This past week included May 4th. Or, as we were told repeatedly by anyone who had Star Wars merchandise to sell, “May the Fourth Be With You.” What started as a funny little pun has turned into a combination of fandom celebration and nationwide marketing blitz. All day I was hit with joke and references to all things Star Wars. All things except one…HARDWARE WARS (1978).
Director Ernie Fosselius had previously worked animating sequences for Sesame Street, including the beloved “pinball” short. He was also a founding memeber of The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo. This odd road led him to creating what George Lucas has said is the only Star Wars parody he enjoys. HARDWARE WARS had a miniscule budget. Instead of trying to hide it, Fosselius embraced it. Basketballs and watermellons stand in for planets. Small appliances like irons and waffle irons. The light sabers were replaced with flashlights and smoke machines. Chewbacca is a spray-painted Cookie Monster hand puppet. The character names were also bits of wordplay: Ham Salad, Fluke Starbucker, Darph Nader, and more. It was a well done celebration of gonzo no-budget satire:
Since that’s a short one I thought I’d throw in a couple other movie parodies. The second was made by Todd Graham, an early pioneer in the art of video mash-ups: combining two separate bits of audio and video in unusual ways. His body of work includes dubbing old Charlie Brown cartoons with the audio from David Lynch’s BLUE VELVET. He also made a music video where Sex Pistols music came from the mouths of Archie and Jughead. However, his most famous was APOCALYPSE POOH (1987). Yep. Winnie the Pooh meets APOCALYPSE NOW:
Our third movie spoof also came from the mind from a Sesame Street animator, Marv Newland. Without much introduction, I present BAMBI MEETS GODZILLA (1969):
Question of the night: what’s your favorite movie spoof?