Bogleech.com's 2016 Horror Write-off:
Some parts of the world have a proud tradition of producing high quality cartoons. Others do not.
Case in point: I once came across a show going by the name of "Pompernickel", originating from some desolate place in central Europe. I have no idea how it ever managed to get an English dub. It was obviously a very low-budget production, a pale imitation of Hanna-Barbera cartoons and the like. It's no wonder this show came from the same general area where uniformed men once looked envious at British and French colonialism and, after brief deliberation, concluded that it was all about killing lots and lots of people.
Anyway, the show centered on the misadventures of a mad scientist and his henchman, Pompernickel, modeled after the classic "Igor"-template.
The show always followed the same basic formula. Pompernickel would dutifully assist his master in completing some grand invention, only to mess up one crucial detail of the operation:
A loose screw would flip the shrink ray around and shrink his master into oblivion. The wrong feed would turn harmless lab mice into an unstoppable horde of blood-thirsty mutants. The wrong ingredients for a miracle potion against the common cold would melt his master's flesh right off his bones. Pressing the wrong button would entrap and slowly fry his master alive in a giant microwave oven.
All of this usually happened within the first 30 or 40 seconds of each episode. It's the next part that I can't really wrap my head around.
The master's death would always happen off-screen. And for several minutes, we would listen to his blood-curling screams.
Over and over again. The rest of the show might have been hideously low-budget, but let me tell you, they hired some great voice actors, at least for the English dub. I say "voice actors" because inexplicably, the mad scientist was always voiced by a different person. At least once, he was voiced by a small child, for no obvious reason. The little fella did a great job, though. Very convincing. They were all very convincing.
While the scientist was screaming his lungs out, we were looking at a close up of Pompernickel's face, staring at the camera with big, watery eyes until the screen would fade to black.