For a concise introduction to Everything Is Terrible, look up "Nightmare on Drug Street" on YouTube. The grainy three-minute video begins with dated footage of some kids walking along an idyllic suburban street sometime in the not-too-distant past. Suddenly they're talking about how fun it is to smoke crack. Ah, you chuckle, a silly anti-drug film! But when the next scene finds them hitting the pipe with a butane torch, you start feeling disoriented. Then one of the kids smokes more crack and collapses on the dining-room floor, the color bleeding in and out. By the time a white-robed cabal of kids talks about how horrible it is to be dead — "No more pizza!"— you realize that the edits have eclipsed mere irony, launching the video into the realm of the uncannily sublime.
POMO PUPPY The video blog Everything Is Terrible bypasses the merely ironic on its way to glory. Its latest project? Iconic surrealist cinema, as re-enacted by dogs. Of course.
This is typical EIT fare. Since launching in Chicago five years ago, the video blog has flooded the Internet with short clips of found footage edited for maximal mind-fuckery. Memorable installments include Angela Lansbury masturbating in a candlelit bath and an instructional treatise on cat massage — a video so popular it landed the masseuse on Letterman.
This Saturday, EIT will present their third feature film at the Coolidge Corner Theatre. DoggieWoggiez! PoochieWoochiez! is a remake of Alejandro Jodorowsky's 1973 psychedelic masterpiece The Holy Mountain made from found footage of dogs. The EIT crew will appear in dog masks.
"We wanted to give ourselves a challenge," says EIT co-founder Dimitri Simakis, who blogs under the name Ghoul School, speaking with me from an elevator in West Virginia. "We're constantly taking imagery from that movie. We just love it. We thought, if it's going to be hard, let's make it a thousand times harder."
And the dogs? "I think there's nothing funnier than a dog wearing sunglasses, driving a car, or riding a skateboard, and we thought, 'Let's stretch that out for a year of our lives,'" says Simakis. And so that's what they did — EIT's Commodore Gilgamesh lived in Simakis's Los Angeles closet in as they cobbled together over 1500 scenes from movies with dogs in them. "Even now, we'll watch a movie, and there's a great scene where they're talking about a dog or comparing a woman to a dog. It just never fucking ends."
: This Just In
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