Since its creation, Bad Anime, Bad! has become a staple of the Anime Boston experience. Part stand-up act, part cavalcade of the horribles, the event has grown into one of the convention’s premier must-see events or masochists and folks who find joy in the suffering of others, alike. Whether it’s a night of Protectors of Universe and Magnos, or a wholly-unedited episode of Garzey’s Wing, Price has proven his gift at wrangling the shows that can make fans laugh in disbelief, and cry bitter tears as he provides a playfully snarky narrative.

2019 was the tenth anniversary of the now-iconic event’s debut at Anime Boston, and the eighteenth overall. The first Bad Anime, Bad! was hosted by Neil Nadelman at Otakon in 2001.

To mark ten years at the Hynes, though, host Brian T. Price intended to make it an occasion to remember. Hundreds of eager con-goers queued up outside of the cavernous Hall D that afternoon, until the line wrapped around the second floor of the Hynes. Ahead of the event, Price stepped out of the room, and began handing tickets to the first two-hundred folks in line. Why he did this would remain a mystery for the time being. But, knowing Price, it was bound to be something delightfully diabolical.

Image Credit: Samantha Ferreira

At 7:00PM, the doors opened for seating. Countless fans spilled into the cavernous Hall D, where rows upon rows of chairs awaited fresh meat and returning victims, alike. By 7:30, the room was filled to capacity, and staffers were managing the overflow line.

The lights dimmed, and a preview reel kicked off. This was a quick sizzle trailer, which cut through short clips from the panel’s greatest hits, filtered under a grainy sepia filter and set to Talking Heads’ Road to Nowhere. This was an apt choice, as attendees giggled to the infamous wheelchair sword fight from Dracula: Sovereign of the Damned, the climactic finale from Harmony Gold’s Frankenstein, and choice moments from Protectors of Universe and Garzey’s Wing.

Image Credit: Samantha Ferreira

As the clips ended, they faded to the now-familiar countdown clock, which began at 16:15. The room began to murmur with interest, as they found themselves on the caravan to despair. Caravan by Rush faded in, the clanging of bells and heavy melody reminding the room that this was a night where they wouldn’t stop thinking about what would unfold when they left.

The clock continued its unyielding march forward, though, the heavy sounds of Caravan giving way to the familiar, lilting whimsy of the Beatles with Magical Mystery Tour. The room counted down from “ten” as the clock passed the 4:30 mark, finally erupting in cheers as it hit the 4:20 mark. As for why, well, I think we all know the answer to that.

Almost as if on cue, though, Rush’s Dreamline kicked up with Alex Lifeson’s iconic chords playing over the PA system. He had done it. The madman had managed to get not one, but two Rush songs into the rotation this year!

As the clock expired, the room erupted in applause, as the safety message played. As the short video ended, rapturous cheers echoed throughout Hall D, as Price took the stage. He was dressed to the nines, wearing a black suit and jacket, accented by a crimson shirt. He mugged for the room a bit, fixing his cuffs as he swaggered to the stage, before picking up the mic.

Image Credit: Samantha Ferreira

He looked out at the room, peering at the audience for a moment, before bellowing “is this a party?!” The cheers swelled in response, before Price followed up with a quick “Then why is everyone’s clothes on?!”

He threw out the horns, as the now-infamous rapping dog segment from Titanic: The Journey Goes On appeared on the screen. The room clapped along with the beat, as Price busted out dance moves of his own.

Image Credit: Samantha Ferreira

With the room warmed up, he took his seat behind his MacBook Pro, and began laying out the ground rules for what makes it into the event. His criteria are simple: He’s looking for the unmistakable worst of the worst; those shows that can make a person’s skin crawl, regardless of whether it’s dubbed or subtitled, as it’s too easy to just punch down on a bad dub. That said: an awful dub certainly helps, as he was prepared to prove tonight.

Price then bellowed a casual “who’s up for a little casual racism?” as he played the opening moments from Titanic: The Legend Goes On.

Before you ask: yes, this movie is a crime against cinema, but we knew that. That’s why we’re here. Anyway, within moments, mice decked out in sombreros shuffled into the scene, their thick, stereotypical Mexican accents making themselves known as soon as their first syllable is uttered.

Image Credit: Samantha Ferreira

As an uncomfortable laughter echoed through the room, Price rose from his seat, and removed his jacket. Taking the mic, he stepped to center-stage as the clip came to an end. He took a moment to greet the audience. He thanked everyone for attending this tenth year of Bad Anime, Bad!, and explained that this year would be one to remember, as he started with an all-new showpiece. The room began to cheer, before Price cut them off. “Don’t be happy,” he began, “this was suggested by the twisted folks here in Boston.” He cautioned the audience not to attribute to malice that which “might be attributed to stupidity,” then asked that nobody looks up the ending. “They’ll ruin the surprise,” he said, smirking a little, pausing for a moment before adding “And if you see anyone looking it up, smite them utterly.”

He described the feature as “the Comic Sans and cgi-bin of animation” as he queued up the title card for The Rapsittie Street Kids – Believe in Santa.

Image Credit: Samantha Ferreira

Before he began rolling, he bellowed out to the crowd, “Are you ready or pain?!” to which the crowd responded with an enthusiastic “Yeah!” He called back “Are you ready for Misery?!” to receive an excited whoop. He smirked as he took his seat, adding “Are you ready to hate the holidays more than you do? Then let’s begin.”

From the film’s opening credits, which were presented in Comic Sans, it was clear that the audience was in for pain. The animation was wooden and stilted, and the characters themselves resembled nightmarish escapees from some forgotten Atari Jaguar game. Interior designs look like they were ripped from some madman’s dreamscape or, as Price described them, “whoever designed that is either a certified genius or a wacko.”

Image Credit: Samantha Ferreira

To sum the feature’s aesthetic up, Price gleefully added that while some “would call it computer generated imagery. I would call it ’embarrassing’.”

Then there’s the matter of the dialogue. This pseudo-animated-thing’s (I refuse to call this a “film”) script is, at a glance, banal and forgettable. Looking a bit deeper, though, revealed a script that was both boring and problematic, peppering the braindead plot with passive-aggressive gags that drip with casual sexism.

The matters aren’t helped by a wooden performance, delivered in an amateurishly childish manner that’s rife with bad takes and catastrophic technical errors. In the most egregious example, lead character Ricky’s grandmother breaks into a flurry of gibberish, courtesy of a set of corrupted audio recordings.

(Prior to this point, Price cautioned the audience again to not attribute to malice that “what might be attributed to stupidity,”)

Simply put: anybody looking to find holiday cheer in this film will likely find themselves dreading Kris Kringle’s annual arrival. Despite his grandiose descriptions, Price certainly wasn’t exaggerating on Rapsittie Street Kids. This was, to speak kindly, an insult to anything resembling animation as a whole. That includes those old “Punch the Monkey” banner ads that used to litter the internet, back in the day.

Image Credit: Samantha Ferreira

To call it awful, or even a disaster would be nothing short of a charitable. Heck, calling it a steaming pile of garbage is an insult to piles of trash the world over.

In short, it’s the perfect fodder for a bomb-thrower like Price, who gleefully proceeded to shred the film at every possible opportunity. Every flubbed bit of dialogue, each animation error and oddity, became material for his relentless flurry of gags.

The room erupted with giggles and tittering, and joined in collective cringes with each poorly delivered line. Those who could look away from the horror on-screen could see Price, himself, getting into the act as he facepalmed and took exaggerated swigs of one of the bottles of root beer on the table.

Image Credit: Samantha Ferreira

Price’s comic timing was impeccable, as always, as he interjected and quipped, describing characters as having “some spark of humanity with many qualifications,” or snarking on one character’s endless passive aggressive streaks.

At one point, as the film broke into one of its… can we call them songs? Anyway, as the characters made mouth-sounds to mimic singing a song known as Daddy Do You Believe In Santa, Price gave an exaggerated facepalm, before rising from his seat to do a short jig.

The audience guffawed with a sardonic mirth at every pause and observation, whether Price was pointing out the irony of a school sign reading “Striving for Excellence”, or crying out “have a drink!” with out-of-place character eyegleams.

Image Credit: Samantha Ferreira

All the while, Price was eager to reassure the room, continually noting that the next scene “was going to hurt.”

By the time the cartoon’s credits rolled, the crowd let out a cheer: partly in appreciation, partly in relief. Price wasn’t through with this abomination of the cinematic medium yet, though. As the credits rolled, he showed the names of each cast member, cutting from their in-show appearances to their famous animated roles. The list was a proverbial “who’s who” of the voice acting world, with the prestige of names like Jodi Benson (The Little Mermaid, Hercules, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind) and Mark Hamill (Star Wars, Batman: The Animated Series) growing dimmer before the audience’s eyes. Price added that “if you ask Grey DeLisle about this on Twitter, she will ban you!

Image Credit: Samantha Ferreira

As the screen dimmed and the lights came back on, Price rose from his seat, and stepped to center stage. To celebrate ten successful seasons of Bad Anime, Bad!, he would host a raffle. Two lucky (or unlucky, depending on your outlook) winners would be chosen for prizes that would either delight and disappoint at the same time.

The first winner was a gentleman from Worcester, MA. He took home a copy of Protectors of Universe, which Price had signed.

Image Credit: Samantha Ferreira

The “grand prize,” so to speak, went to a young lady cosplaying as Deku from My Hero Academia. She took home a signed copy of legendary schlock OVA Garzey’s Wing, plus its official artbook.

Image Credit: Samantha Ferreira

Afterwards, Price took center stage for a moment. He expressed genuine surprise at the capacity crowd, which numbered in the thousands. “I hosted the first Bad Anime, Bad! In a 300-capacity room in 2009 to a show that just kept getting bigger and bigger,” he explained, adding that he was thankful for the opportunity.

While the main show was over, the night was still young. The room was booked until midnight, and darn it, he was going to cram it so full of bad anime that folks wouldn’t remember what a good anime series was!

Image Credit: Samantha Ferreira

Taking his seat once more, Price took a trip down memory lane, walking fans through every big hit from the history of the event. All of the audience favorites were there, from Garzey’s Wing, to Dracula: Sovereign of the Damned, Magnos and Protectors of Universe.

Though Price was clearly growing winded by the end of the night, it was clear that there was a palpable sense of adoration and appreciation in his panel. For ten years, Brian Price had brought the anime fan community together to laugh, to cry, and to cringe at the very worst that the anime world had to offer.

Image Credit: Samantha Ferreira

Through Bad Anime, Bad!, he’s been able to reveal the joy in the very dregs of the anime world, becoming an irreplaceable part of the Anime Boston experience in the process. The convention just wouldn’t feel complete without Price’s presence and, fates willing, that won’t come to pass for some time to come.

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