Found Footage Festival Brings VHS Follies to Your Town

The Found Footage Festival refuses to let those VHS memories disappear, even if our better judgment says they should remain “unfound” forever.

The annual event, celebrating its 10th anniversary of mocking these pop culture calamities, is making its way to a theater near you. Hosts Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett bring their one-night-only event to Colorado this week, including a Sept. 6 appearance at the Alamo Drafthouse Littleton. For more tour dates, visit the Fest’s official site.

What you’ll get for your $12 ticket is a barrage of videos from VHS’s heyday. Think the worst industrial training videos ever made to tips on how rock your next cybersex session and other embarrassing moments kept alive by a nomadic festival.

The festival’s founders unearthed the videos at thrift stores, garage sales and dumpsters, and they narrate the curious findings for the audience’s pleasure, Audiences also will learn what some of the featured players are doing today, decades after their VHS “fame” vanished like so much obsolete media.

The festival’s team also played a role in the indie documentary “Winnebago Man” and have appeared at The Onion as well as “The Late Show with David Letterman” and wrote “VHS: Absurd, Odd and Ridiculous Relics from the Videotape Era.”

Still unsure what you’ll see at the festival? Here’s a sample:

Total Self Defense

This year’s tour promises “new” clips featuring obnoxious home shopping hosts and a “butt camp” exercise video. But wait … there’s more, according to the festival’s official site:

Carnival in Rio with Arnold Schwarzenegger: “Before he was a movie star, before we was a governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger was just an ordinary bodybuilder with a penchant for lechery. A production company sent him over to Rio during Carnival, hired a couple of Brazilian escorts for him and said, “Go nuts!” We played this video in Sacramento in 2006 and a lady came up afterward and told us she worked for the Governor Schwarzenegger’s office and his assistant was trying to have every copy of this destroyed. “But between you and me,” she said, “good job.”‘

Dancing with Frank Pacholski: Perhaps the weirdest video we’ve ever found, “Dancing with Frank Pacholski” is a 1999 cable access show from Los Angeles that only aired twice before being pulled off the air. We actually hired a private detective to track this guy down, paid a lot of money to fly across the country and interview him, and we left with more questions than we arrived with.

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