Time for a little Film Threat quiz. “Please Don’t Burn My Beaver” is:
A. The ultimate pyromaniacs porn film.
B. The famous lost Episode of “Leave It To Beaver.”
C. A political mockumentary.
If you must know, it’s C. Though choice A or B would have been a lot more fun to watch.
Done in the currently popular mockumentary style, “Please Don’t Burn My Beaver” focus’s on a small town’s mayoral race. After finding that last year’s winner of the annual chili cook off was using bedpans as chili pots, the so-called chili master gets his award taken away from him. In a fit of rage, he stands in front of the then current Mayor’s home and burns a stuffed beaver (the town’s mascot) in protest. Cut to the next Mayor’s race and the now current Mayor Sweeny’s attempt to keep the beaver incident under raps… that’s until Zachirya Trask, the town’s village idiot decides to run against him and blow this whole beaver incident sky high.
To compare this or any mocumentary to a Christopher Guest film is just unfair. The man has not only made lighting in a bottle by creating some of the funniest mocumentries of all time, he’s also bagged one of hottest babes of gratuitous nude scenes of the 80’s (Jamie Lee Curtis if you don’t already know). God bless you Mr. Guest. But I blame him ever so slightly for the recent crop of mockumentaries hitting the festival world in the past couple of years. They’re cheap to make, fun to do, have lots of potential for the creative juices to flow, but most feel like a SNL skit gone an hour too long. “Please Don’t Burn My Beaver” unfortunately falls into this category.
Like other films of this genre, the key is not to only have great improvisational skills, but to have actors who look and feel like they’re not acting at all. In the case of a mocumentary, the audience must feel that the characters are real, that they are not playing for the camera but this is their persona 24/7. “Please Don’t Burn My Beaver” never breaks that barrier. The performances are always over the top rather than sticking into the reality they’re trying to create.
One thing that ”Please Don’t Burn My Beaver” does have is more beaver jokes than all three “Porky’s” films and an episode of “Three’s Company” combined. As a matter fact, you could even use this movie as the ultimate drinking game where you must chug a beer/shot/Zima for every time the word “Beaver” is spoken. Not only will you get drunk off your ass, but also the movie will actually get funnier with every chug!
Chug! Chug! Chug!
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