It’s that time of year again. Christmas comes early as Joe Picket and Nick Prueher (who continues to sound like a pitch perfect David Cross) return with another video collection and U.S. tour. For those of you unaware of this cult phenomenon from the last 8 years, The Found Footage Festival is a collection of home movies, public access shows, training videos and pretty much anything else Joe and Nick find in VHS form at yard sales, thrift stores or donations (David Cross being a frequent contributor). And as always, no YouTube videos. Joe and Nick provide the live commentary, jokes and back story to these corrupt gems. Having almost seen every FFF live I’m still in awe of how these guys manage to raise the stakes every year and make me laugh till my eyes water. And again I can’t stress enough what a great date these make rather than seeing the new Twilight suckfest.
So, here’s a quick rundown of what’s in store for FFFV6 with a self proclaimed, “weirdo” theme:
MAGICAL RAINBOW SPONGE
Dee Gruenig (great name) is a 50-something year old woman showing you techniques in sponge art. In this fast cutting montage we are instructed by Dee who squeals with delight at every colorful line she puts down. After a few minutes her screams and moans collectively start to sound like a porn star riding a sybian. Her performance is so over-the-top she could beat Cloris Leachman out of an Emmy.
Exactly what it sounds like: an instructional video on how to maintain your pet ferret -hehhehhehehh. The only thing scarier than learning how to wash the thing are the creepy owners hosting the video who were probably the home schooled kids growing up. The clips end with a warning on how you can kill your ferret with a barcalounger. Just eerie.
GET RICH QUICK
A montage of blow hards yelling at the camera as to why the viewer isn’t filthy rich like them. Michael Chitwood (such good names) leads the pack. He looks like a ventriloquist dummy rescued from a fire, speaking to you in a purple suit while sitting behind a giant mahogany desk as he lays out his mantra of, “information” and “knowledge.” William J. McCorkle (names!) is a hispanic gentleman in a suit that uses “enchiladas” in every example as he speaks to you from various picturesque spots in his mansion. Next TV pitchman Don Lapre takes time out from doing cocaine from behind his Ikea desk set to give you his “11 Secrets to Success: Step One: Get Rid of Your Ugly Friends.” The list goes on and on of get rich quick schemes from tapes moms everywhere probably still have in their closets.
The boys make a good point about the ’80s: it was a time completely consumed with kidnapping paranoia. The “Say No to Strangers” movement really did get rid of all the strangers since the topic never seems to come up in the news as much anymore. So with that comes a dizzying array of clips from La-Z Boy Furniture tips on how kids can be safe from guys in trench coats to Blueberry the Clown, who comes off a thousand times scarier than any potential boy toucher. Other highlights include one video hosted by Cosby Show‘s Theo who tries to pull the ol’ “Your mom is in the hospital and I need to pick you up” routine to Winnie the Pooh singing a song about it.
DANCING WITH FRANK PACHOLSKI
This one is a doozy. Frank Pacholski is a semi-fit, bald, hairy man who enjoys prancing around public access television in an American flag speedo and Zorro mask in front of a circle of elderly people held against their will. Right out of a David Lynch nightmare sequence, Frank puts your poor Nana through hell as he steps it up by adding the special Dinner Dancing with Frank Pacholski, which is the same thing but with the added bonus of watching Frank slather himself sexually in various food stuffs. The bonus to this one is that Joe and Nick go through great expense hiring a private investigator to find Frank so that they can meet him, resulting in them interviewing Frank on a beach in Santa Monica where he proves to be anything but compliant.
KIDS STUFF TOO
A collection of kid’s videos that will torture and annoy. From songs like “Poddy, Gonna Poddy” to drum lessons on “Catch the Beat with Braham Dembar” (psst, names) to a gross worm farm video called Wormania! This grows into more adult subjects like a sex ed tape for girls with an animated wiener sequence. This one is admittedly torturous for the guys to watch over and over again while on tour.
THE CHRIS TAPE
A videotape sent into MTV in 1995 and salvaged by Mike Judge who felt it needed to be shared with the world. Christopher Kelly Peterman (serial killer name) talks to his camcorder from a hot corner of a mobile home in Louisiana. Chris claims to be Jesus Christ and rambles on for 90 minutes on subjects like “Where aliens come from” and “Where phantoms come from.” Only a person this stoned could talk this long about absolutely nothing.
VHS COVER SLIDESHOW
A collection of VHS covers that Joe and Nick have put into the book VHS: Absurd, Odd, And Ridiculous Relics From The Videotape Era
HAND MADE LOVE
Two masturbation instructional videos: Hand Made Love for the boys and Finger Tips for the girls; both videos taught by flea market creep-types you would never want to see with their clothes off. Joe and Nick always make sure to get one good penis shot in every volume that makes the crowd yelp. Well played, guys.
D.R. Live is a bearded kung fu hippie with big film dreams. He put together a pitch reel for a feature film and sent it to Paramount Studios. Salvaged in a dumpster behind the studios for our VHS viewing pleasure, we get to watch an enthusiastic D.R. pitch this mega budget hippie sci-fi film with plenty of unlicensed music. Nick and Joe even set-up a Kickstarter for the film.
EXERCISE VIDEO MONTAGE
One of the biggest categories in the show’s history are the exercise videos and this year doesn’t disappoint. From DMX’s Thug Workout to Workout for Equestrians, we see a blinding collection of retro workout videos. Other highlights include a spandex parade of a***s in Bunnetics to The A-Team‘s Dirk Benedict who shows us how to perfect the groin stretch.
Beaver Felton, master bass player, leads this montage of musical instructional videos from possible Guitar Center rejects and assortments of nerds and indoor types. From electric keyboards to playing the spoons to voice lessons by a tone deaf couple, learning an instrument never looked more uncool.
WOUND ROUNDS LIVE
A public access show in the style of Entertainment Tonight appealing exclusively to the wound doctor crowd. It’s actually pretty well produced considering the content is primarily focused on gross open wounds and how to tend to them. This one is one you will watch with both hands placed firmly over both eyes.
THE KENNY “K-STRASS” STRASSER YO-YO EXTRAVAGANZA
Joe and Nick punk’d a large group of local TV stations throughout Wisconsin and Missouri. They put a friend up to act as a yo-yo expert who teaches kids how to live “green” and help the environment. “K-Strass” goes on a news tour being booked and interviewed by several affiliates. What follows is this clip show of ridiculous interviews and successful attempts at making endless news anchors confused and upset. The added punchline is that K is absolutely terrible at yo-yo’ing.
These guys never sleep as Volume 7 looks to be another powerhouse show with highlights like a waffle house training video and an instructional video on massaging your possum to Treating Vaginismus, which is explained via a lifelike vaginal sculpture complete with follicles. The winner, though, is one called Instant Adoring Boyfriend where this psychotic-looking pretty boy talks to you through the camera telling you how good you look and feeding you chocolates.
The best bonus on the DVD is the complete Instant Adoring Boyfriend video.
The tour starts now through April! Get your tickets now! Be there AND be square.