10/11/10

RVOD137 Don't Be a Bloody Idiot

(1978, Educational/Short, color-ish)

Riffers:

Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy

Your tax dollars: searching for middle-aged fur trappers who are too drunk to move.

Rating: ***

In a Nutshell:


Make sure you’re prepared before you go walking about the bush.

Summary:

Don't be an Australian Benny Hill impersonator either.A bearded Australian (dubbed “Crocodile Brigham Young” by Kevin) points a shotgun at us and warns us all not to be bloody idiots. He quickly touches on the subject of shotgun safety before introducing us to three parties of outdoorsmen. Party One is a cartoonishly oafish couple who speed about the landscape in fast motion like Benny Hill. They fumble a barbeque and some folding chairs into the back of their station wagon and head into the wilderness. Party Two is just one guy on a hunting expedition, dropped off by his friends in the middle of nowhere to shoot at unspecified wildlife. Party Three is a group of four. They carefully plan their route ahead of time, packing all the necessary gear for staying out of doors overnight. They let the local police department know where they’re going on their way out of town.

Bearded Bruce McGunhappy narrates us through all of the above, plus their packing lists and some observations on what they’re doing right or wrong. That night it rains. The broadly played bumbling couple just wandered into the bush at random. They weren’t planning to be out overnight, but now they’re lost and can’t start a fire because they don’t have the right gear. The hunter didn’t take proper note of his position, so he’s lost too, but he’s got the equipment to start a fire and conserve his body heat. The hikers have wet weather gear, fire starters and tents, which they have the good sense to pitch on high ground. Of course they know exactly where they are, and hike right back to civilization the next day, making sure to let the cops know they’re back. The shooter survives his night out, finds a landmark, and returns to civilization as well. The designated Bloody Idiot couple remains thoroughly lost and unprepared. Fortunately, a nosy neighbor alerted the authorities of their absence and rescue efforts are underway as the short ends.

Thoughts:

The short is straightforward and fairly clear, if a bit overzealous. I’m all for being prepared, but hauling five tons of gear and informing the local authorities of my probable whereabouts at all times seems kind of excessive. But then, I’m not one for knocking about in the uncharted Tasmanian bush. I prefer to limit my wilderness experiences to the tamer “Carry a Map and Stay on the Trail” school of outdoorsmanship.

A few favorite comments: The short opens with the camera looking down a shotgun barrel, and Bill says, “Stop threatening me you Aussie lunatic.” After a little more abuse from the narrator, Kevin says, “I suppose it’s too much to ask that he gets mauled by a wallaby?” When the narrator asks what you should do when you’re lost, Mike suggests, “Give serious thought to the possibility that the world might be better off without you.” The fact that the short was made in a time and place where “bush” meant “wilderness” instead of “pubic hair” lends itself to jokes as well. It’s an often staid and sometimes oddly confrontational short whose regional quirks lend themselves well to mockery, and the riffers do a decent job of it.