Some of the best parts of the Quentin Tarintino/Robert Rodriguez experiment, Grindhouse, were the fake horror movie trailers that accompanied it. The duo recruited director friends Eli Roth and Edgar Wright to play around with the concept, and the results proved so popular that Rodriguez’s own entry, Machete, eventually spun off into its own weird film series. But what if Tarantino and Rodriguez had recruited filmmakers to take on some of the adjacent genres of schlocky racing movies? It would look a lot like the four-minute clip, The Second Sound Barrier, which is quietly an ad for a high-end cologne, though you wouldn’t know from the looks of it.
The only brand integrations worth watching are usually the ones where somebody smart gives a known creative entity a bunch of money and gets out of the way. Everybody wins here. Tim and Eric get to cut loose and have a little fun with what they’re making (it’s almost always Tim and Eric), the viewers enjoy it, and the brand cultivates an aura of “These guys get it.” In the instance of The Second Sound Barrier, somebody from designer Robert Graham’s line of fragrances brought on board David Wain and Michael Showalter, the team behind Wet Hot American Summer, and it was probably the best professional decision that somebody ever made.
Showalter and Wain obviously did their homework before approaching this send-up of goofy ’70s racing movies, and they treat it with the fidelity they gave to Wet Hot and their romantic comedy spoof, They Came Together. All the bizarre staples of this very specific niche are there, including a robot, gratuitous near-nudity, and a big dance number. The simple, yet somehow overwrought plot involves Juliette Lewis’s Lady Billionaire enlisting a team of speed racers to go faster than the speed of sound. This pit crew is played by Vincent Kartheiser, Jeremy Sisto, and Peter Mensah, who all have on-the-nose names like Charles Michael Fortitude. Ken Marino steals the show, though, as a lawyer with some impressive non-sequiturs, such as “You want a happy ending? GO BACK TO DES MOINES!” and “Well, I guess it really is Howdy Doody Time … literally.” Visual non-sequiturs abound too, including an inexplicable one-second shot from the movie Weird Science. And lest the trailer-ness of it all not come across, the filmmakers even include this fake-pull quote: “A Pulse-Pounding Pound of Pulsating Poundage.”
The way things are going these days, you can expect Netflix will order The Second Sound Barrier to series any day now.
Watch the full faux-trailer below.