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The last new VHS tape rolled off the assembly line in 2008, but here at the Found Footage Festival the format has never been more alive. We found more tapes at thrift stores across the country this year than in any other year since we started collecting in 1991. It’s been fun to share the spoils of our harvest each week on our website and at our live shows, but as we prepare for a big 2011 tour, we thought we’d take a moment to reflect on the VHS gems that warmed our blackened hearts in 2010.

10. Yo-Yo Woman

What’s more exciting than watching “the best yo-yoist there is in the world,” Linda Sengpiel, in action? How about having the opportunity to win $100,000 of her hard-earned yo-yo dollars? Go ahead, grab a couple of yo-yos and a guy who’ll sit in a chair and let you fling them at his face, then get practicing!

9. Danny Bonaduce’s Mortal Kombat

Home movies are always our favorite finds because they rarely turn up at thrift stores and when they do, they’re almost always boring. So when a friend sent us a home movie he’d found of a “Mortal Kombat” martial arts demonstration shot in a gymnasium, we were understandably excited. And when we spotted former child star Danny Bonaduce doing nunchucks, we could barely contain our video boners.

8. Crystal Stix

Our pal Harry Loomer-Young found this confusing promotional video for a hippie’s brand of devil sticks in Wisconsin earlier this year and it literally left us breathless. You’d think that host Bill Vestal’s silver ponytail would be the standout here but no. We were unable to focus on anything other than his frequent and intense inhalations at the end of sentences. Here are all of those inhalations in a row.

7. Computer Beach Party: Glass of Water

We find a lot of feature-length movies on VHS but we never considered any of them worthy of showing until we found “Computer Beach Party,” a 1985 sex comedy that time simply forgot. It’s hard to put into words just how perplexing and remarkable this movie is, but this soon-to-be classic scene between the two romantic leads will give you some idea.

6. What I Want

God bless David Cross, who somehow got his hands on this raw footage from an aborted self-help infomercial and sent it our way. Is there really anything more to life than wanting to touch people and wanting them to touch you? Yes. There are also amazing “Running Wild” t-shirts, for one.

5. Shattered: If Your Kid’s On Drugs

Where has this 1986 anti-drug movie been all our lives? Not only does it feature a young Dermot Mulroney, it’s hosted by Burt Reynolds and Judd Nelson, who we think may have done this as part of some court-ordered rehab program. Regardless, it’ll make you think twice about forcing your girlfriend into prostitution.

4. Cat Training With Trisha Menke

We know, we know, it’s another cat video on the internet, but trust us, “Cat Training With Trisha Menke” is not just another cat video on the internet. Cats wearing sunglasses, cats dressed in football uniforms, cats peeing on toilets, and a cat trainer who seems more like a Catherine O’Hara character in a Christopher Guest movie than a real person. This video is what every other cat video on the internet aspires to be.

3. Another Side of Jack Rebney

In 2010, we couldn’t have been prouder to play a part in the awesome documentary, “Winnebago Man,” about the man behind the profanity-laced outtakes we found on tape back in 1999. Watch these rarely seen deep cuts from the raw footage, then check out “Winnebago Man” on DVD for the full story.

2. When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

We’ve been counting our blessings ever since stumbling across a whole series of sing-along videos at thrift stores in southern Wisconsin earlier this year. I guess you could call it the luck of the "Irsh." And this just in: we tracked down the production company and the singer a couple of months ago and paid them to make a custom sing-along video just for us! Can’t wait to show it off in Volume 5.

1. Phone Jeopardy

Maybe it’s the schadenfreude of watching Little Mr. Perfect get flustered, maybe it’s the nostalgia of seeing Alex Trebek with a mustache (the only Alex Trebek we officially recognize), or maybe it’s just the fun of watching a TV celebrity say the f-word. For whatever reason, these outtakes from a 1990 Phone Jeopardy promo were our favorite find of 2010. It’s been a tough year, but as Alex Trebek so wisely summed up, “Fuck it!”

See You In 2011!
Joe & Nick

When we were in Vancouver last year, we came across a DVD titled "Hank’s Christmas Glitter 2005." It turned out to be an hour long video of this enthusiastic guy, Hank, videotaping Christmas lights around Vancouver neighborhoods. We looked him up and realized he’s released one video every Christmas since 2004 (we can only imagine that HXG 2010 is currently in production). So we bought the others and are proud to display a few of the glitteriest.

While trolling thrift stores around the country for found videos, I find a lot of children’s birthday party invitations and I’m always struck by the same questions: How did they end up here? Did the kid’s party get cancelled? Did they not have enough friends? And what poor sap’s mother thought her son would want Go-Bots invitations?

Journey back to a time when there was no Facebook, no eVite, and no internet. When you actually had to choose the eight friends you wanted to attend your birthday party and hand them invitations at school. When birthday parties weren’t just meet-ups at local bars, but fun-filled occasions with games, cake and your favorite pop culture icons adorning plates and party hats.

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(l) Teens really, really love dancing!

(r) I like my birthday parties dark and foreboding, but the wacky, colorful lettering spoils the mood.

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The inside of these invitations read: "…ALL SYSTEMS GO FOR INTERGALACTIC GOOD TIME!" Androids really know how to party.

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(l) I used to have the biggest crush on Barbara Eden in "I Dream of Jeannie," then I saw her wear the Jeannie costume on the Jenny Jones show in the late-90s. There’s a time and a place.

(r) Is there anything less tough than a New Kids on the Block party?

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(l) These are solid invites. Simple design and all your favorite super heroes. And Aquaman, too.

(r) Not to be confused with the "A-Team" invitations, these were for the "Mister T" cartoon, where he was teamed up with a bunch of teenage gymnasts for some reason.

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These invitations shoot the moon by including everything that a teenager could possibly be interested in: burgers, fries, pizza, tapes, records, stereos, and rainbows.

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(l) Kudos to Budweiser for creating the most shameless invitations of all time.

(r) This invitation set is the only remaining evidence that the Wuzzles ever existed.

 —Nick

This week’s Cover of the Week is a telemarketing training video sent in by an anonymous pal. Yes, that is a leprechaun on the cover. God bless you, anonymous pal!

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Wow! We’ve never seen this many Biblemans in one place! (Kenosha, WI)

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Hey, pals. We’re not immune to the lure of Cyber Monday sales. In fact, we’ve got our own cyber-week sale going on in the Found Footage Store. All DVDs, including the brand-new Volume 5 are 30% OFF this week. Offer expires Saturday, December 4.

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For Thanksgiving Awareness Week, we give thanks for this video about sharp knives, made by a guy who geeks out on stabbing and slicing various inanimate objects and cares just a little too much about the sharpness of his instruments.

We are also thankful for this sales tape for the E-Z Catch Harvester, which is a useful item if you have thousands of chickens in your coop and no time to catch them individually. Thankfully there’s no footage of where these chickens are headed, so you can still gleefully enjoy your meat-filled day tomorrow. Also, there will be stuffing.

Happy Thanksgiving to all you knife carving enthusiasts and mechanically-harvested chicken fans out there!

This week, in honor of Canadian Thanksgiving, we are honoring the great men of Canada during Canada Awareness Week. We’ve got so many videos in our Canadian archives, we didn’t know where to begin. So we begin with Thor, the creator of a genre called "muscle-rock." In his Vegas stage show, the born entertainer not only sings, but also performs feats of strength–with his lungs. Have you ever seen Thor and John Schneider in a room together at the same time? Here he is…Thor.

In the second installment of Canada Awareness Week, we have found an incredible piece of history. Clearly inspired by the Chicago Bears’ cringe-inducing "Superbowl Shuffle," this Canadian hockey team put together a video for "Red Hot," their own theme song. One person is clearly singing, but everybody lip-syncs. What the hell is going on here?

We spotted the painting from the home movie we featured in "Religious Medley" at a St. Vinny’s in Shelby Township, MI!

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In honor of this week’s Michigan tour, kicking off in Grand Rapids, here’s a sneak peek at new drawings from Johnny Ryan for Volume 5.

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