Sunday, 29 March 2015

Who Wants A Body Massage?

About 12 years ago, Chicago-based filmmaker, Eric Fensler, pretty much invented the concept of a "viral video" after editing up to 25 of those, "....and knowing is half the battle!" skits which were stuck on the end of GI Joe cartoons in order to give them some semblance of educational value.

The edits were completely bizarre, surreal and nonsensical. For some reason they were absolutely hilarious too – and quotable.

The idea of heavily-armed mercenaries casually going around warning kids not to play in fridges or approach dangerous dogs is also funny in its own right.

As this was pre-Youtube, it sometimes meant having to spend hours trying to track down links to bootleg versions. Their influence is so far reaching it can be seen in many re-edited videos even to this day – whether that's musical "mashup" videos, Cassetteboy or the Hitler Downfall parodies.

The makers of the GI Joe cartoon, Hasbro, weren't impressed and issued a "cease and desist" order to Fenslerfilm (Eric's company), and other sites hosting the videos, because they believed the edits were a form of copyright infringement. That threat has long passed and parody is now accepted as a legitimate reason to use copyrighted material ("fair use").

Here's what the original GI Joe skit looks like :

Here's the Fensler parody. Not only is asking people if they want a body massage a brilliant way to end a conversation, but it's the source for the title :

Here's my pick of the best of the rest.

1. Porkchop Sandwiches

Probably the most famous one, where two mentally-challenged boys attempt to cook some sausages. As everyone knows, it's firefighter slang to say "Porkchop Sandwiches!" to warn everyone to leave a burning building. If that doesn't work, just tell them to "Get the fuck out!" instead

2. Car Crash

After two boys come close to being hit by a military Humvee. After the solider swerves and is finished crashing, it's clear he isn't too down about it, brushing it off with the classic Sega Rally"Game over, yeeeeeah!" Though I always thought it was, "I was born a giiiiiirl!".

3. Help Computer

A computer, taking a form of a man, saves a boy from being attacked by a dog and reminds us all that digital piracy is evil.

4. Australian

"You! You're the ring leader!" This one introduces us to a very harsh, very demented Australian truant officer built like Dolph Lundgren. The traditional punishment for truancy in Australia is to be put inside a fridge. Surely the whole thing's entrapment?

5. Ice

I imagine this guy being some faded rock star living off royalties, who's been driven round the bend by drug abuse, his only contact with the outside world being "little wankers" playing on his ice and taking his sticks.

6. Motorcycle

After being given  deluge of advice about not buying nude mags and techno music putting holes in brains, some kids are treated to a tone deaf version of Arlo Guthrie's Motorcycle Song.

7. Fried Kids

If your house were on fire, you would hope the first person clambering through the window would be someone trying to rescue you. Not this time. No one will ever know what happened to them.

8. Vinyl Purse

A woman desperate for her cigarettes from her pink purse is instead put into a trance.

Now you know....

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Everything is Terrible!

Everything is Terrible! Is a blog set up by some Americans, who discovered loads of reallly bad VHS tapes lying around, and decided to edit them and inflict them on the internet, providing a ready stream of memes and cringe moments.

Most of the videos fall under three broad categories. Here are some of my "favourites".

Cheesy Films

Heavy Metal Madness

First, that's not even metal. I haven't heard a single metal band that sounds like a cross between Siouxie Sioux, Kate Bush and The B52s. They deserved to get booed off. Manowar would cook their torn corpses over a lavapit and feast upon them.

Deadly Prey

Described as "The World's Most Action Packed Action Movie", Deadly Prey is a low-budget rip off of 80s action films. This could be a case of being "so bad, it's good". It puts you in the heart of the action as though you're really there. They even made a sequel.

Kuddly Kittens

Aww, everyone likes a kitten! What cat-owners quickly realise though is that those purring balls of fluff grow to become the most evil, ruthless killing machines around. They will dominate you and train you to do their bidding, whether that letting them out at 4am or allowing them to use your feet as target practice.


Behold The Lords Of Metal

There are many parts of the Bible that are incredibly metal, especially in the Old Testament. Christians in the US have long feared losing the youth to the temptations of the rock and roll lifestyle, where people come into mouths, not hearst. There's actually a sub-genre of heavy metal dedicated to Christian themes – "white metal" – a tongue-in-cheek mirror version of black metal, which has its roots in Scandinavian paganism and satanism. Immaculate hair, by the way.

Look What God Made

"Do we come from monkeys?" No, you came from Hobbycraft. I don't know why, but many of the evangelical videos appear to be obsessed with terrifying puppets and over-sized mascots. As we all know, we originate from God playing a game of The Sims with the universe, and what better way to get the message across than with some catchy tunes. Cain in the cartoon has a voice fit for metal, too.

What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs?

It's fair to say scripture has an issue when it comes to the existence of dinosaurs, in particular amongst those who literally interpret the Bible, meaning the Earth would be around 6,000 years old. As a result, infamous Young Earth creationist, Ken Ham, says the best question to ask someone who says "millions of years" with respect geological time is "Were you there?" implying that first-hand accounts are the only verifiable evidence. The best riposte using the same logic being "Yes I was – prove I wasn't." You know what the best part is? Ken Ham's a qualified science teacher.

Instructional Videos/Infomercials

Yello Dyno

Following on from the above, what really did happen to dinosaurs? They became paedo-hunters! Barney the Dinosaur goes hardcore vigilante, warning children about "tricky people"; "tricky people" of the Jimmy Savile, Gary Glitter variety. This is an uncompromising dinosaur, with tactics straight out of Beverly Hills Cop, but seems suspiciously keen to get his hands on pictures of children. Too keen.

Kids Lives

"Have you ever been teased?" Asks Erica with the silly hat. There some kids are happily playing with a frisbee and chucking a ball around until some loudmouths walking their pet bicycles decide to do some drive-by trolling. But the girl in the blue top could see karma coming around the corner in the form of a white riceburner and a Sarah McLachlan soundtrack.....

Masturbation, She Wrote

Angela Lansbury – better known for playing Jessica Fletcher in Murder, She Wrote – decides to explore herself. After all, it's not as if lady parts scab over when they reach a certain age. This is a David Lynch level of surreal horror. A million confused testicles retract into the comfort of the abdomen, where no further harm can come to them, and where the next generation of humanity is crushed and boiled out of existence. Nice legs.