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X-23 II: Electric Boogaloo

"Holy sheep shit," one might say upon seeing the running time of this unholy monstrosity, "this film is way too goddamned long!" And they would be correct. It most certainly is.

The idea for an X-23 sequel was proposed by myself, Matt Murray, to Jigoku no Video’s Jeff Tatarek in the summer of 1991. Jeff was initially skeptical about the prospects of another X-23, citing "insufficient footage" as the primary reason. But the release of Terminator II that summer convinced him otherwise, and after its release on video that winter, the two of us met to peruse footage and plan out the sequel, hoping it would be a bit shorter than its predecessor, which was just over an hour and a tad longer than really necessary. We left that session with a three-page outline and a rough idea of who would tackle what, and went our separate ways to begin editing.

Throughout the spring of ’92, we edited away, (very) occasionally checking in to apprise one another of the progress that had been made. Never once did either of us, however, bother to find out just how much, in terms of running time, the other had completed. In fact, neither of us actually bothered to check on the running time of our own portions, resulting in...well, read on and see.

The penultimate editing session began at around 12:00 noon on the final Friday before Project A-kon III, where we hoped to premiere our newest bit of mindless fucking about with video, and concluded at 8:00 PM on Saturday, after too little (i.e. none) sleep and too much (i.e. enough to make your eyeballs vibrate) caffeine. The CPF gang then drove to Birmingham, AL. to meet with Jeff for the final collation of our separately created segments. This, of course, is where the problem became apparent.

The good news was that by pure luck we had each largely avoided accidentally using the same bits of footage as the other had, resulting in minimal tweaking. The bad news was the fact that the T-120 we were mastering the thing onto simply wouldn't hold the whole nine yards of it. At all. Not even close. "Oh," said we, "shit." Who the hell was going to watch a two-and-a-half-hour long parody consisting of nothing but people shooting at each other?

The answer to that question proved to be "anime fans," of course. In those halcyon days before the coming of YouTube, attention spans would, apparently, actually tolerate something like this, which is doubtlessly no longer the case. Though Jeff was able to create a marginally less overblown cut of two hours and two minutes during the subsequent week, the long version is the one that anime fans have continuously requested the most. For my part, I was simply relieved to have it over with. "Boy," said I, "I thought the Dipwads Christmas Special had been rushed to the last minute! Never be doing that again!"

Though I can’t speak for Jeff, I've yet to ever watch the entirety of X-23 II in a single sitting. At this late date, I somehow find it unlikely that that will ever change.

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