Video Digest: January 12, 2007

Great movies in children's hands: Convincing Jaws made by 12-year-olds; Star Wars doctored with other James Earl Joneses; Spiders in the hands of narcotics; Pierced water balloon convinces you you're the one on drugs; Drunk driver pulls Fosse steps; and some jumping ducks, just because.

In the summer of 1979, my older brother and I, along with my three cousins, decided to remake Star Wars on our family’s Super 8. Actually, they decided and I tagged along, because at five years old, I apparently had nothing better to do than to absorb petty insults and/or be ignored. The Star Wars summer is fabled in our household, because it contained so much youthful vigor and optimism. At least, it did for my brother, who had cast himself in the role of Han Solo, as well as director. For me, not so much. Dying to play Princess Leia, I was instead cast as R2D2, and watched helplessly as most of my scenes were cut for budget reasons. This was a pattern that would haunt me to adulthood: Yearning for the leading role, but being stuck as a character actor.

Ultimately, the Star Wars remake lasted two minutes and consisted mostly of a prolonged shot of the Millennium Falcon, swinging back and forth on a string. That’s why it’s so incredible to see this nine-minute Jaws remake, filmed by a group of 12-year-olds in 1978. Shot on location, with a model shark that must have seemed impressive at the time, it’s an inspired homage that sort of makes me miss the days of Super 8.

If you only read this far in the video digest because you thought I was going to link to something about Star Wars, well, you’re in luck. “The Vader Sessions” uses the spliced voice of James Earl Jones to tell a story from a galaxy even further away. Thanks to VD (yikes!) friend Stephen for sending us this link.

Here’s another inspired homage, in this case, to the grainy nature films of the 1960s. Ever wonder what happens when spiders are given drugs? Meet the marijuana spider, the crack spider, and the caffeine spider, among others.

I don’t have much to say about the following video. I just think it’s really cool. It’s a water balloon popping in slow motion. Whoa: For a second there, I thought I was the LSD spider.

Have you ever been stopped for driving erratically? This is after, say, a few drinks at a cocktail party? And by a “few drinks” we mean “a few keg stands.” And by “cocktail party” we mean “a bender with the Bush twins.” Well, then you know how scary it can be. See how one man confronts the bright white lights of traffic patrol.

And special, just for you: Mandarin ducks jumping out of a tree.

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