|National Lampoon Presents Lost Reality 2|
|Written by Paul Lingas|
|Tuesday, 24 May 2005|
Wow. For those of you out there who can’t get enough of reality television and also for those of you who really can’t stand it, there is something for both of you in this latest offering from the people at National Lampoon. Ostensibly this is a collection of failed reality shows that no network would air or even buy. As a small disclaimer, there is never any indication whether these are the actual pitch demos or not, but no one in them is recognizable and perhaps the only thing that even makes this an issue is the sheer ridiculous nature of the featured programs. In other words, it seems, sadly, that these are all real and not faked by the goofballs at National Lampoon.
Each segment is given a brief introduction, as well as concluding remarks by the young men who are currently in the National Lampoon stable. One of the entries, daringly named “Money,” uses a man on the street who offers any of a number of hundred-dollar bills to people if they’ll perform ridiculous or grotesque exercises. For instance, “I’ll pay you $200 to have this homeless man spit in your face,” and so on. If any credit must be given, it’s to those who get at least $800 to perform their feat of daring. Some people fold for the first hundred-dollar bill flashed in front of them. Another winner (read: loser) is “Beer Goggles,” a program which tests the limits of ugliness and the ability of alcohol to push those limits. The main contestant is a guy at a bar who has three not very attractive (to say the least) young women to choose from. He starts out sober but then is given a number of shots. At the end of the night, he is sufficiently plastered to choose one of the three ugly ducklings. I’m sure a man thought up this one. Another one is called “Project Redlight” (insert Ben Affleck joke here). This one attempts to pair film school graduates with the porn industry and fails because the film guys are trying to make art instead of porn. There is one hilarious bit where the producer comes in and asks the male and female stars if they’re having fun, but they reply no. When the producer asks them how they can’t be having fun having sex, they reply that they haven’t had sex yet, at which point the producer yells at the film guys. Other entries include “Midget Wars,” “Foreign Family Affairs” and “Swing House.” Needless to say, depravity and coarse stupidity are the rule of thumb, as prospective show producers try to do their utmost to shock and awe audiences.
Some of these failed reality shows are slightly funny, some are just plain dumb and others are so offensive that I’m not even going to mention them here. Volume One of “Lost Reality” did quite well for National Lampoon and they were able to scrape up some old favorites and find some new frightening forays into reality television for Volume Two. Actually, my personal favorite, and one of Lampoon’s least favorite, was one called “Scare Me.” This one essentially consisted of four college guys trying to randomly scare people. What is so funny about it is that they don’t do anything elaborate at all, they usually just sneak up on someone in a restaurant or clothing store, and jump out at them and yell “Aaaahhhh!” The people always get scared and then usually get really pissed off, especially the woman who they frighten at the graveyard who then proceeds to beat the offending perpetrator with her purse. It’s hilarious but obviously wouldn’t have gotten anywhere on television.
This is straight from video no-frills picture and sound. Depending on the original material, the image quality is either fairly good (“Money”) or downright grainy (“Scare Me”). There are no special features, no bonus materials and, in fact, there are only two menu screens total. Clearly, this is not a DVD that offers anything but the original material and is not intended to be on the cutting or even dull edge technologically.
Essentially a brief collection of very low-brow reality duds, this DVD would be a good gag gift or something for the tail end of a party. Otherwise, unless you can get it at the 99 cent store, watch it only if someone you know already has it, especially since it lacks the sometime charm of “Punk’d” and the dynamism of “Jackass.”