In some weird way that almost makes sense if you think about it too much, the VHS boom was like a field test for the internet. Both media were initially popular as quick and convenient delivery methods for porn, but they eventually expanded into a more socially-oriented method of communication (cable access is sort of like the TV equivalent of Blogspot). That meant people with no sense of self-awareness or discretion had a chance to look profoundly ridiculous in public. As a result, both the VHS era and the internet age generated a sideline in irony-heavy, meme-generating atrocity tourism, with inexplicable foreign movie clips, news bloopers, and accidentally hilarious TV shows being passed around on video mixtapes decades before YouTube made the embarrassing internet celebrity an inescapable phenomenon. Like envoys from an earlier time, Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher have brought their Found Footage Festival DVDs and live shows to an audience that's spent a lot of idle work hours gawking at ridiculous crap on the internet, and they've unearthed clips like these that prove just how far back that hallowed tradition's roots go.
The Berenguer Boogie
The 1987 World Champion Minnesota Twins had their own entry in this embarrassing chapter of sports-based entertainment, and while flamethrowing middle-reliever Juan Berenguer is spared the indignity of having to grab the mic, it's pretty clear this is awkward on ten different levels. Watch for former Vikings linebacker Matt Blair and his "what am I doing here" cameo grimace, as well as the fact that everybody involved in this video dances like an ACL-tear recovery patient standing on a waterbed. That Paisley Park hosted the planning session for this video the same year that Prince released his classic double-LP Sign O' the Times is one of life's eternal mysteries.
F.A.R.T. the Movie
Gary Busey in Quigley
The Found Footage Festival comes to the Heights Theater on Sunday, April 24, at 8 p.m.