While purging my wallet of miscellaneous receipts, coupons and band-aid wrappers, I stumbled on a faded ATM bank statement with a few cryptic words scribbled on it; “Steel-O-Man.” As I best recall, a few weeks back I met a humble and unassuming middle-aged man working a table of assorted brick-brac at the flea market. In passing conversation, he proudly revealed he had a You Tube channel filled with stop-motion, animated videos incorporating the various dolls he’d collected. I wrote down his member name, and completely forgot about him until this morning. However, what I discovered will surely be a subject of discussion for some time.
His video series, “Steel-O-Man” opens with the sound of soft vaudeville jazz and what appears to be a young Hitler, emerging from a bunker of some kind and rolling around in circles, rubbing his genitalia against every surface he passes before propelling himself down a string and awkwardly hobbling his way towards a door. As you will see below, the director himself describes this scene in a somewhat different light.
What you are about to see is difficult to explain, let alone comprehend. It reminds me of the bizarre and extravagant imagery of Daniel Johnston and other isolated artists in their purest moments of inspiration. These short vignettes clearly were painstakingly created to tell a story. Beyond the crudely animated characters and fantastical allegory hides either the wry humor of a clever film maker following a whimsical muse or the deliberate obsessions of a lonely man living in a world populated only by his imagination.
Without further adieu, I present to you one of the strangest series of videos I’ve ever seen: “Steel-O-Man!”
Chapter 1: “Steel-O-Man -The Arrival”
Steel-O-Man lands his Fulper Flying Saucer on a roof-top in San Francisco!
Chapter 2: “Behind The Yellow Door”
Steel-O-Man rocks with San Francisco locals at “CHERRYS” roadhouse!
Chapter 3: “Steel-O-Man & Antoinette”
Steel-O-Man is dazzled by Antoinette, and Crabby takes a seat!!
Chapter 4: “Slime Invasion”
Steel-O-Man and San Francisco locals flee translucid slime invasion!
Chapter 5: “Juvenile Hall”
Wicked Robot, holding plastic baby dolls captive, gets Slimed!
Chapter 6: “The Rescue”
Steel-O-Man arrives in time to rescue the captured babies! Or has he?
Chapter 7: “The Departure”
Steel-O-Man delivers rescued babies to “Playland” and EXTRA!!! EXTRA!!! “MYSTERIOUS DISSAPERANCE OF SAN FRANCISCO LOCALS BAFFELS POLICE!!! (more)
Would you care to join me in a resounding, “what the fuck?!”