FILM CORNER - Anime Schlock: The So Bad It's Good Classics of a Medium
Honestly, I don't know if I could call this a good Christmas gift for the readers of this section, but with how crazy this year has been for all of us, I think it would be good to end this month with a column on a certain genre of anime that is a bit dear to my heart: old school schlock anime.
With any film medium, there is always a certain part that contains the bad titles. Titles that no one wants to even watch, except for the very brave souls who are willing to watch how bad certain titles are. Of course, within these bad titles, there are those one of a kind titles that are like finding silver dollars within a landfill based on certain aspect to them. These are the So Bad It's Good anime. They still might be terrible, but viewers still find a diamond in the rough.
Many of the So Bad It's Good anime titles tend to be those that were made within the late 1980s to the mid 1990s when anime (in the U.S. at least) was considered an underground genre, and not the mainstream medium as seen in this country today. The titles I'm about to mention were mostly in video stores, and they mostly contained extreme violence, sexual scenes, and....really bad English dubs. These titles were also distributed by companies like Manga Entertainment and Central Park Media.
These titles would include M.D. Geist, Angel Cop, Devilman, Mad Bull 34, Genocyber, Violence Jack, and Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend (which got a limited theatrical release in the U.S. with an official NC-17 rating from the MPAA). Now, these are titles I personally own on DVD and Blu-ray, and from my research and viewings of these titles, they were mostly OVAs in Japan (Direct to Video titles). Around this same time, along with the So Bad It's Good titles, Hentai (pornographic anime and manga) was making its way to the States as well, especially Toshio Maeda's La Blue Girl.
The animation in some of these titles can range from good to really rough, and for a few of the titles I mentioned, the violence and sex is put to a level 11 on the Extreme dial. My personal love for these titles in general are the English dubs, and as I mentioned before, they are really, really bad. So bad to the point where certain line deliveries and dialogue in general will make you laugh out loud (despite the graphic violence and sex going on in some of the scenes). I remember sitting down with one of my friends (who is also an anime fan himself), and how much we laughed at some of the dialogue in Violence Jack, even though there was chaos and non-stop violence going on in the scenes.
I highly recommend anyone who is interested to view these Anime Schlock titles to give them a watch. If you don't want to watch entire titles, I recommend looking up videos of the English dubs of some of these titles if you want a good laugh at terrible line delivery and dialogue.
With that said, I hope everyone enjoys the holidays, and I'll see y'all in the New Year.