Fri 30 Jul 2010
I’ve got a headache THIS big.
Theatrical Release Date: 07/30/2010
Director: Ben Steinbauer
We live in an age where everything is being recorded, especially when we least expect it. In the documentary, “Winnebago Man”, it is Jack Rebney who has unwillingly become a viral video sensation known most commonly as “the angriest RV salesman in the world”. Originally recorded as outtakes from a Winnebago industry training video onto VHS and passed person to person, the advent of YouTube brought about a much easier way to share clips of idiocy, amazement and humor with the world.
One such individual who has been fascinated with Rebney’s antics since he received a copy of the VHS tape is director Ben Steinbauer. A film professor at the University of Texas, his interest is both professional and personal; which is clearly evident throughout the documentary. What was once an almost morbid curiosity in a man seemingly off his rocker becomes a personal quest to understand and embrace Rebney, temper and all.
The film is a fairly linear journey, as we begin to understand more and more about Rebney’s feelings about the video, his politics and his desire to be known for more than expletive laden outtakes. While Steinbauer’s involvement in the process feels a bit self-indulgent, it’s hard to shake the sheer fun, humor and heart that makes up the project as a whole.
If you’re familiar with Rebney’s NSFW outbursts, seeing this documentary is a no brainer. Even for those who’ve never seen the antics beforehand (like myself), “Winnebago Man” is a funny, and at times slightly poignant, look at internet fame and the cost/benefit ratio involved; a 3.5 out of 5, it’s the best non-animated comedy out in theaters right now.