4/28/09

RVOD063 Snap Out Of It!

(1951, Educational/Short, b&w)

Riffers:

Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy

Kill your problem! Kill it dead!

Rating: **1/2

In a Nutshell:


Howard finds his improving grades depressing.

Summary:

Snap!  Snap, I say!  Snap like you've never snapped before!Howard’s used to getting straight C’s, but last quarter he worked so darn hard that he feels he deserves an A. He gets a B instead and falls into a depressive slump, refusing to give his report card to father for signature.

Weeks pass, and Howard’s teacher grows increasingly annoyed by the non-returned status of his report card. She finally sends Howard to the principal’s office to discuss the issue. Principal Mustache listens to Howard’s story and tells him... um... I guess the point is that you should always try your hardest but not expect too much from yourself. I think...

Interspersed, we see a number of examples in which a number of Howard’s classmates throw fits or fall into depression over efforts whose results fail to meet their expectations; all of which more or less completely fail to illustrate Principal Mustache’s point. You know, whatever that might be. Howard finally takes his report card home to his father, who shrugs and signs it like it’s no big deal.

Thoughts:

A 3.0 grade point average?  Death is too good for you, son.This is where I’m supposed to point out where fifties pop psychology fails to live up to the pop psychology of today, but to do that I’d have to understand just what the hell the short is trying to say.

So, you should try hard, but not too hard, and you should always align your expectations with reality, even if you don’t know what that is. Oh, and you’re not allowed to be frustrated by failure. You’re supposed to expect it and, I dunno, revel in it, I guess. Always try your best, kids! Just keep in mind that your best won’t be all that great, you pathetic losers.

It’s worth noting that this is a film from the same series (and even features the same principal) as the previously Rifftrax’d Act Your Age.

The riffers take aim at the short’s strangely aggressive title, depressive tone and vaguely defeatist message. Mike starts off by subtitling the short “What the Hell’s Wrong with People, Anyway?” As Howard leaves the classroom in a funk to go and see the principal, Kevin says, “Class, while Howard’s gone, I’d like you each to share something you find repellent about Howard.” As the short winds to a close, Bill sums it up nicely with, “Strive to be mediocre, but don’t bother anyone when you fail.” It’s a puzzling short with decent enough riffing; worth a chuckle or two.