Collagists don't always get the respect they deserve: Even wildly original artists, from Beck to DJ Shadow, have to labor under the notion that they aren't creating something of their own, but rather building from materials already provided by true artistes. Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett, the curating/commenting team behind The Found Footage Festival, probably don't give a shit about any of that: Their mission over the past few years has been to scavenge for the greatest cultural detritus of the VHS era and offer it—via live presentations and barely distributed DVDs—to the masses. In this quest, they're basically alone and undeniably original, with just a slight nod to Mystery Science Theater 3000 and perhaps Found Magazine.
The duo's third DVD installment screens like a meticulously curated YouTube party, one with all the digging for gold done by others. Pieces of some of these videos have made the Internet rounds, including Dennis Madalone's ridiculously over-the-top "America We Stand As One," which screens as part of a "patriotic medley" that also includes Hulk Hogan's "Real American." But that's just the start: Pickett and Prueher dig deep into the American psyche (or at least the American psyche that wants to cheaply record itself and add crappy-looking titles) to find ridiculous treasures that were never meant for mass consumption. The video that started the Found Footage phenomenon was a training tape for McDonald's custodians, and many more company-produced pieces have found their way into the Fest over the years: This edition (available through foundfootagefest.com) includes a montage of horribly produced training videos from Jewel grocery stores, Wendy's (which features some D-level rapping), and Arby's. It's an alternately horrifying and hilarious look at how employers view their workers.
Elsewhere on the disc: religious clowns who visit hospitals, Playgirl's Hunkercize, a scary treatise on pool hustling and life from Pretty Boy Floyd, lots of public-access bits, cat massage, He-Man, and more. It's engagingly random, but every video inspires the same question: "Who thought this was a good idea?" At a couple of points in the show, Prueher and Pickett (both funny guys, clearly) can't help but inject themselves into the proceedings: They star in a few spot-on parody videos, including one co-starring Chris Elliott, that work as perfect companion pieces to the strangeness that inspired them to gather these clips in the first place.
Key features: The disc includes extended versions of the original material, plus a montage of ridiculous nude scenes—including the incredibly strange "Do The Macarena: Totally Nude!"