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December 27th, 2000

Intermission Films

Since the drive-in is dead and double-features are extremely rare, a commerical artform known as the “intermission film” has slipped into obscurity.

With similar retro appeal to mental hygiene films, intermission films served as a bumper between movies or at a midway point during a drive-in feature. They almost always were a vehicle to sell items from the concession stand, but were often more creative than the movies themselves. For instance, while watching It’s Intermission Time! Vol. 5 from Something Weird Video (by way of Atomic Books), I saw an intermission film pushing Dr. Pepper. It dated from probably the early to mid-1960’s and featured what I swear was the first rap song ever recorded as a film soundtrack.

One interesting take-off of intermission films that Exhumed Films owns is a bizarre little countdown piece that features animated hot dogs doing the nasty, cocaine-snorting noses with feet, dancing joints, and the answer to how the butter really gets on the popcorn. You’ve gotta see it to believe it.

Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing a few previews replaced by creative (perhaps retro) spots pushing refreshments. Especially if they involved hot dogs in compromising positions. -ram

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

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