The Late Movies: Guy on a Buffalo

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Sometimes dumb internet videos transcend their dumbness and become truly wonderful. This is the case, in my humble opinion, with the instant classic Guy on a Buffalo, a four-part series in which footage from the 1978 film Buffalo Rider (apparently now in the public domain) is combined with a sort of rambling singing narration by Jomo Edwards of The Possum Posse. "Why would I want to watch that?" you might ask. "Because this guy is riding a frickin' buffalo," I'd tell you.

I can't explain why I find this so funny and memorable, and that's why I'm posting it. Maybe it's just that the song is so catchy? I can't get the song-snippet "One day, the guy on the buffalo..." out of my head. And I've been trying for three days. I may be going mad -- won't you join me? I've even attempted watching the entire 90-minute original Buffalo Rider to see if that would cure me, but had to give up after ten minutes of intense snoozy boredom. Anyway, enjoy your new earworm infection!

Episode 1 (Bears, Indians, & Such)

"One day the guy on the buffalo was cruisin' around through the plains. [He] seen a bear, and he thought to himself: 'Oh man, I gotta get away from the bear! Hope he don't cha--oh no, he's gonna chase me! Oh no, I better just turn around and chase him back, because guess what? I'm on a buffalo!'" This is the best.

Episode 2 (Orphans, Cougars, & What Not)

Guy on a Buffalo: "Hey, you want this baby?" Barren Woman: "It's cheaper than adoption."

Note: I'm not clear how the original film dealt with the animal stunts; the situation doesn't look particularly well-monitored to me.

Episode 3: Finale Part 1 (Origins, Villains & The Like)

"Oh man, this is unstable but I'm tryin' to prove a point...." I kinda wish all movies could be compressed like this.

Episode 4: Finale Part 2 (Rehab, Vengeance & What Have You)

"One day the guy on the buffalo went into town for some more revenge." I love how The Crystal Palace has an inexplicably enormous front door, sufficient to accommodate a guy on a buffalo. And the ceilings are extremely high -- like soundstage-high.

Buffalo Rider

None of this would have been possible without the classic old movie Buffalo Rider. Fortunately, you can watch the original in its entirety via YouTube. If you don't want to commit just yet, check out the trailer. Enjoy:

What's This All About?

So Buffalo Rider was a real movie, though I have no idea how they filmed it -- given all the animal "stunts" (including what sure looks like actually shooting buffalo and various cross-species animal fights) it wouldn't pass muster today. The movie itself is pretty crappy, featuring an extreme over-reliance on narration and a sort of meandering documentary-ish treatment with some buffalo-related dramatic elements tossed in. It's a very weird artifact of the 70's, though. If anyone has more information on the movie or how it managed to enter the public domain (I'm not entirely clear how that would have happened), let me know in the comments!

Also important: you can buy MP3s of the complete Guy On A Buffalo music, and I wrote an article on the real sentence Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo, in case I haven't used the word 'buffalo' enough yet. Follow Chris Higgins on Twitter for more stories like this one.

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November 9, 2011 - 5:00pm
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