H.R. PUKENSETTEWritten, Produced, and Directed by Steve Herold
Edited by Phillip Botti
Director of Photography - Richard Seigel
Dude - Joe McClean
Chick - Sabrina Gennarino
HR - Kevin Kolack
Parodies are judged by how funny they are. If the jokes work and the audience gets the humor then the piece is a success. If the jokes miss the mark then the piece fails. It's pretty cut and dry. AIRPLANE worked, MAFIA didn't. NAKED GUN worked, NAKED GUN 331/3 didn't. When parodies fail it's often pretty damned embarrassing.
Steve Herold's H.R. PUKENSHETTE is 10 minutes of straight-up hilarity, and the short length helps make it a success. There's no time to drag things out and let the premise grow stale. Then again, how can a talking pile of puke ever grow old?
PUKENSHETTE is born from the liquor-abused bowels of The Dude, a young man whose Chick didn't just leave him but made sure he was nothing more than a pale shadow of his former self by berating Dude's small penis and receding hairline before she slammed the door on his whimpering ass.
What happened to the friendly days of P.C. when girls just wanted to be friends?
Those days of happiness and sunshine have long since been left by the wayside. Thanks to bullshit groups like Manbla, gone are the days of young boys blowing on magical flutes while midgets dressed as fairy creatures and danced about. Innocence has long since been replaced by tabloid headlines about 8 year olds getting knocked up and priests who, when it comes to the alter boys, can't tell the difference between the age of reason and the age of consent.
As a society we've come along way since the heyday of Sid and Marty Kroft and we've gotten a hell of a lot angrier. Today we get puppets born of vomit and feces, something I'm sure would have put the Kroft's spinning into an early grave.
The old farts...
Boy, I'm seriously digressing here...
After Dude attempts to drink himself to death, H.R. PUKENSHETTE springs forth from a puddle of vomit like a demented Venus on the Halfshell. Like all smelly Frenchmen before him, PUKENSHETTE is all hot air. His purpose is to bring Dude out of the dumps, but the lumpy pink mass really has no clue about what the hell he's talking about. Like a pile of puke can ever make up for the loving arms of blonde sex-volcano stuck on constant eruption.
While I usually don't find meanspirited parodies humorous, all the jokes of H.R. hit their marks with a strong emphasis on the times in which we live. Made in 2000, even the French speaking pile of vomit feels reflexive of the current state of our nations war with Iraq. It's a completely unintentional jab, but when viewed in the context of today's society adds extra bite to PUKENSHETTE's angry sense of black humor.
I doubt Herold ever wanted to make a political film, instead opting to just have a good time while riffing on shows he grew up with, but he's ended up with the mother of all underground comedies. H.R. PUKENSHETTE doesn't just poke fun at our childhood memories, it subverts the popculture that's molded us in the society we've become.