The Ketchup & Mustard Man
The Ketchup & Mustard Man By Mike White. The Ketchup & Mustard Man (dir. Cory McAbee)
I saw The Ketchup & Mustard Man at the ’96 Chicago Underground Film Festival and have been wanting to see it again ever since...
The Ketchup & Mustard Man (dir. Cory McAbee)
I saw The Ketchup & Mustard Man at the ’96 Chicago Underground Film Festival and have been wanting to see it again ever since. How’s that for a sign that I dig this offbeat film highly?
Something like a performance art piece caught on film, TK&MM is a great mix of music and story-telling by The Billy Nayer Show which primarily consists of two guys, Cory McAbee and Bobby Lurie, who have also collaborated on several albums and a few other short films.
The Ketchup & Mustard Man (Cory McAbee) is the main character of the film, a creature with a huge, striped, malformed, paper maché head with big maraca-looking hands who tells the story of the Little Princess. He spins a tale around her return from Paris and sings songs dedicated to Ham, Scotsie (a half little guy/half hot dog), and the Little Princess’ sister, among others. This is intercut with footage of McAbee (not in costume) telling the same stories and singing the same songs. While mixing these settings, the film also mixes color and black & white footage which, along with fast-paced editing, always keeps a film with two relatively static characters (McAbee stays seated for both roles) interesting.
The stories are entertaining and the songs are all very catchy (the soundtrack is a great investment). My favorite part of the filmthe scene that kept coming back to me for the last few yearsis the song about a group of astronauts who are lost in space for seven years. The song "Seven" is a great little ditty and the footage that compliments it is hilarious: the Ketchup and Mustard Man back-up band plays, the Ketchup & Mustard Man sings, and a determined dancer gyrates wildly for a crowd of belligerent men.
The film is available on tape with two other BNS shorts; the pixelvision Man on the Moon (which felt a little long) and the hysterical and beautifully animated (with house paint!) Billy Nayer. The unique and entertaining The Ketchup & Mustard Man is truly the gem of the tape.
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