(allepaca) from TEMPE, AZ
Reviewed on 11/6/2009...
OK, somebody needs to fess up and admit that this is NOT a commercially-released studio copy of these movies! This is very obviously a transfer to disk from crappy old film reels... rather surprising, considering both were released in the 70's, not the 20's or 30's.
It would probably make a pretty decent party flick, to have running in the background for folks to watch when things get boring. Specifically, all the laughable old commercials and extras, and those parts of Tunnel Vision that are not too trashed to be unwatchable.
The whole thing plays pretty much like one of those old shown-way-too-often 16mm films they used to make us watch back in grammar school, complete with film splices, sound dropouts, and cel scratches, etc. It's the kind of quality you'd expect when watching an old Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton movie... but those gems have the excuse of being from a much earlier era in the history of filmmaking. This thing? Well, apparently the "Catcom" people were just too cheap to locate and/or pay for anything other than someone's used 16mm versions of these flix.
I'm not saying that it's not worth having... just that people need to be honest about what you're buying! And it certainly shouldn't be marketed as if it were an actual studio-sanctioned dvd release. Honestly, even I know a friend or two who've got the gear and talent to do at least as good a conversion job as this.
Now, about the flix themselves:
The Boob Tube is just plain stupid. A very amateurish attempt to cash in on the following that The Groove Tube and it's ilk garnered in the 70's. The acting and writing are pathetic, pretty much porno-grade. One supposes they thought they were making a hilarious, trendy spoof or something, but all it really has going for it is boobs. Lots and LOTS of boobs. Big boobs, small boobs, sexy boobs, pert boobs, saggy boobs-- racy stuff for the time. Yes it is a tit-man's fantasy... assuming he doesn't care a whit about acting, writing, sound and film quality, etc.
Tunnel Vision is much, much better-- an SNL/SCTV-like series of skits of about the same consistency of a typical episode of either. Some skits are very funny, some not so, but all in all it was probably the second-best of the skit-flix of the time. It is particularly funny for those of us who are old enough to remember the TV shows and commercials that are being parodied... and the general tone of the TV-industry and political satire is (unfortunately) just as valid today as then.
And it is interesting to recognize some of the cast members so early in their careers --mostly comedians-- who would go on to better things and later stardom (Such as Chevy Chase, Howard Hessman, John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Phil Proctor, Betty Thomas, Tom Davis, Neil Israel, a chubby(!) Larraine Newman, and yes, senator Al Franken). Unfortunately, some of the best scenes are so screwed up in this version, from film breaks/splices, etc., that they are virtually pointless... including the bit with Chevy Chase, that they nonetheless use as an advertising point for buying the thing.
Some of the extra's are very cute-- a smattering of funky commercials from the 50's, 60's, 70's and earlier (including Maidenform, GI-Joe, and Lucille Ball & Desi Arnez extolling the "benefits" of smoking Philip Morris cigarettes). There's an old Betty Boop cartoon, and a pre-talky Felix the Cat as well.
As I said, it's probably worth having-- particularly if you're a fan of 70's satire, and old-commercial kitsch. Just don't pay more than it's worth!