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THE BLAIR THUMB

Review by Michael Jacobson

Creator:  Steve Oedekerk
Director:  Todd Portugal
Audio:  Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Stereo
Video:  Full Frame 1.33:1
Studio:  Image Entertainment
Features:  See Review
Length:  28 Minutes
Release Date:  January 22, 2002

“Quick…get back to the tent!”

“Oh, of course!  The tent's safe!  Nothing can penetrate that NYLON!!”

Film ***

Steve Oedekerk is back, and he's still all thumbs. 

He follows up his surprising comic hit featurette Thumb Wars with another thumbs-up spoof.  This time, it's The Blair Thumb.  And once again, though he's chosen a film that's been parodied numerous times, he proves that his cast of opposables are unstoppable…this is very funny stuff.

It all starts when three college students head out into the woods to make a documentary about the Blair Thumb, without a tripod.  Stressy, the director, leads her two panic-prone helpmates Jish and Vic (short for Victim) on a quest for the legendary spook.

And of course, it doesn't take long before things start going seriously wrong.  Stressy's hand drawn map disappears.  They walk in circles and keep coming up on the same spot (it's clearly marked).  They hear strange noises.  They get attacked in the middle of the night by…actually, you won't believe it unless you see it for yourself.

Fans of The Blair Witch Project, of which I am one, are going to have the most fun with this.  The characterizations of the three principals are dead-on funny, and such obvious throwbacks to the original film that it becomes half the fun.  The language is toned town a bit, naturally (Vic likes to say “Oh, spit!” over and over), but the humor never is.  This film is one gag after another…most all of them work, too.

Steve Oedekerk and his comic cast are definitely on to something here.  I've enjoyed his first two thumb releases immensely, and I'm looking very forward to the next installment.  Plenty of pop culture event movies to spoof out there…my suggestion?  Thumb and Thumber…

Video ***1/2

This is a quality full frame presentation…like the movie it spoofs, this one feature black and white and color footage, mostly all video, but presented with good coloring and clear, crisp images.  I noticed no softness, blurriness, or distortions to mar the presentation…not that the video quality is the premiere attraction here, of course, but a good looking transfer is always welcome in my home.

Audio ***

The 5.1 audio is nicely done…the rear stage mostly handles subtle ambient effects and parts of the music while the front stage handles most of the dialogue, with some good panning effects here and there.  A very workable and good mix overall.

Features ***

You have a choice of two commentary tracks…one labeled ‘sane', which features Oedekerk and his crew cheerfully reminiscing the film, the production, the mistakes, and so on…the other tagged ‘insane', which is an acute description…it's neither informative nor entertaining.  A short ‘outtakes' reel is amusing, as are the trailers for films that I hope are actually all going to be made…Bat Thumb looks most promising.  There is a making-of featurette, which, like the movie, is not to be taken seriously, plus two deleted scenes and storyboards.  

Summary:

The Blair Thumb is a lot of laughs packed into a DVD that sells for $9.99 or less…I call that a good deal.  Steve Oedekerk and his thumbs continue to be welcome additions to my library.