Fenslerfilm

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Fenslerfilm (stylized as FENSLERFILM) is an American video production company, based in Chicago, Illinois, United States, and headed by Eric Fensler.[1] The company gained a reputation in 2003 for a series of short films which parodied the public service announcement safety messages used at the end of every episode of the 1980s animated series G.I. Joe.[2]

Fenslerfilm also did some Sealab 2021 TV spots for Adult Swim. The spots mirrored the previous G.I. Joe PSAs in tone and execution, as they were animated and dubbed in a similar fashion.[3]

Fensler contributed music videos for the songs "Don't Mess With Illinois", "Hand Over Fist" and "Special Effect" by his fellow Chicagoans, electronic music group TRS-80.[4] He also produced a music video for Daniel Johnston's song "The Monster Inside of Me", using footage from the Captain America animated series from the 1960s.

G.I. Joe[edit]

Episode Description
#1: You're Not My Friend A young boy gets lost at a carnival while checking out a shooting tent. He bumps into Alpine, who confuses the boy with, "Mi mi mi mi," noises, in a send-up of the poor animation of characters' speaking mouths. Alpine quickly adds, "Naw, I'm just kiddin' with ya." The boy's friends return and ask, "Hey man, who's that weird dude you're talking to, bro?" The boy awkwardly says to Alpine, "My friends are here, oh cool, s-s-see you later." Alpine's face then strains as he appears to fart.[5]
#2: Blanco Nino Some children are playing football. One of them is tackled roughly to the ground. He discovers that his nose is bleeding and asks for someone to take him to the hospital. Another kid turns to him and says "you sure about that?" Footloose shadows over the boys and says authoritatively, "Nice catch, blanco niño, but too bad your ass got saaaacked!"[6] After which Footloose appears, through video editing techniques, to tackle the boy.
#3: Body Massage Two boys on bikes stop in front of a downed live wire on the road. One suggests that they "launch" over it. Roadblock approaches and asks, "Who wants a body massage?" He casts the wire away as he sings softly to himself in a Barry White-style baritone ("Mr. Body Massage Machine...GO!"). One of the boys then asks "Eeeeeh, what the hell?" Roadblock proudly responds, "Body massage!"[7]
#4: Fire On Your Sleeve Two boys are camping. While putting more logs on the campfire, one says, "Speaking of logs, I'm going to take the Cosby Kids down to the river," then one of the boy's sleeves catches fire. Spirit runs in speaking in a Native Indian language (sampled from Brocket 99). He wraps the boy in a blanket and rolls him on the ground for an excessively long time. Spirit lectures the boy again in his strange language. The other boy asks, "You didn't take anything out of our tent, did ya?" Spirit gives an answer (once again in vernacular) and gives a slight nod.[8]
#5: Ice Three boys race onto a frozen lake, the first one crying, "Last one there's a penis pump!", while the other two attempt to catch up, shouting, "That's not fair!" over each other (a theme which continues throughout this PSA). The first boy slides on the ice ("Holy cow, I'm totally going so fast. Aw, fuck!") and then slips, cracking the ice. While the other two attempt to walk out to rescue the boy, Snow Job approaches on skis. The two boys ask for help, but Snow Job launches a foul-mouthed tirade at them in a Cockney accent. When the children reach out with a stick, Snow Job approves ("Give him the stick."), then immediately contradicts himself ("Don't give him the stick!"). When they look at him and reply simultaneously ("We're sorry," and "Do you know my dad?"). Snow Job then sings a loud "Oh" to an A note in a bass-baritone voice.[9]
#6: Kids Fry Two children are wakened by a smoke alarm. They approach the door, but Barbecue arrives at the window, letting out a series of vocoded noises. He opens his palm toward one of the kids and releases an energy pulse, disintegrating the child. The other boy looks at Barbecue in bewilderment, then succumbs to the same fate.[10]
#7: Porkchop Sandwiches Two children are in a kitchen. In fairly unintelligibly slurred speech, the first boy says, "You don't know how to cook anything." The second boy responds "Yeah, I do." The curtains in front of the stove catch on fire and the boy operating the stove tries to say the word "fire" but only stutters it instead, saying something along the lines of, "ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-baa-baaa-baaah." Blowtorch runs in, shouting "Porkchop Sandwiches!" This line is one of the most frequently quoted by fans, and Fensler has until recently[when?] sold T-shirts sporting the phrase. He arrives at the kitchen door and in a panic-ridden voice orders the children: "Oh shit, get the fuck out of here! What are you doing? Go, get the fuck out of here, you stupid idiots! Fuck, we're all dead! Get the fuck out!" His panicked tone of voice contrasts oddly with his calm body language. Outside, he tells them, "My God, did that smell good!" prompting a stream of gibberish from one of the boys. One of the boys says something along the lines of, "Detective, I did no going and then you tell me do things, I done runnin'..." This is met with Blowtorch's staring toward the camera, followed by a closeup of that same stare.[11]
#8: Slip A boy is standing on the edge of a cliff, and his friend runs off toward the woods shouting, "Mom, Dad, come here! You gotta see this! This is so cool—" The cliff edge the boy is standing on then gives way, and the boy falls into the sea, screaming, "Shiiiiii-(t)" as the cliff crumbles beneath him. The PSA cuts off abruptly at this point, lasting only nine seconds in total.[12]
#9: Belch Kids playing baseball get into a heated argument over whether a runner is safe or out. Cutter (apparently drunk) arrives and challenges one of the boys to what is apparently a belching contest (represented by the voice-actors as a lengthy vocal fry vocalization). The boy initially demurs, suggesting a different kid as an alternative participant. Cutter refuses, explaining: "Because I already had him. That's right, kids, I already had him." The boy reluctantly agrees to play, and after about 32 seconds of "uhhhhhh" belching-noises from both, the boy cannot do it anymore and concedes defeat, but Cutter continues in a trance-like state for another 40 seconds until the PSA ends, with an excessively long final note, lasting about 20 seconds, on the chorus of "G. I. Joooooooooooooe..."[13]
#10: Bus Rider A boy and a girl high on medicine cabinet drugs and/or possibly alcohol go into the kitchen to get some more, with the boy saying, "Yeah, we should totally hit it again but I get first dibs on it." Doc appears in the window singing a dancehall song. The boy joins him in a bizarre high-pitched voice until it ends. Doc repeats an approximation of "Sunshine dey yah, a time fi di bus ride," in nearly indecipherable patois. Based on the song "Fun Time Deh Ya" by Night Rider.[14]
#11: There's No Retard In Team Kids playing soccer accost their goalkeeper for failing to stop a shot ("There's no retard in team!"). Flint approaches and gives the kids a bewildering account of the day's international news. The news is as follows, "Damage to the base is said to be heavy and the Israeli jets are reported to have made it back to their headquarters." The team scores and while celebrating Flint returns and his news report continues: "A 49-year-old unidentified man went berserk last night, opening fire with a 12-gauge shotgun in a crowded downtown restaurant... Fighting broke out overnight between rival factions along the Israeli-Syrian border. Initial reports claim the Israeli fighters bombed a guerrilla base, kill—" with the "G.I. Joe" chorus ending, cutting Flint off in mid-sentence.[15] The news announcements were sampled from "Segue (II)" off New Power Generation's 1995 album Exodus (Track 15). The same samples were also used on Megadeth's "The Scorpion" from the 2004 album The System Has Failed, the Spin Doctors' "What Time Is It," Chamillionaire's song "The Morning News," off his 2007 album, Ultimate Victory, and Jonathan Coulton's song "Shop Vac." The announcements can also be heard in Cowboy Bebop's "Session 5: Ballad of Fallen Angels", playing on a radio in the background during Annie's store scene; the video game Grand Theft Auto's in-game radio station "Head Radio"; the Sega Dreamcast game Shenmue 2, during the music track "Gifts"; in the background of episode 1 of Californication; and in the game Fahrenheit, where it can be faintly heard among static on a restaurant's radio. This also played in a radio news report in the movie "XIII".
#12: Car Accident While riding bikes without lights or reflectors, two boys narrowly avoid an accident with Dusty's jeep. He crashes and runs over to the boys with helicopter noises in the background, bellowing a butch version of the "Game Over" theme from Sega Rally Championship ("Game Over Yeaaahhhhhh!") to the boys.[16]
#13: Pink Purse A boy talking in ebonics jumps a gap at a building site and a sound effect plays, presumably because the pit shown is far too wide for a child to jump across without supernatural assistance. Before completing the gap, he tells his companion "It's just eee threasy (three easy) steps, just flip it, stick it, and see you later bye!" The young girl is hesitant to do the same. He exhorts her to try, telling her "You better bring it." Lady Jaye approaches and asks them, "Kids? Did you happen to see a pink... um, I wanna say, vinyl purse around here somewhere? ...I'm just dying to get my cigarettes." The boy reels back, protesting that he hasn't seen any purse, but the scene slows down in the middle of his sentence in order to poke fun at the low quality of inbetweening in the spot, showing a loss of volume in the boy's head in different frames. The girl responds in a peculiar manner; she appears to slow down time to the point where her animation frames (four in total) are played for several seconds each. On the last frame, she lets out a surprising "Bah!" sound. The film ends with a shot of Lady Jaye smiling nervously.[17]
#14: Motorcycle A boy named Eric is being talked to by a stranger off-screen, who is attempting to give important life advice to the boy. He talks at breakneck speed, and when Eric fails to pay attention, the man drives off, annoyed. The monologue is as follows:
"Now you listen to me, Eric. You don't blow your money on those comic books, you understand? They don't do you a damned bit of good, and the nude mags, you're gonna be inheriting mine when you're 16 anyway. Now look, the junk food and the candy just rots your teeth, gives you bad breath, and the girls run like hell. Stay the hell away from buying any rock TV shirts, or hip hop gear, or anything like that. Arcade games—pick out one that you can do, okay? ONE that you can do as opposed to a whole bunch of them that you don't know what the hell you're doing. Techno music just puts a hole in your brain an... are, are you listening to me? Look at me when I'm talking to you!"
At this point, the man drives away and Wild Bill approaches on a motorcycle. He treats Eric and Eric's friend to a confusing, tone-deaf and completely non sequitur rendition of Arlo Guthrie's Motorcycle Song.
Perhaps the most confusing aspect is that Eric's friend appears to morph after the stranger drives away. He was clearly an Eric clone, but takes on a much darker complexion and different clothes by the time Wild Bill arrives. This friend later attests that he's "about to putdapressabutdawutdawiddaman." Wild Bill continues to sing when Eric shrugs his shoulders saying that he doesn't know what he's doing, but gets cut off by him singing "I just wanna ride my motorcy..." then pauses for a second to say the remaining "...cle." [18]
#15: Help Computer A boy approaches a dog to pet it saying, "Aw, hell no, what's up, dog?", but the dog reacts violently, causing the boy to back away. Mutt arrives and says, "Hey kid, I'm a computer! Stop all the downloadin'!" as the boy steps back from the dog. The dog leaves. Mutt puts his hands on the boy's shoulders and asks him to, "Help computer." The boy explains, "I don't know much about computers, other than, other than the one we got at my house, and my mom put a couple of games on there and I play 'em." Mutt, either annoyed by this or so angered that his software malfunctions, replies with a garbled robotic message from the NBC series NewsRadio.[19] The sound byte is specifically from season 3, episode 24 entitled "Space". It is the sound that Dave's artificially intelligent chair makes when it is being shut down against its will.[20]
#16: Swimming Two kids are swimming in a lake (one splashing the other shouting "You like it, you love it, you need it!") but a thunderstorm develops. One kid gets out but the other stays in. Deep Six rises from the water, surprising the boy who's still in the water (shouting an exaggerated "Oh yosh!") and shepherds him onto land. The boys are terrified as Deep Six's protection suit gives him muffled speech so it is impossible to understand what he is saying. One of the boys asks, "Are you in the Army?" Lightning strikes the water and the second boy says, "If I had been in that water... dead." Deep Six continues to lecture the boys in his muffled tone, and one boy responds with some lightning fast dialogue which sounds something like "It's really cold out here...bye!"[21]
#17: Australian Kids who are playing truant hang around an abandoned refrigerator. Recondo (with an Australian accent) is keeping tabs on them. He says, "I'm glad you guys... skipped the class today. We're havin' fun, aren't we?" One of the kids replies, "I wanna play videogames." He responds, "We had a good conversation, heh heh heh. You, you're the ringleader," followed by a burst of maniacal gibberish. As he puts one of the children in the refrigerator he exclaims, "Go'n, get in that fridge there, boy!" and "They don't understand! We gotta sneak back in the school." One other kid expresses a desire to get in the fridge, too. Recondo's chuckling ends the PSA.[22]
#18: Pimp A blind boy and his friends are out walking in the country. The blind boy (with the help of his white cane) is acting like a stereotypical pimp to the annoyance of his friends, who tell him, "Brian, you ain't no pimp, dude!" The blind boy, looking for his money, says "Where's mah money?" A blonde girl speaks up and says "That's my money." Brian then replies; "Man you're just a Jealous motherfucker!", possibly since he is a pimp. Spirit approaches them, speaking in the same Native American language used in PSA04, also sampled from Brocket 99. The blind boy finds a cat in a hollow log. The girl then says that "it's such a wonderful experience here with the Indian."[23]
#19: Fire Alarm Starts with the scene of a house on fire. A boy challenges a boy to push a fire alarm saying, "Bet you won't touch that button, bitch." He tries to do so, but Barbecue approaches them, making the same noises he makes in "Kids Fry," stops the boy from pushing the button, and pops off his helmet. He says (with a slight Upper-Midwestern accent) "Hey guys. Ah, you know it's funny, these people, they go to sleep, they think everything's fine, everything's good... They wake up the next day and they're on fire."[24]
#20: Dockside Bars Two boys have a race through a park. One takes a nearby bicycle to cheat, while the other catches up, saying, "Hey, what the fuck? No way! Suck my dust, bitch!" Shipwreck stops them both, says, "I believe I knew your mother, son," and asks if his name happens to be Johnny. He then asks a series of questions implying that he is the boy's long-lost father. In the end, he asks "Does your mother still hang out at dockside bars?" The boy is bewildered, but Shipwreck follows up with his next question; "Johnny, do you play baseball?"[25] The line of questioning used by Shipwreck is reminiscent of Captain Oveur's questioning of a child passenger in the comedy film Airplane!.
#21: Water Skiing A child is waterskiing. She quickly falls off. Scarlett approaches and the child enthusiastically says, "My turn! My turn! My turn!". She then takes off on the water skis. Scarlett watches on and hums a tune, which develops into a scat singing improvisation session.[26]
#22: Mr. LaFitte Some kids are skateboarding in a roller park with sound effects from Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. Gung-Ho approaches with a girl he calls Susie. He acts with a flamboyant homosexual stereotype telling the girl, "Susie, don't forget your sandwiches!" The boys approach him and he says "Oh, you boys look so lovely in your little outfits." The Yellow Helmeted kid says "Hey! Whats up Miss, uhh..Mister LaFitte?" The Red Helmeted Kid says "Hey.. Watch me Ollie!", referring to a skating move. GungHo then says "I just want to eat you up!" Yellow Helmet Kid then says "Love the tattoo, Mr.LaFitte." GungHo places his hands onto his hips and says "Look at all your different colored hats!" (The Gung Ho character's name is Ettienne R. LaFitte)[27]
#23: Anime This PSA is entirely in Japanese. Kids are making a treehouse. One of them falls but Quick Kick arrives just in time to catch him. A nonsensical conversation in Japanese takes place, which consists mainly of stereotypical phrases from a Japanese-language learning course ("What time is it?", "Please wait while I change my clothes", "Nice to meet you", "How are you?", "Please call me in two or three days.") and has no relevance (when translated) to the incidents in the PSA. The closing chorus is sung in Japanese ("Jii waratashi fuzukuru!").[28] The timing, music, and ending are all parodies of classic anime.
#24: Buzz Lightyear Three boys are on a boat. One makes an insult about the other's mother ("I fuckin' haxxord your mom's ass last night"). The insulted boy replies with "You might want to put a vest on", and then proceeds to knock the insultee (who is not wearing a lifejacket) off the boat with the sail. The third boy then says "Orange vests are for pussies", clearly in a tone mocking a previous (unheard) conversation with the drowning boy, while wearing an orange vest himself. Deep Six arrives in a submersible boat and drags the boy to safety. Deep Six, still speaking in an unintelligible muffled falsetto through his diving mask, tries to lecture the boys. One of them asks, "Hey, aren't you Buzz Lightyear?", and another whispers "I love your movies." Deep Six gets noticeably angry about this comparison and shouts in his muffled voice.[29]
#25: Fuckin' Old School A girl turns to a boy and says "fuckin' old school". The boy in turn faints but it is edited to appear as if he is break dancing within a large group of children. A chiptunes instrumental plays throughout alongside sporadic crowd reactions. Airtight appears in an extreme close-up, and says (over the music) "Damn... these beats are so fresh... sssssssnap!"[30]

In popular culture[edit]

  • In the movie tie-in video game, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, the developers Double Helix Games had planned to include the line "Porkchop Sandwiches" from one of Fensler's film as an exclamation, and had every voice actor record that line for its use. However, Hasbro rejected its use, citing the need to avoid damaging pending lawsuits.[31]
  • In 2004, when the PSAs first came out, Fensler sold T-shirts with catchphrases from the videos:[32]
    • "Porkchop Sandwiches"
    • "Bus Rider"
    • "Body Massage"
    • "Help Computer"
While the original t-shirts ceased to be available years ago, apparel with various designs featuring some of these phrases are available through websites such as Cafe Press.
  • The second season episode "Hate Floats" of the animated series The Venture Bros features the character Henchman 21 wearing a "porkchop sandwiches" shirt in one of the few times he's seen out of uniform.
  • Weezer's "Pork and Beans" music video, which features stars of internet viral videos, contains a scene in which young animated versions of the band are seen listening to G.I. Joe member Gung Ho.
  • In the IDA comic book series of G.I. Joe, Storm Shadow indicates that he wants to leave early, as he's in the mood for porkchop sandwiches.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Fenslerfilm". Fenslerfilm. Retrieved 2013-08-16. 
  2. ^ Baldwin, Rosecrans (May 7, 2008). "The Digital Ramble: Military Investigation". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ DeMartino, Joe (June 13, 2011). "Eric Fensler: An interview with the creator of the GI Joe PSA parodies". WFMU. 
  4. ^ "TRS-80 at Frenetic Fringe Festival Sunday". 29-95.com. August 21, 2009. 
  5. ^ "PSA01". Fensler Film. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  6. ^ "PSA02". Fensler Film. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  7. ^ "PSA03". Fensler Film. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  8. ^ "PSA04". Fensler Film. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  9. ^ "PSA05". Fensler Film. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  10. ^ "PSA06". Fensler Film. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  11. ^ "PSA07". Fensler Film. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  12. ^ "PSA08". Fensler Film. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  13. ^ "PSA09". Fensler Film. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  14. ^ "PSA10". Fensler Film. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  15. ^ "PSA11". Fensler Film. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  16. ^ "PSA12". Fensler Film. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  17. ^ "PSA13". Fensler Film. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  18. ^ "PSA14". Fensler Film. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  19. ^ "PSA15". Fensler Film. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  20. ^ [1], A clip from the NBC series NewsRadio.
  21. ^ "PSA16". Fensler Film. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  22. ^ "PSA17". Fensler Film. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  23. ^ "PSA18". Fensler Film. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  24. ^ "PSA19". Fensler Film. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  25. ^ "PSA20". Fensler Film. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  26. ^ "PSA21". Fensler Film. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  27. ^ "PSA22". Fensler Film. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  28. ^ "PSA23". Fensler Film. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  29. ^ "PSA24". Fensler Film. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  30. ^ "PSA25". Fensler Film. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  31. ^ ""Porkchop Sandwiches" Cut from G.I. Joe Game". Gamer Vision. 2009-07-10. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  32. ^ "Fenslerfilm". Web.archive.org. 2004-10-11. Retrieved 2013-08-16. 

External links[edit]