For more than 10 years, the guys from Everything Is Terrible! have scowered Earth searching for the best-worst home movies, infomercials, self-help tapes, and anything else on VHS that could induce nightmares.
Amsterdam Bar and Hall
Though they weren’t the first to begin the found-footage phenomenon, EIT is known for taking things one step further by cutting, pasting, and recontextualizing their finds to form (sort of) cohesive full-length movies.
Recently the EIT crew unleashed their latest creation, The Great Satan, which takes remnants of all sorts of batshit “say no to the devil” type youth groups and homemade Lucifer-worship programs to reimagine the struggle between good and evil.
“We knew we wanted to do a movie that focused on the devil, because we had so many Satanic-panic tapes with similar themes,” EIT co-founder Dimitri “Ghoul Skool” Simakis says ahead of his crew's show Monday at St. Paul's Amsterdam Bar & Hall.
If you aren’t familiar with “Satanic-panic,” think religious zealots, evangelical ducks, Muppet-like monsters, and horned demons. If you've never seen a room full of overly-enthused youth pastors and confused teens chanting, “VIRGINITY IS COOL!” at the top of their lungs, then this is the film for you.
This latest release has been a labor of love for the EIT guys. Over the past year and a half they've watched over 2,000 hours of footage, categorizing and piecing it together.
“I could have easily worked on it for another six months, if I’m being honest," he admits. "But eventually you have to decide it’s good enough.”
And while the trailer itself gives you a look at just how weird and insane the footage is, Simakis points out that there are boundaries to what they’ll include.
“We have surprisingly weak stomachs,” he says. “I think a lot of people assume we’re into Faces of Death and stuff like that, but I’ve never watched any of that. We want it be fun and not just sad.”
While the film itself is great, the best part of EIT has to be their live shows.
“We try to immerse the audience in the insanity,” Simakis laughs.
Real-life monsters (or guys in costumes with golden VHS tapes around their necks) will lord over the confused and delighted audience, as they search their souls for whether or not to accept Satan into their hearts.
“Satan himself just might make an appearance. I mean, he definitely will,” Simakis adds.
As for what the future holds, the gang of video scavengers don’t have any plans of slowing down anytime soon, or sacrificing their quest for quality.
“We still probably use about 90 percent VHS,” Simakis says. “But we aren’t opposed to going online. We just want to make sure that it still has an element of ‘found’ footage to it. We’ve talked about doing an entire YouTube movie someday, and maybe we still will.”
IF YOU GO:
Everything Is Terrible! Live!
Amsterdam Bar & Hall
Doors 7 p.m., show 8 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 19
Amsterdam Bar and Hall