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Review: Found Footage Festival turns weird videos into laughs

Review: Found Footage Festival turns weird videos into laughs

The Found Footage Festival stopped by the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse on Oct. 3 for its 10th anniversary tour, presenting the audience with some of the strangest and funniest videos out there.

Since 2004, hosts Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett have compiled thousands of bizarre VHS tapes, ranging from instructional videos to ones intended for personal use only.

Prueher and Pickett began the show locally in their home state of Wisconsin, but over the last decade they have expanded their tour internationally. With every new place they visit, the comedy writers add to their VHS collection by visiting local thrift stores or receiving video submissions in the mail.

Prueher and Pickett set up the show to maximize laughs by introducing the clip and then playing it while making jokes from the sidelines. In the beginning of the show, the duo warned the audience about a certain male body part making a special appearance later in the show. While this proved to be the most inappropriate and cringe-worthy video, it was still one of the best moments of the night.

Standout footage included “How to Have Cybersex on the Internet,” which instructs viewers on how to “sext” strangers via random chat rooms. The instructors, topless women sitting at outdated computers, provide us with the tools of success in the world of cybersex. However, this particular video is so old, the chat becomes disconnected when the person on the other end gets a phone call.

The most current video included a compilation of the Chef Keith spoofs that took place over last year’s holiday season. Prueher posed as a fake chef promoting his new cookbook about leftovers on several local TV news stations. On each show, the non-experienced “chef” put together crazy concoctions for the unsuspecting host to taste-test. This clip had the audience laughing on their way out the door.

The Found Footage Festival’s Prueher and Pickett will continue to tour the United States, with shows in most major cities. If you happen to miss the live performance, the Volume Seven bonus DVD can be purchased through Found Footage website. After witnessing some of the clips, most people will want to check out that dust-filled box of VHS tapes lying around in their basement. You never know what may be in it.

Read Devin Gannon’s interview with founder Nick Prueher.

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