| strange Educational comedy short mixing slapstick and political commentary
TECHNO-CRAZY has to be one of the strangest comedy shorts of the 1930's. Starring Monte Collins as a young man who dreams of technological progress in society bringing a "technocracy" that's a utopia and Billy Bevan as the Mayor, whose daughter Collins wants to marry, the short begins with a dream sequence where Collins is running a factory on his own and explaining to someone how no one needs to work in this new utopia and everything operates automatically. Collins wakes up from the dream, which leads into various physical comedy sequences at the home of the Mayor, and then with a police officer who keeps giving Collins tickets. Collins then escapes into a "social club" where everyone is a bearded radical (looking like the Russian nihilists and Bolsheviks depicted in clichéd silent movies) and want to bomb the Mayor to bring on "Technocracy." The end is surreal and must be seen to be believed. I'm not sure exactly what this film is parodying. Is it meant to be a parody of communism like the infamous "Hail, Brother"? Whatever it is, there are a lot of funny slapstick sequences, and Monte Collins is a great verbal comedian also, delivering the absurd rhapsodies to technocracy. Mostly, though, this film is of interest because it is so odd. I wonder if a 1933 viewer would pick up on the details of what is being parodied more than I am. It's also worth noting that this predates MODERN TIMES.