Gizmo! (1977) Howard Smith

Gizmo! (1977)

Genre: Documentary | Mondo | Comedy
Director: Howard Smith
Country: USA
Language: English
Subtitles: none
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Length: 76mn
File: Dvdrip Xvid Avi - 528x384 - 25fps - 699mb

Ah, the 1930’s: twenty years after the airplane was invented, unsatisfied people in barns and backyards everywhere were going back to the drawing board, once again trying to conquer the skies. Gizmo! is a hilarious collage of humorous human feats and people with no engineering experience trying to kill themselves in front of cameras with various, homemade flying constructs.

A waitress is busted by the cops for crossing Times Square on a zip-line, human flies take out insurance policies on themselves and scale newly-built skyscrapers, and men who can vomit at will demonstrate the potential of the human race. In this melee of inspiration, Rube Goldberg inventions were all the rage, destined to make everyone rich and change the world. Impractical labor-saving devices promised to make Americans fat and lazy years before cable TV and Funyuns. Gizmo! stands as both a testament to human ingenuity and sublime human foolishness. It comes off like an early 20th century 'Americas Funniest Home Videos,' happily, without the goofy voices and the canned laughter or members of the 'Full House' cast.

Comedian Milt Moss dutifully reads the glib narration, but the clips are often funny enough without the monologue. The soundtrack is odd, a misfit conglomeration of the director’s brother’s proto-electronica band, latin jazz and strange, but topical 70’s easy listening songs. It’s disarming to see silly vintage film juxtaposed with such an equally dated custom soundtrack.

GIZMO is a delightful, comedic presentation of the human spirit of determination and the willingness to take physical risks to overcome obstacles. The centuries old saying that fact is stranger than fiction is very much exemplified by the characters appearing in this film. The most bizarre fact is that this is actual footage without any actors and actresses performing the sometimes hilarious feats of human endurance. The movie is wholesome entertainment that should bring about a laugh or two at a family gathering. It would also be a splendid tool for a motivational seminar. Laughter is sometimes the best medicine, and GIZMO might be a remedy!


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