Monday, March 19, 2012

Filmation Presents: Bravestarr The Legend (#2)

Today, we're going to meet the villains. (Refresh your memory here.)

We open on a rather nasty looking place. It's no Snake Mountain, but it'll do.

It doesn't take much mental effort to suppose that there must be somebody bad living there.

Who? Why, STAMPEDE, of course!

Stampede is an eldritch abomination... and a giant cyborg bull/dinosaur thing.

However, this will be better-established later-all we get of him for today is a glimpse. (The next post in the series will likely have more Stampede than you can stand.) All he says for now is that he's worried about Shaman, "he whose powers equal my own," and decides he needs an ally... and he senses a potential one.

This takes us back to the Prairie People, specifically Prairie People loading some kind of glowing rocks into a spaceship.

On the ship's opposite side, Prairie People are taking just about anything that isn't bolted down out of it.

So whose spaceship is this?

It's the spaceship of major series villain Tex Hex, of course!

And his Prairie People toady, Skuzz (whose name, once again, isn't mentioned for a while).

He talks about how New Texas (which, if you need reminding, is this planet's name) being a wonderful place, because not only is it incredibly rich in the most valuable element in the galaxy, kerium, but it has "all these helpful critters" to do the work for him. By which he means "slave labor."

And here we come to one of the more significant parts of Bravestarr as a whole: Racism. While nobody comments on the ethnicity of Bravestarr himself, fairly important to the series (well, mostly to this movie) is that the Prairie People are treated as, well, less than people by the first settlers and prospectors to arrive on New Texas. (The term "critter" will continue to be used by various characters, mostly villains, to refer to Prairie People for most of this movie and briefly in a random episode of the series.)

Anyway, that poor sap on the ground is McBride, who... will be more important later. (Gee, this is awkward.) Right now, he's just somebody for Tex to be kicking around.

And I do mean that literally.

McBride berates Tex for being a jerk and enslaving the Prairie People, and Tex shuts him up by putting his boot on his face, and then kicking his face. What is McBride doing here, incidentally? Well, he used to be Tex's partner, but now he's not.

See, Tex figures that Skuzz will make a better copilot for the ship because he weighs maybe a third of what McBride does. (This is not explicitly stated, just implied.) He wants to put as much kerium as possible on the ship, and anything not necessary to run the ship? Excess baggage. And that includes McBride. And yes, he does specifically call McBride "excess baggage." McBride calls him crazy and/or a fool, as he's likely overloaded the ship.

(Somewhere in here is a sequence where a younger than average Prairie Person picks up a holographic picture of McBride's daughter, J.B. All of those things-the Prairie Person, the picture, and J.B. herself, will show up later. However, the sequence is small and quiet, and I like the bigger and more exciting screenshots.)

Tex and Skuzz board the ship, kicking out another Prairie Person rather violently and cartoonishly, and then sit down at the controls.

Tex picks up a small nugget of kerium (since kerium is obviously metaphorical for gold in New Texas's metaphorical gold rush, of course it comes in "nuggets") and tosses it in the oddly but conveniently placed fueling port.

According to Tex, that ought to be enough fuel to take them all the way back to... huh, wherever they're going to sell it all (the details escape me at the moment).

Yes, a piece of kerium that isn't much bigger than half a dozen quarters "should be" enough fuel to take a starship many light-years.

It isn't, though.

Turns out he did overload it, and for the second time in, like, eight to ten total minutes of screen time, a spaceship crashes.

Meanwhile, McBride falls off a crumbling cliff as a result of the launch, and he takes a pretty nasty fall, after which he states he can't feel his legs.

So of course, I take a screenshot of a silly face he makes as he faints.

Interesting note: Picasa's facial recognition software picks up the faces in both the above and the following screenshots. That is the quality of artwork that Filmation produced.

Don't worry too much about McBride; he may have suffered a life-changing injury, but he's in good hands.

I mean, seriously, can you think of anybody you'd rather have save you if you had just been seriously injured on an alien planet, light-years from the nearest (human built) hospital?

Next time: Stampede gets transgressive with Tex Hex. It's actually more disturbing than it sounds, and it's in a cartoon I wouldn't hesitate to show to a kid.

Yes, really.

-Signing off.

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