RVOD024 Down and Out

(1979, Educational/Short, color)


Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy

Sidewalk chalk kills millions.

Rating: *1/2

In a nutshell:

One guy falls down a lot.


Far more entertaining than the short it promotes.Um, I guess I’m supposed to make this section longer than the “In a nutshell” section, so here goes: One guy falls down a lot while another guy narrates endlessly about how falling down is bad for you.


I claim no definite knowledge of this workplace safety short’s origins, but it looks like something a workers’ compensation carrier would commission, and then offer small premium breaks to policyholders if they showed it to their employees. It’s only nine minutes long and the sole actor falls down at least three to four times per minute, no exaggeration. Most of the falls look embarrassingly stagy while a few look like they hurt, but beyond that there’s very little variation. I guess it served its purpose in that I no longer want to seriously injure myself at work. Falling down just looks so dull.

Ad nauseum.This presents something of a problem for the Rifftrax crew. Mike, Bill and Kevin mock the material at hand, but said material consists only of a small collection of fall-precipitating structures, so eighty to ninety percent of the jokes refer to them. Examples: “Surfaces are out to get you” (Mike); “Satan’s staircase! Everybody run!” (Bill); “Ladders are an instrument of evil” (Kevin). If I haven’t made this short sound all that funny, well, that’s because it isn’t. The riffers make fun of everything the short has, so I’m not sure what they could have done to make it funnier. I guess they could have ignored the action entirely to talk about other subjects, but then what would have been the point of using the short at all? This is the first Rifftrax short subject that I can’t really recommend.