VHS curator Everything is Terrible! brings its live show to town. Shawn Conner has some ideas on what to see.
1. Found footage remixing gods
Everything is Terrible! is “an absurdist comedy/ performance art collective” (New York Times) that has made a specialty of collecting and curating video clips, including infomercials, workout videos and PSAs from the glory days of the VHS format. Over the last seven years, the L.A.-based EIT! crew has produced more than 3,000 web videos.
2. The Jerry Maguire tapes
Last year, EIT! opened a video store in a Los Angeles art gallery. The only movie in stock? Jerry Maguire. One of the collective’s most notorious ongoing projects includes the collection of every VHS copy of the 1996 Tom Cruise romantic comedy in existence. Since 2008, EIT! has collected nearly 16,000 copies. Next step: a permanent art installation in the form of a pyramid made out of the tapes.
3. Live shows
Live, Everything is Terrible! includes mash-ups of clips but also puppets, costumes and sets. It’s not just instructional videos on giving your cat a massage.
4. Cat massage
One of EIT!’s most popular found videos is entitled So Your Cat Wants a Massage? The three-minute clip has amassed more than four million views on YouTube.
5. The Great Satan
For its latest tour, Everything Is Terrible! is screening its latest feature. The Great Satan remixes and regurgitates clips from over 2,000 satanic panic, religious, and Grade Dhorror movies. The result is a can’t-look-away, blink-and-you’ll-miss-something 75-minute psychedelic comedy. The Great Satan follows previous EIT! features like a remake of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1973 film The Holy Mountain using only dog-related found footage.