Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan



Christopher Haden-Guest, 5th Baron Haden-Guest (yes, that really is his name) was one of the writers of This is Spinal Tap, one of the best “mockumentaries” ever made. He also played one of the boys, Nigel Tufnel. He is one of my favorite directors but he works all too infrequently. When he does, he is the best there is at this type of movie.

America is awash in specialized enthusiasts. (Probably the rest of the world, too, but I’m not an authority.) There is no field of human endeavor so obscure that it doesn’t have its group of people who live and breathe it, and they take it dead seriously. It can be fairly large groups like folk singers (A Mighty Wind and dog breeders (Best in Show, or a smaller one, like small-town theatricals (Waiting For Guffman). Here we have a truly small group: mascots. You know, those guys and gals who dress up in costumes with weird heads and cavort around the sidelines of sports games. Do they really have championship meets, like we see here? I don’t know, but I’d be surprised if they didn’t. There is always a competition, and they keep the sellers of two-bit trophies in business.

This one is very good. Guest has come up with some of the weirdest costumes you will ever see, anywhere. One guy portrays a character called Joe the Plumber. His routine consists of trying to unclog a huge toilet, and when he does, a little dancing turd pops out of it. That’s just one of many. As always, these characters are totally committed to this life, and deliver the most outrageous speeches with totally deadpan faces. Guest has a sort of repertory company of actors, about a dozen of them, like Fred Willard, Jane Lynch, and Parker Posey, and they are all present and accounted for. Apparently the scripts are fairly loose, and Guest lets them improvise all like crazy. They are all very good at it. I highly recommend it, but it may be hard to find. It is a Netflix original. I suppose it will be out on DVD eventually.