As someone with a short attention span and a healthy appreciation for crappy schlock from the 80's and 90's, Everything Is Terrible! makes me very happy. These VHS renegades create some truly entertaining material by reediting not-so-classic films and forgotten footage into easy-to-digest 2 and 3 minute video clips. Take for instance their re-cut of Alienator, staring a group of actors way past their professional prime with a miniscule budget. One of my favorites involves a kids safety video featuring a yellow dinosaur that hunts down pedophiles. These mini-films do in fact prove that almost anything edited with a little care and finesse, no matter how terrible, can be resurrected into something of value.
Their latest project called DoggieWoogiez! PoochieWoochiez! is a feature length meditation on the use of dogs in cinema that also doubles as a loose remake of Alejandro Jodorowsky's Holy Mountain. The auteurs have split the film into sections spotlighting doggie film themes like love, death, and religion, along with eternal film cliches (dogs biting crotches, canines that play sports, dogs driving cars, puppy puns, etc.). Each clip usually lasts for 1 or 2 seconds, leading your brain to process the psychedelic images in rapid succession. Before you can really understand what you are looking at, the scene moves on to a another unique image or sound bite. Part of the fun is trying to recognize the film clip before you are ushered onto the next. You have scenes from films like The Shaggy D.A., K-9, Space Buddies, and my personal doggie favorite C.H.O.M..P.S. layered in with images like a fat naked guy standing next to his best friend or a tight shot of a poodle wearing sunglasses. It's subversive, brilliant, trite, and awful all at the same time.
Yes, Jon Voight did breakdance in the film "The Karate Dog."
I was genuinely surprised that the editors were not only able to make me laugh out loud at the absurdity (and there is a lot of absurdity going on here), but also feel different emotions through out the piece. The sections about death and the afterlife made me uncomfortable. The way they edit the image of John Travolta with angel wings holding a dead dog from the movie Michael brings back the unsettling feelings of when I lost my little guy several years ago. Another section featuring a scared puppet dog from a ridiculous Christian children's movie made the woman sitting behind me audibly sad. That's the strength of the film. It appeals not so much to our higher intelligence, but rather the primal parts of our brain that coordinate our emotions. I believe that is the editors' intent. They flooded our brains with hundreds of short dog clips and in a matter of minutes the cumulative IQ score for the theater temporarily fell a dozen points.
Yes, James Belushi has made 3 too many "K-9" movies.
Although I found the feature interesting, I still prefer the short 2 and 3 minute format that the guys have perfected on their website. This movie demands your full attention in order to get the intended effect. You have to let it wear you down. If I hadn't been in a dark theater without the opportunity to press the pause button, my experience and reaction would have been totally different. Also, this would probably be the perfect film to watch while in a chemically altered state... not that I would know.
Me and one of the dog mascots from the live show and yes, he is slightly racist towards pekingese breeds.
Along with the film, the audience at the Alamo Drafthouse was treated to a live pre and post show featuring a piano playing catman, three singing and dancing dog mascots, a fog machine and a mean old dog catcher. The show will be touring around the country throughout the middle of April. For a complete tour schedule visit the link here.
Also, if you plan to attend one of the live performances, be sure to bring your rescued Jerry Maguire VHS tapes.
- John Ary
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