Adland: Opening, George Lois (film #9 on Media Burn Archive). [Category: Sleaze & Outsider]

Opening of the film Adland, featuring singing McDonald’s hamburger puppets (you know how I feel about singing and dancing food, folks…), a Pontiac men’s choir, and commercial director George Lois, talking about what it’s all about for him. This makes me wish they had put up the whole film, rather than just excerpts from it.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.

Combat Bulletin No. 28 (film #2 on tape #4 of This Film Is Restricted Boxed Set (Marathon Music & Video, 1997)). [Category: Military & Propaganda]

This one is pretty standard, with a few interesting moments here and there. In "Activities in European Theatre of Operations", we see fierce fighting in Holland. In "Glider Pick-Up at Eindhoven", all those gliders that were dropped on Holland in previous segments get picked up using a clever hooking device which allows a pick-up without the plane landing. In "Air Force Fighter Kills", we see aerial combat footage over Europe. In "Liberation of Greece", the Greeks enthusiastically welcome Allied troops and celebrate the defeat of the Nazis. In "Activities in Burma", we see Chinese doctors treating the wounded in a very makeshift jungle hospital, including some very graphic scenes of abdominal surgery (don't watch this one while you're eating, folks). In "The Naval Battle of the Phillipines", we see Navy combat footage from said battle, including lots of animated sequences detailing the strategy used.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: N/A. Weirdness: *. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.

Driver Fatigue (film #18 in the Public Info. Films section of TVArk). [Category: Public Service]

Straightforward British PSA warning drivers about falling asleep at the wheel on long car trips. Good thing, it’s short––I was starting to feel a little drowsy myself.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ***. Overall Rating: **.

Accident at Crystal Café (film #21 in the Comedy section of Brickfilms). [Category: Outtakes & Obscurities]

Uhhh…something happens in a restaurant that seems to be on the deck of a ship in choppy waters. I think it may involve food poisoning. This brickfilm is so poorly lit and animated, and has such soft sound I really couldn’t make heads or tails of it.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: **. Overall Rating: **.

Breaking News (film #2 in the News section of TVArk). [Category: News]

Clip from a news break-in from Sky News on a football team being disciplined for misconduct. This is appropriately chaotic, but too short to be of much interest.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ***. Overall Rating: **.

Air Smashes Devastate Germany (film #38 on Universal Newsreels). [Category: Military & Propaganda]

Newsreel story about American air raids on Germany during World War II. This mostly involves lots of things being blown up real good, including Wittenburg, home of Martin Luther, the narrator tells us. Guess it’s rubble now.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: ***. Overall Rating: **.

Coca-Cola Bottling Plant, Arabia/North Africa (film #341 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Industrial]

From our International Ephemera Department, we get this factory tour film about bottling Coca-Cola in some Arabic country, completely narrated in Arabic. It’s fairly standard factory tour fare (though why they chose to include an extended sequence on making burlap bags I don’t know), until the end, when we find out that polite, well-heeled folks in this country enjoy going out to nightclubs in the evening and drinking Coca-Cola while singing along to a catchy advertising jingle. I don’t remember this from geography class.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.

Young Man's Fancy (MST3K Episode #610: The Violent Years. Also in the Ephemeral section of Open Video Project. Also, film #1723 on Prelinger Archive. Also, track #30 on Ephemeral Films CD-ROM (Voyager) (excerpts)). [Category: Industrial]

Teen-aged Judy falls head over heels for her older brother's friend Alexander Phipps––he makes her feel "squishy"––but Alex is too obsessed with electrical appliances and time and motion study to notice her. So Mom comes to the rescue, helping Judy plot a "nice little conspiracy" involving a nice home-cooked meal made in their all-electric kitchen. This film was made by a group of electric companies, and no opportunity was missed to plug electrical appliances. A very ripe piece of 50s camp.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: *****. Msting: ***. Overall Rating: *****.

Bees’ Buzz (film #20 on Feature Films). [Category: Hollywood]

Wacky Mack Sennett comedy from the early sound era involving an elopement, a chase by an angry father and a rival suitor, a cow costume, a car stalling on the railroad tracks, a justice of the peace in a steam cabinet, some golfers, and a beehive that goes down the rival suitor’s pants. Many of the individual gags fall flat, but the overall silliness of the proceedings and the fast pace make this pretty amusing anyway. There is a real 20s feeling to this film, which is rare in a sound film.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ***.

False Vases (film #5 on Felix the Cat, Vol. 1 (Video Resources, 1994)). [Category: Hollywood]

Felix breaks a Chinese vase at home and fears the wrath of his cranky wife. So, naturally, he gets his dog to dig a hole to China so he can get a new one. This is one of the weaker Felixes, but it's still pretty fun in places. My favorite moment is when Felix transforms four snakes into a sort of pipe organ. Lots of mileage (literally) is gotten from the Chinese guys' long pigtails and several laws of physics are routinely broken. Felix finally returns to his side of the world with an acceptable vase, which he immediately breaks, starting the whole cycle over again.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.

Better Reading

Better Reading . Teenager Harold Wilson has a problem—he can’t read for (expletive deleted). So he has to spend all his free time studying ...