People have a fascination with human movement that defies norms. Often it is the beautiful and extraordinary, such as dance or acrobatics, but it can also be the ungainly and strange. When we see someone moving oddly, we stop and try to comprehend what is going on. Spasmodic, or erratic, motion has always had a certain use in comedy. The staggering drunk is probably the most common. Jerry Lewis had an awkward running style that was one of his signature actions. But lets focus on characters who really are not in control of their motor functions.
This music video for Fatboy Slim is both slapstick and really cool. It was created by the Swedish firm Traktor. Plus it has cartoons in it!
Obviously their are wires yanking their bodies around and then the wires are removed in post production. But the effect is wild. It’s not unlike some moments in Ratatouille when Remy is manipulating Linquini.
Strange movement is one of the reasons zombies are so interesting to audiences. I will confess, I have not seen the either of the Weekend at Bernie’s movies. As far as I can tell, at some point the dead Bernie is re-animated through some sort of voodoo ritual. His odd motion became a dance craze.
And we must remember this modern classic. It has over 27 million views on YouTube for the very reason I am describing.