Have you ever watched a video and wondered how it ever left the household? Imagine an entire festival dedicated to screening the oddest and most jaw-dropping compilations rarely heard of, and multiply that times infinity. Last Thursday, the Found Footage Festival held its Salute to Weirdos show at the Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline. Hosted by Brooklyn Brewery as part of its month-long Mash Series, this touring showcase was the brainchild of Joe Pickett (The Onion) and Nick Prueher (Letterman). Throughout their travels in the U.S., the curators browsed endlessly through thrift stores and bargain basements to uncover the most obscure and delightful VHS treasures.
With more than an hour’s worth of priceless footage, the founders engaged the audience with witty commentary on their memorable selections. While each clip outdid the other in ridiculousness, the following three were destined for the limelight:
If the title alone didn’t raise any eyebrows, then 60 seconds of this gem was enough to do the trick. Viewers were treated to an intimate conversation with Sam, a prepster with a wandering eye and enthusiastic demeanor. Watching this reminded me of a bad date in which one person would talk up a storm and leave the other person hanging. Props to Sam for his undivided attention throughout the entire 45 minutes.
This next segment left animal lovers holding on to their tails. For pet expert Marc Morrone, his public access show was supposed to be a fun way to educate the pet owner community. However, no one foresaw the chaos that’d be brought on by his wild companions. Despite the drama, the host admirably did his best to maintain calm and continue with the program. Now that’s what I call a professional!
3) Carnival In Rio
Long before fighting robots in blockbuster films and governing the Golden State, Arnold Schwarzenegger was a young man yearning for worldly exposure. This video wound the clock back to 1983, the year he filmed a travel special called Carnival In Rio. From the get-go, it was clear that Arnold took a liking to the Brazilian culture, especially its beautiful women. From partaking in Carnival celebrations to wining and dining with locals, the star did little to suppress his hormones, a far contrast from the smooth operator he’d later evolve into. Lucky us for catching a glimpse of the Terminator’s “awkward” phase.
What struck me most about the festival was how it revolved around an obsolete technology. Even DVDs, which replaced the VHS in the early 2000’s, found themselves on the outskirts thanks to online streaming sites like Netflix and Vimeo. Regardless though of how we consume media, there’ll always be a home for weirdos in entertainment.
Do you miss the days of VHS? What’s the strangest video lying around in your collection?