Ventura Distribution // 2004 // 63 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // December 13th, 2004
Reality television on crack.
National Lampoon presents this compendium of reality show take-offs that sports everything from whores to grown men eating dog food.
This set is advertised as a collection of potential reality shows that were never given the green light, but instead it's a series of sketches, faux TV spots, and hidden camera hijinks produced by The Jay and Tony Show.
Here's a selection of some of the stand-outs:
* He Said, She Said
A promo for a Bachelor-type show featuring some hapless guys vying for the affections of an attractive Asian woman who happens to have a penis.
* Amazing Racist (Parts One and Two)
Ari Shaffir runs around L.A. dressed as a Klan member, then harasses some practicing Muslims as a blatant Jew.
* Caught Stealing
Two morons compete in this maybe-hidden-camera bit, and attempt to steal an Italian suit, a car from a car wash, the entire contents of a restaurant table, and a pant-load of pornography.
* Take That Drug!
Amateur video of a group of idiots daring each other to combine alcohol with almost-lethal doses of narcotics.
* Casting Couch
How far will young actresses go to land a gig? And how much clothing will they remove?
Make out with a midget! Lap up wet dog food! Eat your own vomit! All for money!
* The Whore
A dating game where guys are set up with a prostitute.
* Old Age Home
"Hidden video" of the elderly pummeling each other and dumping the contents of their bedpans on unsuspecting passersby.
* Dying Dave
"Terminally ill" Dave Ironsky grabs a camcorder and causes mayhem.
* Psych Ward
An obvious skit; members of a psychiatric ward participate in games designed to elicit nutty responses.
Setting aside the obvious falsehood that these aren't true shows that had been pitched to networks, what you're left with is a batch of halfway amusing sketches. This is actually the funniest National Lampoon disc I've seen in a while. Between half-baked stand-up comedy and stultifying college/high school comedy dreck, I was ready to write off anything with National Lampoon stamped on it as absolutely disposable.
Lost Reality is a refreshing change of pace for the solar system's seeming leading producer of debauchery starring adolescents. Here, we simply have adolescent debauchery.
The funniest bits here are Caught Stealing and Casting Couch, because they appear to be authentic hidden camera gags. Caught Stealing pits two idiots against each other in a ridiculous thievery challenge. So ridiculous, it really stretches the chance this was real, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt. I mean, come on, this guy leaves an adult video store with a two-foot dildo shoved down his pants!
Casting Couch is a sad statement on either (a) the grossly disproportionate supply and demand in the acting industry or (b) the utter inanity of wannabe actresses. Watching these girls, who apparently believe that reading lines topless or with their bra hiked up will lead to legitimate acting gigs, makes me sad, but also made me laugh. Then again, maybe that's how things are done in Hollywood. I live in New Hampshire.
The rest of the disc is pretty uneven, but errs more on the side of "funny" than "sucks polar bear butt," with a touch of "revolting" thrown in (watching a guy lick up his own puke or take a dump in his pants does not hilarity make).
Since it's a collection of different sketches filmed in different styles (from amateur video to a cleaner, sharper stock), the image quality varies. The full-screen transfer holds up okay overall. A Dolby Digital 2.0 track gets the job done like it should.
Who would have though I'd watch a National Lampoon disc produced this century and laugh?
Guilty of misrepresenting its product, but released on good behavior.
Review content copyright © 2004 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Ventura Distribution
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 63 Minutes
Release Year: 2004
MPAA Rating: Rated R