The Found Footage Festival

Something very funny is coming to the Bay Area the first weekend in October. If you’re a fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (and regular readers know I’m one), you’re going to love The Found Footage Festival.

Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett collect the garbage of our video-saturated culture. Rummaging through garage sales, dumpsters, and other not-so-unlikely places, they’ve built up a collection of public access TV shows, home movies, outtakes, instructional videos, and other oddities. But instead of going through this stuff seriously as archaeologists (or perhaps in addition to this; I certainly hope someone is doing the serious research), Prueher and Pickett turn their findings into a comedy routine of video montage and live standup.

They’re currently on tour with their second show, which I watched last night on a review DVD. The show includes the foul-mouthed outtakes from RV dealer commercials, two very different preachers, an “instructional” video on “How to Seduce Women Through Hypnosis” that would seem evil if it wasn’t so ludicrous, and the no-talent contestants on a defunct show called “Stairway to Stardom.”

Like anything this episodic, it’s uneven. But even the weakest moments (Harvey Sid Fisher singing about the signs of the zodiac) produce a reasonable stream of giggles. And the best sequences, such as the exercise video montage, had me laughing so hard I could barely breath. Between a young Arnold Schwarzenegger explaining why he feels like he’s cumming all the time, exercise routines by Marky Mark (Wahlberg) and Pat Boone, something called Disrobics, and a pre-scandal O. J. Simpson recommending exercises for controlling your anger, I was utterly helpless.

The The Found Footage Festival plays at the Red Vic Friday, October 5 and Saturday, October 6. Then it moves across the Bay to the Parkway for a Sunday screening on October 7. This is strictly adult entertainment.