Everyone knows what YouTube is. It’s a device that allows absurdly crappy videos to be made by people who shouldn’t be making videos. Then people watch them. Like this:
Great isn’t it? Believe me, I know how this winds up happening seeing as how I, also, have a stupid video on YouTube.
But here’s the thing that a lot of people don’t realize. Crap like this was getting made loooong before YouTube and today I’ve decided to visit with some of my favorite internet videos that, in fact, were created with nary an internet in mind. That’s right, all of the following videos were made simply for the sake of making something really awful. Not surprisingly a lot of them date from the late 70’s and early 80’s.
We’ll start with a video that is probably going to wind up in my e-mail inbox any day now. Since the holidays are right around the corner it’s inevitable that one of my friends will get the hankering to view everyone’s favorite holiday related catastrophe, The Star Wars Holiday Special. If you don’t know what that is…consider yourself lucky. Basically, after the success of the original Star Wars movie, George Lucas decided to shit all over his creation and the end result was a television special that’s a cross between a variety show and every nightmare you’ve ever had. By the end I’m not sure anyone actually took credit for what aired.
How bad is it? Well the clip I’ve chosen to post here is of Bea Arthur as an intergalactic bartender singing a drinking song in a cantina on Tatooine. Now, I know what you’re thinking and the answer is, “Yes, there is also a song sung by Carrie Fisher as well as, like, ten minutes where there is nothing on screen but wookies barking at each other.”
While we’re on the subject of my childhood being torn apart, let’s visit with a certain set of robotic cats that could turn into a single giant that carried a sword or something. Everyone’s favorite…Voltron! You remember Voltron, right? I think there was a tiger maybe? No? That was He-Man? Well, whatever, all I know is I used to love Voltron as a kid. Then one day a few years ago I decided to revisit it. Never do that. I was shocked to learn that nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, made the slightest bit of god damned sense in Voltron. From a purely technical standpoint I’m not really sure why you’d take five different vehicles that could fire lasers and turn them into one very large, clunky, vehicle that only had a sword. But really what shocked me was just how utterly crappy everything about this show really was, from the production to the story to the voice-overs. I mean, I know it was a kid’s cartoon and all, but why does everything from the 80’s have to be so awful? I should never have gone back to this. In my memory banks Voltron was the awesomeness equivalent of Terminator 2 and Braveheart mating in a never-ending sea of bacon. Turns out I might have been remembering it wrong just a teensie bit. Now I’ll never have that Voltron back.
All I have left is the phrase, “And I’ll form the head!” Which I can thankfully still scream at a handful of people in my life and get a chuckle now and then.
While we’re on the subject of things from the 80’s, let’s visit with another classic. What do you think of when I say the phrases, “Self-help video,” and, “Ridiculous amounts of gold chains?” That’s right, Mr. T! This video actually went crazy-viral a few years ago, or at least the “Treat Your Mother Right,” song from the full-length motivational Mr. T video went viral. Which is a shame in my mind as there were so many other deserving moments from this…whatever this is. The opening alone deserves just as much attention.
Truthfully I don’t care to make fun of this one too much. Partly because Mr. T still scares me, partly because it mocks itself simply by existing, but mostly because, if you pop over to minute 3:33, you’ll see a very earnest and sincere Mr. T detailing what sort of self-help tips for kids he’s going to be giving over the course of this video. And, honestly? He comes across as very likable and genuine…if not horribly, horribly off target. Of course if you watch the first segment on “Shyness” things get a little creepy as, so far as I can tell, Mr. T’s main message is for kids to act like dicks to anyone who gets in their way. Seriously, go to minute 4:30. That’s the “shy” girl. The director isn’t listening to her so she bites his head off and then gives a stirring monologue directly to the camera before all but flipping off the director and then storming off-stage. Watch Mr. T grin a big moron grin at her as she leaves. Moving. And I know I’ll never be shy again.
To end things off we’ll visit with something that wasn’t made in the 80’s. Like I said, crap just seems to get made, regardless of time or internet access. The following is an actual movie. From the Philippines. About a male, gay hairdresser who transforms into a female superhero whenever he swallows a giant pink rock and says some magic words. Now, this is based on a comic book that’s supposed to actually be pretty good, but I have to imagine the tone of the comic book is slightly more…un-retarded than the tone of the movie version. Either that or the Philippines is just the craziest place on earth and I really need to give it a visit.
Actually the more I watch that one the more I kind of want to see it with subtitles.
What are they arguing about while that giant frog approaches?