Shake Hands With Danger Jul 7, 2015 12:20:06 GMT -5
Post by StevePulaski on Jul 7, 2015 12:20:06 GMT -5
Shake Hands With Danger (1980)
Directed by: Herk Harvey
Directed by: Herk Harvey
In the modern internet age, few oddities have taken as much flak as novelty videos or training videos from the 1950's - 1990's. These short, previously hard-to-find, or even classified videos have resurfaced with the creation and subsequent success of Youtube and DailyMotion and reflect upon on a time when these kinds of cheesy instructional videos were used as training videos or part of the orientation process of a job. In order to see many of these current relics, you either had to be hired at the specific job or obtain a VHS tape from a friend or an employer, whereas now, these videos are all but a few clicks away.
Out of all these quirky training videos I've stumbled upon over the years, from the ridiculous videos released through The Found Footage Festival and my own sleuthing, Shake Hands With Danger may be my new personal favorite. This is a straight-forward, unabashedly quirky, but wholly fun training video for the construction company Caterpillar. Our narrator, who chimes in frequently with his rugged, ostensibly tobacco-stained voice, states that he is known as "Three Finger Joe" following an accident on the job and spends twenty-three minutes instructing the viewer on how to remain safe while working on a construction site.
Shake Hands With Danger takes realistic, on-the-job scenarios and uses them for the basis of its short. It remarks about how routine is traditionally the first step when "shaking hands with danger," as you subconsciously assume your impulses will protect you under present conditions and, if something were to go awry, you'll be able to respond fast enough to curb any bad result. The short shows everything from an accidental death on the job in addition to working while distracted and simply skipping steps or taking short cuts whilst working due to time constraints or the desire to appear "macho." All of its scenarios seem pragmatic for the construction site setting and nothing really falls prey to a lack of realism.
The funniest thing in the film is the titular metaphor, which our worn, tough-guy narrator loves to reiterate throughout the entire short in more ways than one. It's an interesting premise nonetheless, and does a fine job at illustrating the complexities when working around a dangerous setting. Shake Hands With Danger may find itself encapsulated in a vaguely corny state, but it's ultimately satisfying as a fun training video that winds up being funny and gravely serious with composure that many feature-length films have a difficult time trying to maintain.
Directed by: Herk Harvey.