On Monday, March 12, Kipper’s Totally Rad Trivia does it doggy style. That is, the Everything Is Terrible video mash-up collective, dressed in dog costumes, will take over for the Best of WNC trivia night. Their message: "If everything is terrible, then nothing is." Their means: dog-related found footage.
Everything Is Terrible “takes forgotten VHS tapes of all kinds and edits them down into easily digestible viral videos.” Marc McCloud from Orbit DVD and TV Eye — two outlets that do not fear cinematic oddities — likes the group so much he’s bringing them to town. "Throughout the ‘90s, many of us collected and traded shorter video clips of weird stuff,” he says. “They became the ultimate party tapes!"
Before YouTube made access to America’s funniest, filthiest and stupidest clips not only easy but inevitable, there were VHS tapes — at yard sales, estate sales and dollar bins — and the people who love them. And for the most part, those analog inanities are still out there. Collage artists like EIT are still digging through hours of "found footage” the old-old-fashioned way, with tracking and fast-forward. Probably a lot of both.
Where did this curious VHS collage genre originate? "Maybe the first would be Rev. Ivan Stang's Arise: Church of the Subgenius,” says McCloud. “He took old film clips, smashed them together into a psychedelic package that could rot your brain."
EIT’s output epitomizes weird video. Exhibit A: “So Your Cat Wants a Massage?” which currently has more than 2 million views on YouTube. (A quote: “If we understood fluent meow, our cats would tell us that petting is passé, because your cat wants a massage.”) The group also has a collection of more than 1800 VHS copies of Jerry Macguire. A synthesis of these two elements hints at an EIT live show. "I don't know if Asheville has ever seen anything like this!" says McCloud. According to the EIT website, the new show, DoggieWoggiez! PoochieWoochiez! Will create “a remake of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1973 Film, The Holy Mountain, using only dog-related found footage!"
Remaking Jodorowky's The Holy Mountain is a challenge on its own — with any type of footage. Funded in part by John Lennon, the original film is a kaleidoscope full of colorful suggestions and religious innuendo. The film is strangely unsettling and attractive all at once. EIT promises it will be an "inner-eye opener."
And, yes, the EIT members will be in dog costumes, adding sketch comedy, stand-up and other antics. Get a dog-sitter and plan to howl with laughter under the neon signs.
— Kim Roney is the host of Reel Talk on Asheville FM, which streams 3 to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays.