25 February 2010

Monster Truck Bloopers 3

Monster Truck Bloopers 3
United States – 1993
Director – a bunch of drunk rednecks
Superior Promotions Inc., 1993, VHS
Run Time – 30 minutes

I have no personal experience with monster trucks. I have never been to a monster truck show and so, the only way I can make an assessment is through secondary sources. My impressions of monster truck culture are filtered through other people’s interpretations. They tell me what they think is interesting or important or fun about the event. Television advertisements for monster truck shows I assume, are intended to appeal to a slightly wider audience than the typical attendee. People who like something will consume it because they already know its merits. But you do have to present it in a format that will be comfortable to the established audience.

As such, my understanding of monster trucks is based on the accounts of people I know who have gone, and a handful of advertisements. From the former I have learned that monster truck shows are very, very loud, almost deafeningly so. Additionally I have been led to believe that monster truck shows are mostly just a stadium full of drunk redneck fistfights with trucks in the background. Understandably most of us notice the most shocking aspects of any experience, those things farthest outside our personal “normalcy”, and are likely to overemphasize those things in retelling. Hence it may be an artifact of cultural experience that all of the eyewitnesses whom I have talked to emphasize the overwhelming presence of rednecks and/or hillbillies brawling in the stands at monster truck shows.

That said, nobody has ever told me about what the trucks actually do at one of these events. It doesn’t appear to be entertaining enough for my friends to mention, or to keep the rednecks in their seats. My hope was that this tape would give me a glimpse into the monster truck culture as its participants see it, a self identification. Hence, I watched it with a feeling of anticipation, a desire to get an inside look at a foreign culture. Having done so, I found that it was simply monster trucks and other cars driving over and through stuff and then wrecking, machines pushed to cartoonish extremes. The tape lays this bare. I expected copious accidents, broken shit and wrecks, and I got them. But if this tape is really the primary source I believe it is, then clearly the breaking and wrecks are as much par for the course as the wheelies and crushed station wagons. There really is no such thing as a “blooper” in a niche field defined by boisterous extremes.

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