and the same friend who stuffed the mag up his shirt found an epic stash of woods porn once.

    There was this weird outcove cut into the woods on the side of the road, where sometimes people would dump huge trash. Avoid some sort of fine or another I think.

    Anyway, one day we found grand piano there! A huge one! It had been not so carefully dumped off a truck so the legs were busted off, and it just kind of layed on the ground. We stomped on the keys and it worked, but sounded all wonky and out of tune. We opened the back up, with the intent of seeing the wires in there and throwing rocks at them…making crazy music.

    We opened it, and it was about 20 issues of CLUB. We immedatly looked at each other in unison, straight out of a bad comedy movie, and in unison, said “Club!” They were all brand new. No water damage. Didn’t even seem looked at.

    It took about 4 or 5 trips to get them all back to my friends place (who lived closer). Stuffing 2 or 3 up each of our shirts so as not to “show”, dumping them off in his room, then going back for more. I don’t know what his parents were doing…maybe they weren’t around…because it was pretty darn obvious we were up to something!

    We went back to that same spot many times, and never found any more. It is true….when you are looking for it, you can’t find it.

  63. CLUB…As a Magazine Buyer, that is the grungiest of grungy shit-a gold mine to young minds.

    My best back then was a couple of HUSTLERs. Got good money for them too, for a 7th grader.

  64. CJ, I’m not saying that Wood Porn beats German shop porn, but that’s what we had.
    A Swede like Shoot knows that they had the best Scandinavian porn, and as I live on the border I’ve done my share of searching the Swedish woods…

  65. My parents once told me when they first moved into our house (1978) they discovered the previous family’s boys had hidden porno in the walls of their room. I would’ve been an infant so would’ve had no interest yet.

  66. Franchise Fred And The Legend Of The Porn Behind The Walls

    I would watch that movie.

  67. It would have to be a trilogy to really do the story justice.

  68. It being a Franchise Fred trilogy, that means the sequels would be even better than the first!

  69. The best entry will be Porn Behind the Walls: Tokyo Drift.

  70. I’m honestly jealous of guys and their dirty magazine stories, it seems like it was once such a ubiquitous coming of age thing, but for me I never had not a one, not even a Playboy, let alone alone woods porn.

    My equivalent was watching R rated comedies on cable like ANIMAL HOUSE, PORKY’S, REVENGE OF THE NERDS, PRIVATE SCHOOL and MY TUTOR and then it was rendered moot when I got the internet at age 16 anyway, but still, I wish I had some hilarious, bizarre story like that.

    I mean finding porn inside a grand piano? That’s hilarious.

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