After a year, Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher are back on the road for another amazing tour of The Found Footage Festival with all new videos (and I really have to give the guys props for having NO internet or YouTube clips). Their style is such a well-oiled machine at this point. The new clips along with the film shorts starring Joe and Nick themselves are better than ever, and that’s saying a lot considering the history of this festival.
For those of you living under a rock, the Found Footage Festival is a yearly event where two guys travel across the U.S. finding video tapes from various yard sales and thrift stores. They put on a show with the best clips from workout tapes, weird cartoons, corporate training videos, etc.
The entire production of the show has gotten better and better and now I am told the guys will be starting a website soon that looks to rival the giants of YouTube and Google for amazing content to send to your friends while at work.
Here are some highlights..
Exercise Video Montage 5
A staple of the festival. Another collection of workout videos intended for the elderly and out of shape. Highlights include a crazy woman yelling happy mantras at the camera while the paid extras play along. The guys seemed really annoyed with her every time she came on screen which made it even funnier. The best bit that I can’t seem to wash out of my brain is a workout with a very elderly Milton Berle who comes out dressed as Richard Simmons (wig and all) as he gays it up and the extras laugh uncomfortably.
Bargain Bernie the waterbed salesman is the biggest break-out star of the festival since Jack Rebney (the Winnebago pitchman). Somehow they were able to get the raw outtakes of a very sweaty and fat Bernie whose catchphrase, “All I wanna do is save you money,” gets funnier with each inflection. His odd body motion makes him look like he’s about to take a dive into a swimming pool. He’s accompanied by a tall haired scarecrow of a woman who seduces the camera while giving you directions to the waterbed warehouse. A classic.
The absolute worst in Saturday morning cartoons including Rubik the Amazing Cube and Chuck Norris’ Karate Kommandos where Chuck and the rest of the gang manage to say his name in every sentence. “Sorry guys, this is an emergency, I’m Chuck Norris!” It makes you ache for the 80’s where toy companies seemed to be even bigger w****s than today, if that’s possible.
Another breakout star. Wilhite is a Paul Giamatti-esque blowhard who instructs you on how to win the lottery using various techniques. All this while firing machine guns and living it up and smiling through crooked teeth and an odd Cheech Marin mustache. It’s like watching your step dad win the lottery and getting all lippy about it around your friends.
A perfect title to this collection of celebrity waste hocking various products or just helping the community. Highlights include scary Phyllis Diller showing you how to make money with yard sales, and the weirdest one is Goldie Hawn in a community center rapping and asking the inner city kids how they feel about abortion…huh?
This ia a collection of various interactive VHS board games where the characters talk to the screen and annoy. The games cut between pirates and Klingons who yell at you and maniacally laugh. And of course 1980’s unfunny voice man Rich Little appears, doing impersonations that need to be followed up with him telling you who he was just impersonating. Painfully uncomfortable and funny.
VHS Cover Slideshow
An amazing slide show of possible video greats that turned out to be duds but still had amazing VHS covers, including one of George W. Bush in a turban and beard.
Heavy Metal Picnic
From Jeff Krulik comes the sequel to Heavy Metal Parking Lot. One of the major highlights of the show: a group of hillbillies steal a CBS news camera and film their buddies at an outdoor party. There are at least three instances where you swear you see people from the original “Parking Lot.” Unfortunately, this is exclusive to the live show so if you are as big of a HMPL fan as I am this alone is worth the ticket.
Andrew’s Grab Bag
A collection of videos donated to the guys by their friend, Andrew. Included is the Venus II. All I have to say is, “Travel Electronic Penis Masturbator”: a 30-pound suitcase that includes a pump, a battery and a tube costing $1300. Just to pound the point home, the guys bring it out on stage and show a short video interview with the inventor.
A video donated by FFF friend, David Cross. A collection of awful 80’s men describing their perfect woman. The best part is how picky each one of these hideous time capsules are. The list of demands goes on forever including, “No fatties. No dopers. No smokers. No hamsters (?). No Donna Juanitas…”
So on top of everything the guys are starting a website (http://www.foundfootagefest.com) that will have exclusive FFF content. A reel of highlights was shown that really blew me away since I hadn’t seen any of the videos from this pile. With the sheer bulk of material, Joe and Nick really merit their own site since they seem to have started this whole trend.
I can’t recommend seeing the live show enough. It runs through December 18th, ending in Chicago. For dates go to: http://www.myspace.com/foundfootagefestival. But if you want the DVD, the guys are taking pre-orders at store.foundfootagefest.com. Each volume has been a staple in my video collection and never fails to leave friends dying with laughter on video nights and this one is close to being the best one yet.