The story of the '70s, told during commercial breaks
Loves: Old commercials
Likes: Cheesy PSAs
Dislikes: the '70s
That's why the clips on this DVD were found in a dumpster in Portland, Oregon. There are a few legendary pieces, like the old pollution PSA with the crying Indian, but the majority of them are ones you've likely never seen before, culled from the early '70s, including some regional ads that probably were never seen outside of the Pacific Northwest. It's these unknown gems that make this disc so enjoyable.
Watching the commercials makes it obvious that the majority of people were drinking, smoking and having sex. From the beer commercials that play like a playboy's dream to the cigarette ads that extol the joy of tobacco, the '70s were a decade of vice. But to add to the fun, everything is coated with a sheen of aggressive sexism, even the ads promoting jobs for women in the military. It's such a massive difference from today's PC world that it's actually shocking.
Of all the ads on this DVD, there are a handful that are brilliant in their madness, especially the ads from various churches and safety organizations, but two stand head and shoulders above the rest. I won't ruin them, but one, a soft-drink commercial, has the most twisted message I've ever seen in an ad, while the other, a PSA from a trade group, looks like it should be straight out of Crazy People, but is instead truly something magically insane.
The ads are half the story here though, as there are also six short films cobbled together from old commercials, PSAs and film footage. Together, they run about 40 minutes in length, ranging from two minutes to 11 minutes each. There's a definite difference in the quality of the pieces.
The two best of the bunch are likely "Not Too Much Remember," a collage of old educational films, and "We Edit Life," an artistic reuse of footage to create a green-screen look. "Toast'ems" has the most memorable visuals, as the director blends new footage with old commercials to create something new, but it seems less in touch with the "The 70s Dimension" concept.
There are no language options, subtitles or closed captioning.
The audio, presented in Dolby Digital 2.0, is as simple as it gets, but again, surprisingly robust for the time. All the better to hear some of the unbelievable jingles here.
The Bottom Line