Elephant Parts

Elephant PartsYours truly finally drew the short straw — the DVD Talk Reviewer’s equivalent to jury duty. Released in 1998, it’s the assignment that’s been passed on by even the bravest of souls. Someone, finally, had to review Michael Nesmith‘s musical-comedy video Elephant Parts (1981, 62 minutes). Yep, Mike the Monkee. Perceived as revolutionary when it debuted, it even won the first Grammy Award for video — today it’s, well, funny.

The movie: Basically, there are five really awful music videos surrounded by occasionally brilliant snippets of sketch comedy. About 35, or so. There’s advertising parodies like the one about Elvis Drugs, for children to give to their parents who’ve forgotten to take their dope. Game shows aren’t immune either, with "Name That Drug," in which a stoner and a DEA agent spar. There’s a bit about a Rock ‘n’ Roll Hospital, where patients fall victim to musical illnesses, including Bee Gees disease, which makes them sing-speak in falsetto. The best bit being a commercial for NNC (Neighborhood Nuclear Superiority) the leader in providing permanent peace for homeowners with bothersome neighbors.

Notables: No breasts. Four corpses. Effeminate Marine. Exploding produce. Pot smoking. Woman covered in batter. Gratuitous magic act.

Quotables: A spokesmen for Large Detroit Car Company, "We’re not just hoping your dumb, America. We’re banking on it."

Time codes: Gals in hot pants rollerskate past a porno house playing Ecstasy Girls (13:22). Trailer for the soon-to-be horror classic Have A Nice Day (44:30).

Final thought: Remember who took the bullet on this one. It’s my solemn duty to watch this stuff, so y’all don’t have to. But, if you must, the sketches exhibit moments of genius.