Nick Prueher and Greg DeLiso spend a lot of their time tracking down terrible videotapes. The most cringe worthy of their finds make their way into the Found Footage Festival, a curated evening of clips, embarrassments, and oddities that they tour at movie theaters around the country. "It's mostly industrial films, exercise videos—we don't generally feature movies," says Prueher. "It's all stuff that wasn't meant to be shown in public." It's also reliably hilarious.
This time, Prueher and DeLiso are doing something a little different. "We were at a thrift store in Ohio last year gathering material for the new show," Prueher says, "and we found a movie called Computer Beach Party, there among all the copies of Clueless and Jurassic Park. We were like, oh, it's going to be one of those run-of-the-mill Meatballs or Porky's kind of '80s sex comedies. But we watched it and our jaws hit the floor. It wasn't just typically bad, it was remarkably bad."
Indeed, Computer Beach Party is colossally terrible, a movie devoid of plot or logic or even technical competence. Shot in 1985 near Galveston, Texas, it attempts to tell the story of a couple nerds who use their (magical?) computer to throw a party and win a sort of windsurfing-on-wheels beach race. There's also something about pirate treasure, a nerds-versus-lifeguards turf war that's never fully explained, plus extended musical interludes from hair-metal band Panther (fronted by the director's girlfriend's brother). There's terrible out-of-sync dubbing, a chicken-car that has no real connection to the rest of the movie, and somehow even NASA gets involved. The movie is total gibberish, the kind of thing that needs to be seen to be believed—and even then, it's pretty unbelievable.
Prueher and DeLiso are bringing Computer Beach Party to the Laurelhurst for one night only, complete with live commentary, trivia, and more. "Considering that we've been collecting videos for almost 20 years and this is the first movie we're featuring almost in its entirety, it says something," Prueher says. "This is one of a kind."