(UPDATED: 25/07/06 – links added to Monty Python vs. Star Wars, a couple more excellent fake trailers, French bootlegs, and a potted history of musical mashups.)
Since last week’s foray into the wonderful world of fake trailers was so enjoyable, I thought I’d take a step back and run through a few more of my favourite mashups and recuts, all of which are available absolutely free of charge for your downloading or streaming pleasure.
If you enjoyed the trailers, there’s a near-comprehensive list of recut trailers on wikipedia. There are links to all trailers mentioned in the article.
None of them are quite as polished as the dazzling 24-carat comedy gold of Shining or Titanic: Two the Surface. In fact, a lot of them are quite frankly sub-amateur drivel; so be warned. However, School of Rock (redone as a creepy thriller), West Side Story (redone as a zombie horror), Must Love Jaws (Jaws reimagined as a family comedy-drama) and 10 Things I Hate About Commandments (Biblical epic recut as US high school teen drama) are definitely worth a look. Also interesting is American Pie (recut as a slasher horror flick) for pioneering the use of post-production digital effects in recut trailers.
On a slightly different note, the excellent Vader Sessions is more mashup now, than movie:
It takes scenes of Darth Vader in Star Wars (voiced by James Earl Jones) and overdubs carefully-selected dialogue from other JEJ films. Hilarity ensues. Favourite moment: the bit where Vader is interrogating a rebel pilot overdubbed with “I’m takin’ your momma on a date. Can you dig that? A date.”
Staying on a Star Wars tip is this sublime mashup of Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Star Wars. It uses Vader overdubs to put an alternative spin on the encounter between Arthur and the black knight. Also features lightsabers.
Here’s one which falls into the “It’s not strictly a mashup, but…” category. Most will have heard of the purported “Dark Side of the Rainbow” effect; the idea that Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon synchronises almost flawlessly with the first 40 minutes of The Wizard of Oz. Well, now you can see for yourself by checking out this story on Videosift. My opinion: it’s not quite there, but it’s close at times (such as when Dorothy falls off the fence about 5 minutes in and the music changes).
The music mashup scene has been around a lot longer than video recuts (which only really became popular at the end of last year). As a result, there’s plenty of fine bootlegs and bastard pop available on the internet.
San Francisco is a hotbed of mashup talent, with artists from around the area holding a monthly mashup party. Below I’ve listed some of my favourite mashup artists from the SF scene:
Party Ben is one of the most popular mashup artists on the scene and his latest track, I Feel Crazy–a mashup of Donna Summer & Gnarls Barkley–is fairly representative of his ecstatic, disco-themed mashups.
DJ Jay-R generally produces fairly simple yet maddeningly addictive mashups of two or three tunes. My favourite tracks are:
DJ Earworm is quite simply the best out there, in my opinion. Earworm is known for producing precision works of supreme acoustic cut-uppery and mashup symphonies. One of his tracks, What’s My Name, is an insane mashup of over 20 different songs (from Britney to Lynyrd Skynyrd). My other favourite Earworm tracks are:
Smash-Up Derby are an unusual case: a six-piece band who play live mashup music. This doesn’t always work as well as studio-based stuff (case in point: their mashup of Smells Like Billie Jean), but they do it probably as well as it can be done, given the obvious limitations, and they’re pretty unique. Their standout track for me is Sweet Nation Army Dreams (White Stripes vs. Eurythmics).
Outside the SF scene, Doppelbanger is one of my favourite mashup artists. He often mashes up hiphop, R&B and gangsta rap with European IDM, house and electronica. Contrary to all expectations, it works beautifully. My favourites are:
More Euro-mashups can be found at this French bootlegs blog. It includes links to the latest mp3s from the mashup scene. Warning: since links are off-site, I can’t vouch for the quality of them all, but it does link to some stuff by Dunproofin, a UK mashup artist who has released some quality tracks.
Finally, here’s a link to an mp3 (70MB) of a show first broadcast on London’s XFM radio station in 2004 which attempts to chronicle the history of remixes, recuts, bootlegs and mashups in the 20th Century… In just under an hour. Awesome.
So there you have it; more mashup goodness than a sane mind could hope to comprehend.