Betty Boop, sleepless on a freezing night, builds a nice hot fire which proves too much of a good thing; in a dream she visits Hell, sings "Hell's Bells," and makes Hell freeze over! Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Betty Boop goes to Hell, which subsequently freezes over
After a misleadingly innocuous opening this cartoon quickly goes bizarre, and I do mean bizarre. Our plucky heroine Betty Boop makes like Odysseus, visits the Underworld and returns to tell the tale. All the elements of a great Pre-Code Fleischer cartoon are here, from the swinging jazz score and oddball gags to those delightfully gratuitous silhouette images of Betty in her nightgown, striding past the hell-fire. I love the jaunty song she sings, the design of the demons, and the visual pun when Betty turns a "cold shoulder" to Satan himself. Some of these Betty Boop cartoons -- the best ones, I mean -- are so strange they inspire not amusement, exactly, but something closer to queasiness, only it's a pleasant kind of queasiness. Which makes no sense, but neither does Red Hot Mamma. Personally I love the Fleischer output from this period, and find more film-making skill, panache, and sheer rampant imagination in these 7-minute epics than I find in most of D. W. Griffith's features. Plus, Betty is way cuter than Carol Dempster.
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