The Festival rolls on, with more strange and obscure videos
The Story So Far...
Though it's hard to blame them for putting their stamp on the genre of found footage, their increasing role in the content isn't for the best. Nothing against Joe and Nick, but they are the hosts, not the reason people turn out. Sure, it can be excused when the original content means we get to see Bob Odenkirk demonstrate various audience reactions (in parody of a montage of seminar videos featuring some memorable crowd responses), or when they create their own version of a Frank Woehrle song, with the man himself, who came out of retirement to perform another lackadaisical easy-listening tune in front of a greenscreen filled with unusual visuals. However, in Volume Six, when they present their own experiences with the press and their own viral-video fame courtesy of a TV morning-show prank, it just gets too far from what The Found Footage Festival is about. Is it funny? Yes, but it goes on way too long.
Fortunately, the things that have made The Found Footage Festival so enjoyable over the years are still here, including ridiculous exercise montages (featuring kids, equestrians, thugs, Cher, Jackie Stallone and Dirk Benedict, among others), more public-access madness and crazy instructional videos, like two tapes teaching the developmentally-disabled how to masturbate, lessons on playing the spoons and Linda Blair hosting a certainly-illegal training session on getting revenge. And though corporate training videos sadly aren't a big part of this set, we still get some clips from yet another Federated Mutual safety video, with even more horrific accidents, as well as a video showing how toilet plumbing is tested. You'll never look at soy the same way.
As was the case with the previous sets, there's a lot of new areas covered here as well. Stranger danger is represented in an extremely creepy way by a clown and several dudes in parks, while ventriloquists show off their weird sounds and a vivisected puppet. Guy stuff, like penis injections, weapons and the remarkably complex initialisms of motorcycle gangs, get their moment in the sun as well, as do kids videos, music lessons, and hypnosis. But no one leaves quite the impression that Frank Pacholski's public-access show does. Seen briefly in an earlier volume, Pacholski--clad in a harlequin mask and an American flag speedo-- dances in the middle of a semicircle of the elderly. And then there's his second video, which needs to be seen, not explained. Joe and Nick also managed to track him down to ask a few questions, in order to bring closure to everyone who watched.
But that's not all. There's also:
The Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks are good, with clear, legible voices across the board (though there are some issues in the theater, which seem to be microphone-based.) The sound's clarity lets you appreciate all the distortions and imperfections in the materials.
"Modeling" (2:44) is a montage of how-to footage from various modeling videos, with its greatest claim to fame being appearances by Denise Richards, Tiffani Amber Thiessen and Mario Lopez. But pay attention, because you may just learn something about how to make your face look right by making vowel sounds. Important stuff.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the beauty spectrum, you find more of "America's Funniest Dirty Jokes", most of which are simply bad, though I'm fairly certain you can spot a young Kevin Bacon in here.
There's also a trailer for Volume 5 (:53), which one assumes appeared elsewhere first. Either way, it would want to make you watch this disc if you didn't already have it in your possession.
Volume six sees the extras train slow down a bit, with less additional good stuff to check out. Things start with Jacy Catlin, who does a pre-show warm-up for the main feature, in which he presents his "Enjoyables" (8:36), crude drawings he puts on Twitter. Here he presents them in three ways, with the idea being that the audience has to guess what the writing is that goes with the cartoon. While certainly amusing, they go on too long for the amount of laughs they get.
Another added montage, "Manners" (2:19), takes a peek at this polite corner of the FFF universe and finds it to be as weird as any of the others. It's followed by more of "Instant Adoring Boyfriend" (2:29) a sad boyfriend-on-tape, who takes his love for you, the viewer, way too far. Thinking about who may have bought this tape, and not as a joke, is just super sad. Things come to an end with the brief "Fruit for Thought" (:33), featuring a precocious youngster, seen in another segment, delivering a rhyme about those sweet natural treats.
As with Volume Five, this disc has a trailer for the feature on this disc, and again, it's a well-edited blend of what makes the show enjoyable.
The Bottom Line