The Movie Orgy is a 1968 film directed by Joe Dante and produced by Jon Davison. It was an evolving compilation of film clips, commercials, and film trailers, initially assembled by Dante when he was an undergraduate at the Philadelphia College of Art. At its longest, it ran for seven-and-a-half hours and could be considered the analog prelude to the mash-up videos and supercut edits now prevalent on digital platforms like YouTube and Vimeo.
|The Movie Orgy|
|Directed by||Joe Dante|
|Produced by||Jon Davison|
|Edited by||Joe Dante|
The film stands as a simultaneous celebration and campy twerking of mid-20th century Americana, culling liberally from the B-movie cinema of Dante and Davison's youth, early TV commercials, newsreel footage of early A-bomb tests, cartoons, westerns, sci-fi and war movies as well as clips from children's TV shows its college-age audiences had forgotten they had seen. Perhaps most memorable among these is the excerpted moment from Andy's Gang of a puppeteer-controlled cat and mouse performing “Jesus Loves Me".
Elements of several features are revisited throughout the movie as recurrent, serialized comic motifs. Among these serialized movies in the longer-form version was College Confidential, Speed Crazy, Earth vs. the Flying Saucers and at various times the original Little Shop of Horrors, I Was a Teenage Werewolf, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, Beginning of the End, The Amazing Colossal Man and several others that were rotated in and out. Bizarre non-sequitur elements are featured in between the recurrent narrative vignettes, including strange advertisements and educational films. The film was designed to be a free-flowing, communal audience experience. Interactivity (e.g. sing-alongs to showcased television show theme songs) was encouraged.
Among the numerous celebrities featured were Alfred Hitchcock, The Beatles, Ann-Margret, Ngo Dinh Diem, Groucho Marx, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, President Richard M. Nixon (captured during his Checkers speech), Dean Martin, and comedians Abbott and Costello.
The Movie Orgy comprises clips of copyrighted materials, and thus the film can only be shown for free when it plays museums and cinemas around the world. Joe Dante retains a copy.
- Erickson, Glenn, "The Movie Orgy: Savant Screening Revival Notes". DVD Savant. April 26, 2008.
- "TFH Exclusive: A Clip from THE MOVIE ORGY", Trailers From Hell.
- Joe Dante about "The Movie Orgy" on Vimeo
- Kehr, Dave, "Saved From Extinction: Classics and Curiosities", The New York Times, October 13, 2011.
- "BAMcinématek 2016 series: Joe Dante at the Movies - The Movie Orgy". Brooklyn Academy of Music. August 7, 2016.
- Bramesco, Charles, "Richard Nixon, Betty Boop, and Tampons: Revisiting Joe Dante's Infamous Movie Orgy". Vulture. January 2, 2019.
- Quinlan, David. Quinlan's Film Directors. Sterling Publishing, 1999, ISBN 0-7134-8698-8
- Klein, Joshua, "Interview: Joe Dante". The A.V. Club (The Onion). November 29, 2000
- Abrams, Simon, "Like Going To Church: Joe Dante On The Movie Orgy". RogerEbert.com. August 8, 2016.
- "Joe Dante Interview". Kinematrix.