"There's nothing you can do to bring your mom and dad back together again," Orko wisely advises, taking a break from his He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon to counsel children on the devastating realities of divorce. "Nothing."
Such is one of the moments of stunning brilliance in the Found Footage Festival, a traveling show of "strange, outrageous, and profoundly stupid videos" rescued from dumpsters, yard sales, and thrift stores. Accompanied by live commentary from the festival's curators, Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher, the festival hits Portland on Friday with an all-new program that includes that really weird divorce video hosted by Orko. (Orko's video, by the way, When Mom and Dad Break Up, is co-hosted by Alan Thicke. Also by the way, just typing that sentence made my head explode.)
There's other astonishing stuff, too: A terrifying montage of public access programs, excerpts from three legendary workout videos (1993's The Marky Mark Workout, 1986's Take Time with Pat Boone, and a pre-stabbin' O.J. Simpson's Minimum Maintenance Fitness for Men), as well as a fairly disturbing ad for the "E-Z Catch," a monstrous, massive machine that sucks up chickens for slaughter. Also: Alyssa Milano rapping, Jason Priestly teaching gun safety, and How to Seduce Women Through Hypnosis, which is very possibly the creepiest thing I've ever seen.
There's more, but I won't spoil it; suffice to say that while a few of Pickett and Prueher's selections have already made the viral video rounds, most have been unseen or forgotten until now. YouTube, as beautiful of a time-waster as it might be, is overwhelming—for every amazing video, there are 99 that're stupid. But that ratio is far better with the Found Footage Festival, which is packed with unbelievable, hilarious, and cringe-worthy clips. This is what happens when video cameras get into the wrong hands. This is what happens when tapes that should have been destroyed end up in VCRs. This is great.