Paul Hanley's War: Get Some!

Austin filmmaker Paul Hanley's "Viva the Nam" arrives on Youtube.

Are those Bugle Boy camos you're wearing?
Are those Bugle Boy camos you're wearing?

War: what is it good for? Seriously? Do you need a list? It's been a bombastically badass year for armed conflict in the real world, which, granted, is indeed hellish, but it's also been a pretty awesome year for war in the (vastly less orphan-and/or-prosthesis-generating) reel world.

In the past 12 months, Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now finally arrived on Blu-Ray in full bells/whistles/bloodshed mode, USMC recruitment has presumably gone through the roof thanks to Battle: Los Angeles, and now word has arrived that Austin filmmaker Paul Hanley's stop-motion epic Viva the Nam has stormed the gates of YouTube and, you know, cried havoc and let slip the dogs of war and such.

We may be biased because we grew up during the heyday of the Vietnam war and Ray Harryhausen's 24-fps, stop-motion wonderfulness, but we think Hanley's feature-length parody of the Great American War Movie is pretty friggin' genius. Unfortunately for the tabletop director, it's also apparently easier to get R. Lee Ermey to don a Victorian ruff and bark like a dog than it is to get an audience into a real-world theater to watch the brilliance that is Viva the Nam.

"You'd think a low-budget 2 hour stop-motion historical comedy about a war that scarred an entire generation would be an easier sell, right?" emails Hanley.

To that end, the entirety of Viva the Nam is now on YouTube, along with some new bookend material: "Ya might wanna check out the end of each YouTube segment," writes the director, "as they all end with different 'next episode' trailers, each based on a different TV show. I'm particularly proud of the Adam West Batman and Twin Peaks ones. And there's also a funny nod to the late, great Stephen J. Cannell."

Those of you who missed our interview with Hanley can check it out here. In the meantime, do yourself a favor and get some.

More Viva the Nam
Plastic Platoon
Plastic Platoon
Paul Hanley and Kieran Healy on their 10-year tour of duty to make a stop-motion Vietnam epic starring action figures

Marc Savlov, Jan. 22, 2010

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Viva the Nam, Paul Hanley, stop-motion

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