4/16/09

RVOD060 Damaged Goods

(1970-ish?, Educational/Short, color)

Riffers:

Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy

You’re pretty handsome... compared to the guy I did an hour ago.

Rating: **1/2

In a Nutshell:


A night of pornography, prostitutes and drinking ends in syphilis.

Summary:

Weenis!Four mostly interchangeable young men jump into their sports cars and head down to that seething cauldron of lewdness, Seaview. Peep shows are squinted at, strippers are ogled, and many, many beers are gulped. Outside the strip joint, the jug-eared guy follows a sedately-dressed pimp to a basement-esque brothel, where our intrepid quartet downs coolie cups (i.e. rum drinks) while they’re waiting to be serviced by beehive-coiffed young women. Jug-Eared Guy stumbles off with his chosen princess of the night. Kind of Looks Like Robert Downey Jr. Guy isn’t quite as sure of the wisdom of shtoinking a walking disease vector, but the young lady is persistent, and the inevitable occurs.

A short while later, Kind of Looks Like Robert Downey Jr. Guy discovers a small sore on his weenis. When it doesn’t heal or go away, he starts asking around. Jug-Eared Guy isn’t sympathetic, but Track Coach is concerned enough to hustle his young charge to the doctor. Syphilis is discovered. A cure is promised. Condescending scoldings are issued. Properly contrite expressions are offered in reply.

Thoughts:

Who’d have thought they’d do another syphilis short? Hell, who’d have thought they’d do any syphilis shorts at all? How many of these things could there be? I’m guessing I’d find the number surprisingly large. Well, keep ‘em coming. Syphilis is what the older generations who made these films would refer to as “a delicate subject”, a disease whose sources and areas of effect make for such delicious awkwardness that they can’t help but invite mockery. It’s a whole new brand of social guidance film; one that tries entirely too hard to tiptoe around offering social guidance, though this one pauses briefly near the end to shake its head at the victim’s stupidity. I guess they figure their target audience can’t handle any social guidance beyond “please stop spreading disease”.

Unfortunately, Damaged Goods distracts from the roundabout subject matter with some of the most careless editing I’ve ever seen in a professional product. The narrative skips from time to place with very little to indicate movement on the part of the characters. When Kind of Looks Like Robert Downey Jr. Guy confessed his weenis problems to Jug-Eared Guy, I thought they were still at the brothel, moments after enjoying their rousing bouts of purchased coitus. It took about a minute of talk about girlfriends in the bathroom and going home early before I figured out that they were now in a similarly decorated establishment a week or so later. If someone had said “Previously on Damaged Goods” before the whole thing started, the montage of seemingly disconnected scenes that make up this turkey would, well, they wouldn’t have made more sense, but I would have recognized it as a disjointed clip show of a longer work and not worried about it so much.

Much of the Rifftrax commentary has to do with this confusion. As the film abruptly shifts from unrecognizable locale to unrecognizable locale, Mike tries to keep up. “Now they seem to be in some sort of pornographic submarine,” he says. Other good comments have to do with the short’s title, which Kevin subtitles, “The Windows Vista Story,” and Bill’s recipe for a coolie cup: “Rum, whipping cream and cabbage juice with a Double-A battery garnish.” It’s reasonably amusing, but I’ve watched it two times back to back, while the riffers have watched this I don’t know how many times, and we’re all still kind of lost.