Star Dipwads: Arrivederci, Human Race
Star Dipwads was the first film created by Corn Pone Flicks. We think. Its possible that Captain Harlock vs. Han Solo was completed first. Who remembers? Clearly not me. It began, as so many of these sorts of parodies doubtlessly began, by watching a bit o anime and making up stupid dialogue to compensate for our egregious deficiency in actual Japanese. Around this time, we had discovered how to rewire the entertainment center of my house to allow us to dub new sound onto old video, so we compiled a list of jokes-the closest Dipwads ever got to having a script-and set about editing. We used a crappy old boom-box to record, and mastered onto a crappy old mono VCR (four-head! OOOOH! Smell the high-tech excitement!) Six months of this crappy old crap later, we were done. The final film ran an hour and forty-five minutes, which had been accomplished at a rate of around one hour of work for every minute of film time.
Expecting the whole thing to disappear into the obscurity it doubtlessly so richly deserved, we were somewhat surprised to hear reports from out Texas way of strong positive reactions at the showing of Dipwads at the now-defunct Dallas Fantasy Fair. At every con we hit subsequently, we shamelessly promoed the crap out of the film, until requests for copies began rolling in steadily and we were given the completely undeserved status of guests at Project A-kon 1, the first all-anime con in the U.S. We think. Who remembers? We saw some pretty scary shit there, including Dipwads-oriented room parties where everyone knew all the dialogue, even the parts I had thought too crappily recorded to hear. Fandom was different in those days, and parody dubs rarer; beyond that, I'm at a loss to explain how such things could transpire. We were hardly brilliant comedians, but it didn't stop attendees from yelling out our punch lines during other people's videos. Tee-hee.
Shortly after acquiring a VCR with editing capabilities, I remastered the film to bring it up to spec with newer works like the Dipwads Christmas Special, which had been assembled in an actual editing suite. Along the way, I lopped out ten minutes of useless filler. Then, years later, just after the completion of Dipwads II episode 1, we had the occasion to watch the original film again, for the first time in many a moon.
I immediately regretted making the sequel dependant upon knowledge of the original, as the awful fusillade of bad teenage humor, clumsy delivery, and somnabulistic pacing sought to wrench continual groans from the CPF elders-and succeeded! "This film," we grudgingly admitted, "sucks!" Immediate invasive surgery was clearly required.
The initial idea was merely to cut down on the filler to the extreme, including parts of scenes that didn't work, awkward pauses, and anything not 100% necessary to the continuity. However, certain needed sequences featured unacceptably poor acting (if you want to term it that) and I therefore redubbed them, thinking it to be something that would only be needed from time to time. However, the redubbed portions elicited such positive reaction from other CPFers that it was quickly obvious that more redubbing was in order, the amount building as the film progressed. By the end of the job, we had what was more accurately to be called a remake, rather than a recut.
At half its original length, Arrivederci, Human Race had ceased to be the embarrassment it once was. Not as good as is possible, to be sure, but probably the best parody dub in our catalogue.
Our follow-up to the initial release (or, you know, whatever) had been a spoof documentary called The Making of Star Dipwads, which one may notice does not appear on this here webpage. Nor is it ever going to. The basic gist was that the fictionalized creators of Star Dipwads, a hat-wearing egotist and a pot smoking doofus (bearing a noticeable resemblance to Jay and Silent Bob, just with the speaking habits reversed), ran around breaking the law, shooting people, etc. during an attempted interview. No script. All ad-libbed. This is fine if youre making Spinal Tap and are established comedians who pare their film down to the funniest portions of many hours of footage, and not so fine if youre some dorks who are so enamored of seeing themselves on the tube acting silly that they forget to come up with jokes and feel the need to include all completed footage anyway. Many people insist that the film is funny in spite of my reservations, but sadly, they're all insane, even the ones I call friends. In order to plug the continuity gap created by the film's excision, I cut together a brief montage of the Making Of footage which was interpolated into the Star Dipwads Christmas Special DVD. It's only about three-and-a-half minutes, but really, there's nothing missing that you'd miss. Trust me.
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