I know I showed a trailer for my new “friend”, Claude the Martian, reading the classic book “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark”, but he isn’t ready yet. Plus, he has agreed to only be filmed at night, and lately I’ve been working a lot of nights. So you can blame a scheduling conflict for this delay.
Today, I would like to share with you one of my favorite dvds in my collection:
I got Edward to hold it up because it didn’t want to stand up by itself, but then it magically just stood on end, rendering Edward a useless ornament.
If you are unfamiliar with “Something Weird” video, they put out tons of obscure and cult movies.
They are like the Criterion Collection for B movies.They almost always include a lot of cool extras, like this stuff:
TWO pairs of 3D glasses!
And a short book called “Spook Show” that is a short memoir about a guy’s life touring with Spook Shows which, to quote said memoirs, “started in the late 1920s and were pretty much gone by the end of the 1960s.”
What you have, in this dvd set, is not a movie. It’s barely even a show. What you have is a diy kit for making your own 1960s-era Spook Show at home!!!!
When you start the video, you get a nice intro with a rotating hypnosis spiral and a booming voice saying a lot of “Twilight Zone” type of stuff. Then it goes to this menu:
The menu on this thing is like an attraction itself! If you like “easter eggs” your brain will explode when you get to play with this menu.
Why? Every picture on that menu leads somewhere. Not only that, but there are even hidden icons in there!
Some of them lead to another menu!
Some of them lead to something to watch!
Some of them don’t lead to anything at all!!!
It is really fun, but if you are easily frustrated and are the type who just wants to get to the show, then guess what? You are just a fucked chicken. Because the menus, and figuring out where they go, is a lot of the fun of this dvd.
A couple of the icons will take you into a graveyard, then down a tunnel to another menu, like this one:
Once again, every one of those pictures leads to something fun! I think a couple of them even just scream real loud when you push them, which will make you jump and spill your beer.
One of the things you can get to from this menu is the reason the 3D glasses are included. It’s a brilliant short called “Asylum of the Insane” which is just this:
Seriously. All it is is a 10 minute short of people in masks waving knives at the camera. But it’s in 3D!!!! It has some voiceover work at the beginning, which I assumed was some sort of attempt at a plot, but I didn’t listen to it. Who cares when you’ve got these dudes waving knives in your face????
Another one of your extras, totally tucked away in an extremely out of the way Easter Egg is this:
I’ve never watched it. In fact, I just discovered it today and I’ve had this dvd for two years now, but it’s a full length movie! Just hidden away on the dvd! Could this get any better???
It can!!! How, you ask???
With fucking instructions on how to have your own spook show in your home!!!!!!!!!!
That’s right. Believe it or not, one of the easter eggs is basically a 1960’s magic book with ghostly tricks to frighten your guests. Like my personal favorite:
There are probably about 6 or 7 tricks like this covered in the diy section. Most of them are just too cool to show here. They would melt your eyeballs with their coolness. Possibly even cause temporary paralysis. Just know this: one of them is called the Spirit Dragon!!!! If you are all very good, I might share that one with you. Or you could just get the dvd and check it out yourself.
You also get a gallery that is crazy amounts of long that features flyers from real spook shows from the 60’s. Like this one:
The Main Event on the dvd, if you could even say it has one, is a 30 minute reel that they would show at these spook shows. It’s basically a short movie with a part towards the end where the monsters would come off the screen and into the audience!!!
What they would do is, the people who were touring with the show would make a cheap short movie, so that when this part came up, they could come out from behind the screen or something and go into the audience.
Either that, or at the very least they would be dressed up as the characters in the movie. This particular one features a man in a gorilla suit as the main monster (appropriately named “Big G”): a costume that was easy to get and anyone could put it on and be Big G from off the screen.
The plot is something appropriately silly:
… are having a pajama party in an old haunted house where these guys dwell in the basement:
“Mad Doctor” (it says it right on his lab coat) and “Green Face Girl” control 3 or so “monsters”. Big G, a werewolf, an Igor-like henchman, some other guy, and maybe even some other guy. The main monsters are Mad Doctor and Big G. Green faced Asian woman only shows up a couple times and she doesn’t do anything.
Mad Doctor sends Big G upstairs to capture a girl. The guys have all gone outside, where they are putting on masks in hopes of coming back inside and scaring the pants off of the gals.
I wasn’t alive during the 60’s, but this joke possibly came straight from Mad Magazine. I can vividly picture a Don Martin cartoon with “cut here” written under a dotted line on his head. There are tons of these sorts of gags all throughout this flick, which makes you wonder if it was supposed to be scary or not. There’s no doubt that the part where the monsters run out into the audience was supposed to be scary. This, not so much.
Turns out, Mad Doctor just wants to turn the girls into gorillas!
Following the girl getting turned into a gorilla, we get a fairly long Scooby-Doo moment when gorilla arms come out of nowhere, barely missing snooping girls in pajamas(?). They keep walking across this hallway, with Big G, or possibly the newest gorilla recruit, trailing behind.
One of the gorillas and a guy who looks just like the Creeper from Scooby-Doo (green face, black clothes, and a wig) have captured another girl. It won’t be long before they have all the gals chained up in Mad Doctor’s basement of terrors.
The guys show back up with their masks, ready to scare the girls, but the girls are nowhere to be found!
In the basement, Mad Doctor gets ready to turn all the girls into gorillas. Big G is ok with this.
There are several of these moments when Big G holds up a sign, letting us know how we are supposed to feel about a certain scene.
Little does Mad Doctor know, but the guys are about to show up with some old men from the university who don’t approve of this situation, not one bit!
The guys fight the bad guys and try to rescue the girls…
This short cartoon of a stormy night comes up and this is when the costumed guys, who have been hiding behind the screen this whole time, would come out. They have recorded screams on here too, so you think someone near you in the theater or drive in is really getting the business.
The bad guys return to the movie with a girl, presumably from the audience. Which unless you knew everyone there at the theater and/or drive-in, would actually work. “How did they do that?” “How did they get a girl from the audience into the movie????”
The touring show who actually had money would have a shill in the audience, dressed up like the girl they bring back on screen. The ones who didn’t have any money didn’t give a shit, they already had your money.
Seriously. That’s where it ends.Well, a gorilla comes out and hits gong, but that’s it. No credits. No music. No nothin’. A girl is trapped in movieland and they just end it there. “Hope you enjoyed the show! Don’t forget to visit the concession stand! Tonight: Gorilla Juice!”
What a wacky time you just had!
This is awesome! Full disclosure: I have a pair (okay, two pairs) of 3-D glasses at my desk at work. I put them on to witness the complete glory of the Asylum of the Insane. It worked! Also, none of my co-workers seemed surprised by this.
You work at a good place, then. If any of the guys at the railroad saw me wearing 3D glasses at work, I’d probably get a wedgie or something.
Seriously…this dvd looks so great! Coconuts!!!!
It is flippin awesome. Like I said, it’s not a movie so much as it is a kit. But it’s also a game to see what all you can find hidden in there.
Not to mention there’s a guy in a gorilla suit.