Fire and Ice
. The last time I saw this movie, I was I think around ten or eleven. At the time, I thought it was about the best thing ever. I'm pleased to know that even at such an early age, I was right about everything.
That said, let's get this straight: this may be the best movie ever, but that doesn't mean it's actually any good. Being a Bakshi film, it suffers from the same shit as Wizards
and Lord of the Rings
(and for that matter American Pop
) - concepts by turns bumfuck retarded and completely awesome; screenplay by turns bumfuck retarded and kind of cool; rotoscoping by turns bumfuck retarded and slightly less retarded. The plot of this one is about an evil ice wizard bent on covering all the world in ice, in particular the volcano-dwelling (?) kingdom of Firekeep. Meanwhile, his mother is trying to get him laid by kidnapping the princess of Firekeep (?), only for the Neanderthals who kidnap the princess to run afoul of the nominal protagonist, a loinclothed Aryan posterboy with hoop earrings (?) and more importantly the REAL protagonist of the film
I think he's named Darkwolf in the movie, but that sounds like some lame-ass furry shit right there so I'm just going to refer to him as Batman the Barbarian from here on. Because he is, seriously. As Gen Fudo to Aquarion, so Batman the Barbarian to Fire and Ice
. Let's check off the things Batman the Barbarian accomplishes in this film.
-Saves protagonist from ravening hell wolves
-Saves protagonist from drowning after battle with giant hell octopus
-Heals protagonist with some kind of healing magic bullshit fuck if i know
-Swipes ground with hand, smells fingers, instantly knows which direction enemies have gone
-"I'll distract the others." ("There must be fifty of them!") "Sounds about right."
-Saves protagonist from Neanderthals
-Rides horse up a glacier
-Saves protagonist from Neanderthals again
-Rides horse down a glacier with protagonist in bitch-seat
-("Are you certain it was my son you saw?") "He died."
-Flies a goddamn pterodactyl into a glacier, uses it as an arrow sponge, jumps off and doesn't even give a fuck
-Kills like sixty more Neanderthals
-Fights the final boss while the weak-ass protagonist saves the girl
-Final boss repeatedly blasts him with magic while shouting "WHY WON'T YOU DIE"
-Glows with a fucking blue aura of magic like hes a super saiyan or some shit
-Battleaxes final boss in the guts. Also the skull
-Smiles in manly fashion
-Disappears for no reason
-Never explained who he is
-Why he's such a badass
-Why he wouldn't die
-Why his hat is a wolf
-Why his eyes glow
-Why he can kill literally everything in this movie
Suffice it to say you should probably watch this movie. If the thought of Batman the Barbarian doesn't sway you, then consider watching it for the villain, the least subtle "predatory homo" bad-guy I have ever seen in my life, including Head, Kaworu, Akio, and Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen.
If Akira Ishida spoke English, he would voice this guy. Actually the guy who does voice him isn't that bad. Voice acting is pretty decent for a Bakshi piece, I was impressed.
Other things that weren't bad include the background paintings (James Gurney, the guy who did the amazing Dinotopia
books), any scene which includes a Frazetta painting (disappointingly sparse), and the fact that large swathes of the movie are without dialogue. It's unusual to see in an animated film and bespeaks quite a bit of confidence in one's visuals and sound design, and they actually pull it off really well, for some values of really well. The film is still stupid when they're not talking, but it's a refreshing kind of stupid, compared to the kind you get the rest of the time. Of course, once Batman the Barbarian starts shouting "NEKROOOOOOOONNNNNNN" at the top of his lungs while brandishing an axe, all bets are off. Which is as good a way of summing up this movie as any. Batman just kind of walks in and solves EVERYTHING on behalf of the main characters for no reason. I get the feeling that he's kind of the Guts of this universe. Fire and Ice fighting a great magic war for control of the world? Who gives a shit, might as well kill some Neanderthals and solo the final boss. All in a day's work.