“We’ve always had a thing with how people treat little people at Everything Is Terrible!, like it’s really weird and creepy… I think it’s the same thing with humans and dogs. They’re weirdly sexualized, they’re weirdly turned into little kids at the same time. When they’re your best friend it turns into this weird, gross, furry pile where you can’t tell where the lines are between human and dog, master and slave, and sex, and it’s just ugh. In that way it turned out to be perfect, because when you watch The Holy Mountain you’re so confused about the world and you feel icky, but at the same time it’s beautiful. It felt perfect when it was coming together because it was gross but then you put 15 layers of dogs together and be like, ‘I think that’s kind of beautiful.'”–Commodore Gilgamesh on Doggiewoggiez! Poochiewoochiez!
DIRECTED BY: Commodore Gilgamesh, Ghoul Skool
FEATURING: None (some recognizable actors and celebrities can be glimpsed in movie clips)
PLOT: This movie is 55 minutes of clips of strange and funny dog clips from movies and videotapes, arranged into a pop-absurdist montage that loosely follows the plot of Alejandro Jodorowsky‘s The Holy Mountain. Appropriated scenes range from major motion pictures like Beethoven to direct-to-video instructional manuals on dog massage, with the snippets arranged thematically (dog grooming, dog sex, talking dogs making terrible puns, etc). The editing crew also takes the canine footage and manipulates it into original psychedelic collages to further strengthen the connection to the mystical Mountain.
- Everything is Terrible! is a consortium that collects strange and funny found footage clips from how-to videos, amateur Christian puppet shows, infomercials, and other video detritus of the past, often transforming the results with simple editing techniques to make it even weirder. Their website has been active since 2007. The members post under pseudonyms and only appear in public wearing fuzzy monster masks (although at Doggiewoggiez live screenings, they appeared in dog masks instead).
- Everything is Terrible! released two previous full-length compilations of found-footage clips—Everything is Terrible! The Movie and 2Everything2Terrible2: Tokyo Drift—but Doggiewoggiez! Poochiewoochiez! was their first themed release and their most conceptually ambitious project.
- The movie’s extremely modest $2,000 budget was successfully funded via the crowdsourcing website Kickstarter.
- One source reports the film contains 1500 cuts (which would work out to about one scene every 2 seconds). It took a little over a year to assemble the footage.
INDELIBLE IMAGE: “The Dog Molecule” segment, where we see a puppy puffing on a tiny pipe version of its own head, and the camera pulls back to reveal an identical third pooch puffing on that canine.
WHAT MAKES IT WEIRD: Constructing a remake of the flamboyant Surrealist epic The Holy Mountain would be a fool’s errand; there would be no way to out-weird the original. Unless, of course, you remade the self-indulgent spiritual odyssey as a comedy, illustrating the key scenes using found footage from crappy dog videos. Then, you’d be creating a parallel universe of weirdness.
Teaser for Doggiewoggiez! Poochiewoochiez!
COMMENTS: A startling indictment of the indignities desperate Hollywood producers will inflict upon man’s best friend in the name of cheap entertainment, Doggiewoogiez! features every terrible sub-Disney talking dog movie in which an uncomprehending pooch is forced to recite a horrible pun acting against a slumming Dave Thomas, Fred Willard, or Cuba Gooding, Jr. And it’s not just the major Hollywood players that are into abusing the long-suffering fidos, either, as Doggiewoggiez! collects plenty of embarrassing examples of amateurs touting dog massages and owners posing nude with their pooches. The consortium at Everything is Terrible! bring us morphing mutt montages of lifted legs, doggie-style rutting, and bitches attacking crotches. Watching this compilation you’ll see more footage of dogs surfing or riding dolphins than you ever thought existed, along with vintage racist dogs, dogs competing in sports, dogs going to heaven… well, you get the picture.
Doggiewoogiez! is, first and foremost, meant to make us laugh. The compendium is funny on many different levels. Some of the pronouncements (like the re-enactment of dog dreams, or the woman who assumes her Chihuahua likes spicy food because he’s Mexican) are risible because of their stupidity. Some images are funny-cute exactly as intended (surfing dogs). Other bits are unclassifiably absurd (a woman is heard claiming “George Washington hanged dogs”). Clips from the Hollywood comedies, like the scenes a dog-hating Nick Nolte mugging to the camera as he finds himself seated next to a poodle or demonstrating how a mutt shakes himself dry, amuse mainly because they’re taken out of their original unfunny contexts; they’re jokes hanging in space. What makes the project especially funny, however, is its massive scope: with a barrage of canine clips covering everything from sex to the afterlife, the entirety of human existence is reflected back at us via man’s best friend, the parade of life is re-enacted as a parody performed by the Kennel Club.
The technique Everything Is Terrible! uses is the moving picture equivalent of collage, an art form that traces its lineage back to the Dadaists. In fact, with the insertion of some trippy transformational video techniques—such as a pan up an impressive squirming mountain constructed out of the video heads of beagles and bulldogs, some eating spaghetti and others wearing shades—Doggiewoggiez! at times becomes a collage of collages. In a collage, the artist appropriates snippets from other sources, often from commercial works with no artistic intent of their own, and rearranges them to form a new whole. Doggiewoggiez! collects a vast assembly of flea-bitten mediocrities, and by pasting them together on a single screen in a relentless media assault creates a deep, funny and sad vision of an America dedicated to the pursuit of furry kitsch.
As promised, the organization of this dog show collage does mimic The Holy Mountain, from the opening scene of “ritual” poodle shaving to the “zoom back, camera!” fourth-wall smashing finale. Much of Alejandro Jodorwosky’s actual music and dialogue is slyly integrated into the compilation. The line “you are excrement—you can turn yourself into gold” segues into a series of doggy-doo jokes. “Your sacrifice has completed my sanctuary of one thousand testicles” is followed by a dog breeder observing “the more testicles you cut off, the fewer dog fights there are.” Mapping a random assemblage of cutesy canine footage to Jodorwosky’s spiritual odyssey suggests juxtaposition of the pompous and the pedestrian that adds an additional layer of reflexive satire to an already head-spinningly ironic essay.
Picking out the correspondences is a fun bonus for those intimately familiar with Mountain, but it’s not necessary to enjoy the bow-wow barrage of barking mad dog clips. Perhaps there’s no deep meaning to the cross-breeding of Mexican surrealists with preposterous puppy clips, other than that Everything is Terrible! (correctly) thinks that both are cool, and that the mixture is uniquely bizarre. The weirdness of the conception is enhanced by trippy video and audio distortions that evoke lysergic journeys into the cosmic consciousness, altered odysseys we take accompanied by our faithful furry companions. The movie would make good video wallpaper at a stoner party, but it’s not just for the drug crowd, either. I showed Doggiewoggiez! to my sixty-year old dog-loving mother, and (explicit doggie-style sex scenes notwithstanding) she found it adorable. Hilarious, damning, and damn cute: Doggiewoggiez! Poochiewoochiez! is a clever compendium of canine clips that has as many facets as there are breeds of dog.
WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:
“The movie could easily coast on the ridiculous amount of work that went into realizing its weird conceit… Seemingly thousands of videos ranging from the obscure to the I-wish-it-were-obscure (Tim Allen’s public nude scene in The Shaggy Dog) have been shredded like the morning paper into seconds-long fragments, and then meticulously sequenced into a variation on Jodorowsky’s psychedelic-surrealist masterpiece that conveys pretty much every memorable image in the film…”–Benjamin Pearson, Tiny Mix Tapes (DVD)
“As difficult as it is to interpret surrealist iconoclast Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1973 freak-out The Holy Mountain, it is a walk in the park when compared to the bizarre, often hilarious vid-clip montage homage, Doggiewoogiez! Poochiewoochiez!”–Simon Foster, Screen-Space (DVD)
OFFICIAL SITE:Everything is Terrible! – Keep up with Everything Is Terrible!’s latest escapades
IMDB LINK: Doggiewoggiez! Poochiewoochiez! (2012)
OTHER LINKS OF INTEREST:
Everything is Terrible’s! Commodore Gilgamesh – Interview with the Onion A.V. Club about Doggiewoggiez!
Everything Is Terrible sics ”DoggieWoggiez! PoochieWoochiez!” on the Coolidge – Background on the project from The Boston Phoenix
Doggie Woggiez Poochie Woochiez on WGN Morning News – Live promo with a morning news show, including a clip from the film
Quickie: Everything is Terrible!: Doggie Woggiez! Poochie Woochiez! – Video review and interview from a live show courtesy of yourmoviesucks.org
Doggiewoggiez! Poochiewoochiez! and the Right to Die – This bizarre “experimental review” consists of
randomly carefully assembled quotes, and a shot-by-shot breakdown of minutes 2:39 to 4:03 of the film
List Candidate: Doggiewoggiez! Poochiewoochiez! – Our original review of the film
DVD INFO: Doggiewoggiez! Poochiewoochiez! proper runs a trim 55 minutes, which is about the perfect length to keep it from overstaying its welcome. Fortunately, there’s almost 3 hours (!) of “extra” material on the self-distributed disc, so you won’t feel ripped off. The supplemental features are divided into four categories. “2 Minute Movies” are expertly compressed versions of ten truly horrible films like Revenge of the Red Baron (which “stars” a wheelchair-bound Mickey Rooney haunted by a remote controlled toy airplane possessed by the spirit of the WWI ace). “Best Of” contains a selection of demonically bad found-footage discoveries including several accidentally frightening Christian puppet shows (and, to show that bad taste knows no denomination, scenes from a terrible Jewish children’s video called “Torah Tots” featuring a character who promises to float around the world vacuuming up all the Jews and depositing them in Israel). And, just so you won’t be shocked when you come across it, we’ll mention that hidden inside the ten minute “Mondo Bigfoot” compilation collected from the 1970s Sasquatch craze are the fake hardcore porn scenes from the Bigfoot rapist oddity The Geek (1971). Finally, there’s a special section devoted to “Music Videos,”of which the most famous number is Tim Curry’s rendition of “Anything Can Happen on Halloween” from The Worst Witch; the strangest item, however, is “Don’t Do Drugs,” in which a teenager in a skimpy black bikini falls asleep on a beach, dreams about four much younger kids doing an anti-drug rap while imagining herself buying smack and being arrested for vagrancy, then wakes up to a guy offering her a bottle of booze. Doggiewoggiez! Poochiewoochiez! can be purchased directly from Everything is Terrible’s website.