|Hulu: Van Von Hunter|
The world of Dikay is a big honkin’ mess. Ruled over by an evil king that might actually be one of the Undead, who works through his son, the notorious Flaming Prince, all the things that go bump in the night have free rein over the terrorized mortal population. Who you gonna call? Van Von Hunter, all around Evil Vanquisher and slayer of monsters, that’s who!
The manga is a relentless spoof of sword and sorcery fantasy, with our affable but room-temperature IQ hero battling monsters from The Beast to zombies, with lots in between.
In 2009, after TOKYOPOP had put out three successful volumes of the manga, and Van Von Hunter made the transition to newspaper comic strips (!) the tales of the Evil Vanquisher entered the world of live action with the Van Von Hunter movie, which marked Stu Levy’s first directorial effort, partnering with fellow director Steven Calcote. “VVH was my film school – and working with such a talented team was an amazing experience,” Levy says.
In the film, Van Von Hunter finds himself swept away from Dikay, ending up in an even stranger world on the other side of a spacetime rift: Earth. And not just any old place on Earth, the only place a sword-swinging, medieval-looking barbarian would fit in: Hollywood.
The story veers into Spinal Tap territory, as Van winds up tapped to portray himself in a sword and sorcery movie, and eventually winds up in the one place that makes Hollywood seem normal: Tokyo, Japan. Stories mesh within stories and there’s even a film within a film in this 大バカ系 “oobaka-kei” (ultra-silly) mockumentary.
The star of the film is Yuri Lowenthal, best known as one of the most prolific and well-respected voice actors currently working in the industry. He had the crucial role of Sasuke in Naruto, and the lead role of Ben Tennyson in the American series Ben 10. He is also one of many actors to have portrayed Superman, in his case in the animated series Legion of Superheroes. His resume as a voice actor stretches for pages and pages, covering animation both Japanese and American, and also many, many video games. His role as Van Von Hunter was one of the few where he is actually seen on camera.
Does that pique your interest, mortal? Feast your eyes!
Download a free manga preview!
VVH Preview (PDF)
Van Von Hunter original manga and DVD:
Van Von Hunter movie behind-the-scenes slide show: