The year was 2002.
Heady times indeed for a promising young Canadian musician named Kazzer, né Mark Kasprzyk. He managed to capture Canada's imagination with a hit single that shot all the way to #26 on the Canadian charts, and for reasons unexplained, #71 on the Austrian charts. The song was "Pedal to the Metal" and it essentially epitomizes the deep philosophical undercurrents that lend greater understanding to the fact that cars are awesome.
Somehow this song has not been featured on the soundtrack to every "Fast & Furious" so far.
Anyhow, the song is pretty awesome, and usually I'd be content to leave it at that, but the video puts it over the top. Let's go through it and see what makes it so great.
Oh, goddammit VEVO. Fine, you'll just have to have two windows open to enjoy this properly.
0:00-0:23 - Here we get a real long establishing shot setting the scene and letting us know that this video is going to be about cars, people tuning up cars, and car racing. Look, I know this site is the offshoot of a sports site, but that doesn't mean we have to stick to that. Non-athletes like race car drivers need attention too.
0:24-0:26 - Kazzer, our hero, appears from under the hood of the car, his hair tousled, his eyes squinty, ready to spit mad rap-rock lyrics at 'chu.
0:27-0:28 - All of a sudden Kazzer's sitting on the hood of his car like a 12-year-old in summertime, except that his hair is all of a sudden Steve Nash's. I guess all Canadians do look alike.
0:29-0:31 - Kazzer bobs his head from side to side a bit, and we love him for it.
0:32 - WHOA! Where the hell did that come from? Some high-flying action as Kazzer sticks the dismount from the hood! I'm sure that will be the one time in the video where Kazzer undertakes a meaningless gymnastic movement, though. I mean, this is a car racing video, right?
0:33-0:53 - Now we basically get a continuation of the opening shot. And what do we see? Girls ogling and caressing, uh, cars. Kazzer wandering aimlessly rap-rocking with nobody paying attention. Some kids standing on a shipping container. We're a quarter of the way through the video, and nobody has yet put the pedal to the metal.
0:54-0:58 - Why is Kazzer back on the hood of his car?
0:59-1:02 - Oh, now we now why. BITCHIN' BACKFLIP WITH A SEGUE INTO A MODIFIED HEISMAN POSE!
In getting to this point of the video, I'm convinced of a few things:
1) Kazzer does his own stunts. This you can tell because a) the video is too seamless to have been edited and b) there's no way there was room in the budget for a stuntman. (editor's note: but if there was, they'd have had to use this guy. (h/t: UweBollocks))
2) Kazzer got to do this video because he can do a backflip.
1:03 - Finally, a pedal is put to the medal. The video's only three and a half minutes long, you know.
1:04-1:18 - OK, so Kazzer is in the drag race, but he's RUNNING? I guess he's a shitty mechanic or something but it seems a bit of a risk, even with the 20 foot head start that he gets.
1:19-1:24 - Kazzer realizes that you don't bring a knife to a gun race and gets the hell out of there. Presumably he's going to run to his car. Let's find out, shall we?
1:25 - THE KID'S GOT CLASS
1:26-1:27 - Nope, looks like Kazzer's just gonna keep on running.
1:28-1:31 - A hooded hooligan is terrorizing two 11-year-olds outside a bait shop, for some reason. WHO WILL SAVE THEM?
1:32-1:33 - Kazzer has anti-lock brakes. Sensible.
1:34 - "Pardon me, sir. I couldn't help but notice that you were assaulting minors without cause. Might I engage you in fisticuffs, or a reasonable facsimile thereof?"
1:34-1:50 - Holy crap, this fight scene has more backflips than any other I've seen!
1:51-1:53 - DOUBLE REVERSE BACKFLIP TAKEDOWN!
1:54-1:57 - With the assailant lying on the ground in mild discomfort, Kazzer tells the kids that they're on their own and gets the hell out of there. You're welcome, kids!
1:58-2:03 - Two pedophiles play with three young children. Kazzer takes no notice.
2:04-2:05 - HOORAY FOR UNNECESSARY SOMERSAULT
2:06-2:10 - Now it's clear that we're into some type of Ferris Bueller-style run through a neighbourhood. Unfortunately, we have no understanding as to why this is happening. I'm sure we'll find out, though.
2:11-2:13 - Kazzer steals a shirt off a clothesline and puts it on in one smooth motion. This is the most impressive thing about this video. The woman (?) who evidently owns the shirt is pissed off that she (?) is in a Kazzer video.
2:14-2:16 - Kazzer hops a fence, giving us the long-awaited upskirt shot.
2:17-2:24 - Ferris Kazzer keeps on keepin' on, and we finally get an idea as to why he's doing it, I think. I guess he's still racing those cars?
2:25-2:26 - Kazzer steals a flagman's bullhorn, which seems needless for two reasons. First, I've never seen a flagman with a bullhorn. Secondly, why is Kazzer stealing things? Well, I'm sure he'll put it to some greater purpose that will move this flaming garbage heap of a video along to a satisfactory conclusion.
2:27-2:39 - Kazzer's still racing against those cars. That bullhorn isn't slowing him down one bit! I can't wait to see what he's got in store for it.
2:40 - WHAT. THE. HELL. Where did the bullhorn go? Did he just drop it? Why in God's name would he do that? He's still wearing the stupid shirt he stole from that transvestite! This pisses me off much more than it should.
2:41-2:45 - Kazzer arrives at his gig, I guess. Are we at the same place that we started the video? Why did he run through town? Why does nobody seem to care that he's arrived? WHERE IS THE BULLHORN? Oh, man, I'm riled up now.
2:46 - ANOTHER BITCHIN' BACKFLIP! ALL IS REDEEMED!
2:47-3:20 - We get some uninspired performing here, and Kazzer puts on a stupid cap (did he steal it from someone too?) but after that backflip, I'll let it go.
3:21-3:31 - Kazzer gently depresses the pedal in the direction of the metal, and leaves sensibly. Looks like he's delivering something in the back seat? Canadian rap rockers gotta make ends meet, y'know?
3:32-3:37 - I don't think that tow truck was supposed to be in the shot, but hey, we're on a tight budget here. This video ends on about as low a key as a high-speed car racing video can.
The thing about this video is that the production value is not terrible. It's got a couple of cheesy digital effects, but at the end of the day, it's a high-energy car racing song that inexplicably features almost no actual car racing.
What's that, you say? No car racing? Well, I guess I stuck to sports after all.