Real Entertainment began marketing

When Real Entertainment President Scott Barbour began the label ten years ago, he was looking for a way to sell such reality television programs as “Cops.” Utilizing the process developed by the Home Shopping Network, Real Entertainment began marketing “Cops: Too Hot For Television!”


The unedited footage of the popular television show was offered for sale through direct response only, and ended up selling over a million units. The stage had been set for Barbour and Real Entertainment. The company began acquiring the rights to reality-based television shows, and even struck a deal with Universal to market episodes of “Xena: Warrior Princess” to eager fans of the series.

It wasn’t long before Real Entertainment jumped from direct response to retail, making their “Cops” tape one of the hottest in the retail marketplace. The appeal of Real Entertainment’s line-up comes from taking popular reality series that had been neglected on video.

Fox Television, which owned the rights to “Cops,” didn’t have a clue what to do with their television fare. Their concentration was on name brand theatrical and catalog titles. The success of “Cops” changed their tune, as 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment now releases a number of their popular television shows on video, including “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” and “The X-Files.”

After the success of “Cops: Too Hot for Television!,” Real Entertainment realized the importance of their niche product, and released another direct response title, “Jerry Springer: Too Hot for Television” that outsold the “Cops” tape by a wide margin. Rabid fans of the Springer Show wasted no time in securing the unedited tape featuring nudity and adult language.

The “Jerry Springer” tape was so successful that it spawned numerous additions, including “I Refuse to Wear Clothes” and “Bad Boys and Naughty Girls.”

Real Entertainment, which is currently celebrating its 10th anniversary, now features an eclectic line-up that has become one of the most requested catalogs in the business. So what is the appeal of these tapes? As the shows that spawned them proved, people like watching a train wreck.

I must admit that I occasionally watch “The Jerry Springer Show,” usually when I’m feeling down and want to watch someone else have a miserable life. How can you deny the appeal of watching trailer park residents slapping the crap out of each other on live television? Or watching people tempt fate in the reality tapes “World’s Scariest Police Chases” and “Bull’s Revenge.”

What makes these tapes so appealing is that while a lot of this footage has been seen on television, it appears here in its rawest form. While television is in the habit of flinching when things get rough or raw, the footage on these tapes is unedited, and at times, extremely graphic.

While they are a far cry from the “Faces of Death” tapes currently on the market, some of the Real Entertainment tapes feature footage that might make some people wince. The “Forbidden Video” series shows the outcome of several vicious acts, while these events are either cut or altered by the networks. It may be morbid, but no less so than the curiosity we all share when we drive past an auto accident.

Not all of Real Entertainment’s offerings are sensational or titillating. Their recent addition of tapes from “America’s Funniest Home Videos” are family friendly, except for the more adult oriented “Uncensored” volume. The other two volumes, “Family Follies” and “Animal Antics” are basically compilations of everyone’s favorite scenes from the series.

The “Uncensored” tape features those wild moments you knew existed, but were never allowed to see. Here’s a run-down of Real Entertainment’s most popular titles, plus a tape from Three Martini Lunch Productions called “Spring Break Uncensored” that I felt fit nicely into this article.

AMERICA’S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS

Leave it to Real Entertainment to have the brains to market this collection of three tapes from the popular and long-running television series. I have long suspected that the footage we’re shown and the actual footage they receive for broadcast are two different animals, and the first tape in the collection, “America’s Funniest Home Videos Uncensored,” proves my point. Fortunately, former host Bob Saget’s corny patter has been left on the cutting room floor. Instead, the tape is jam-packed with the type of footage that will make you wonder why anyone would even send this stuff in, much less sign it off for broadcast. “Uncensored” is a scream, literally. You’ll howl as people get clobbered in the most unusual way, or as large women lose their tops. This tape has more images of big-breasted women than a Russ Meyer film, and one large lady in a pool looks like she’s sporting pontoons. One young man is surprised in the shower, and obviously he is proud of his body because you get to see all. Some of this stuff is gross, but it’s all in fun (tell that to the folks who get beamed). I laughed until it hurt, and then I laughed some more. If you’re looking for something more tame, check out “Family Follies” and “Animal Antics,” which contain previously viewed footage in an entertaining format. “Uncensored” retails for $19.99, while the other two retail for $14.99.

THE JERRY SPRINGER SHOW

I’ve never been to a taping of “The Jerry Springer Show,” but I imagine it would be like “Jerry Springer” Too Hot for Television,” a raunchy compilation of some of the show’s most outrageous moments. This is the stuff that home viewers can only dream about. Like to see women slapping the crap put of each other? Sit back and watch some of the nastiest bitch fights ever caught on tape. Did you drool when that gorgeous blonde took the stage and removed her top? Now you can see what the live audience saw. No more of those annoying blurs or bleeps. Now the emperor really has no clothes, and the freak show is better than ever. For the more conservative crowd, there’s “The Best of Jerry Springer,” which takes a lot of the sting out of the uncensored tape. One of the latest entries into the series is “I Refuse to Wear Clothes,” an hour of naked women on stage and in their natural surroundings (if you count supermarkets). I remember watching this show on television with some friends, and the whole time I kept thinking, “The only reason they did this show was to squeeze out another video.” After all, the broadcast show was a joke, a confusing array of blurred images. Like the women featured, the tape holds nothing back. The most priceless moments come when the camera focuses on the audience members, who stare in disbelief (and a certain degree of horniness). Also available in the collection are “Bad Boys and Naughty Girls,” and “Secrets and Surprises.” All tapes retail for $14.99, except “Uncensored,” which retails for $24.99, and “I Refuse to Wear Clothes,” which retails for $19.99.

FORBIDDEN VIDEO

You have to have a cast iron constitution to fully appreciate the footage included in both “Extreme and Uncensored” and “Animal Attacks.” Both feature footage that will shock you, but that’s the point. While I didn’t have a problem watching these tapes, some people will. People die in these tapes. People are viciously attacked in these tapes. People get down and dirty in these tapes. You get the idea. “Extreme and Uncensored” is by far the most riveting of the two, a compilation of deadly and outrageous clips. Some of the most shocking video comes at the end, including a ship on fire and one poor individual trapped on the deck. There’s the usual assortment of air show crashes, police shootings, surveillance camera footage, and some playful footage like nude bungee jumping and spending an evening with former basketball star Dennis Rodman. You’ll see a wannabe stuntman make a mess of a stunt, and some robberies gone viciously wrong. “Animal Attacks” contains some equally vicious moments, including a woman losing leg to a Great Whit shark, and some supposedly tame animals turning on their owners. You may have seen some of this footage before, but you’ve never seen it presented like this. Both tapes retail for $14.99.

REALITY TELEVISION

The “World’s Scariest Police Chases: Deluxe Edition” is similar to the Fox Television specials, but contain footage never before seen. Join numerous police and highway patrol officers as they take on criminals who refuse to take no for an answer. America’s fascination (especially those in the Southern California area) with high speed police chases have made this tape a major hit. Who can deny the appeal of watching the good guys chase the bad guys, who are usually people too stupid to know that they can’t get away. The footage has been compiled from cameras on police cars, and from news helicopters. Some of it is grainy and hard to make out, but most of it puts you right in the driver’s seat. Another favorite of mine is “Bull’s Revenge,” an hour-long look at the damage that rampaging bulls can inflict on unsuspecting individuals. From Bull Rings in Mexico and Spain, stand back and watch as men and women face off against half-a-ton of pissed-off animal. Watch in horror as a woman animal activist gets trapped on a narrow street with a rampaging bull, and learns first hand what it’s like to be a rag doll. It’s hard to watch, but when you play with fire you’re bound to get burned. There are also some funny moments (watching people with a false sense of security find out that bulls can get into the most unusual places) and a gentleman who loses his pants to a bull. There’s also a lot of animal life on view in “Celebrities: Caught on Tape.” This unauthorized documentary looks at the lives of the Paparazzi (I prefer to call these guys Stalkarazi) and their pursuit to capture celebrities on video. While some of the celebrities on view show poor taste and judgement, you really feel sorry for most of these people. Sure, they’re celebrities, but the Paparazzi clearly steps over the line in this insightful and frustrating collection of clips. I’ve never been a fan of the Paparazzi, and their behavior in this tape only solidifies that opinion. They’ve gone from snapping still photos at premieres to videotaping celebrities anywhere and everywhere they please. You really feel sorry for Emilio Estevez, who has some clown parked outside his house everyday as he goes jogging. A few celebrities get even, and that’s when the Paparazzi start quoting the law. “You can’t touch me,” one guys shouts over and over. He’s the kind of person you wish a truck would hit as he chases Pamela Lee across Sunset Boulevard. Finally, there’s “Banned from Television: The Prison Files,” an explosive and hard-to-watch documentary that goes behind the walls of our nation’s prisons and exposes the brutality and animal-like conditions. This uncensored look is broken down into several segments like “Weapons of War,” that examines the crudely made weapons prisoners use to kill each other, and “The Riot Act,” that shows us first hand what a riot inside prison looks like. Like “Scared Straight,” “The Prison Files” is an excellent deterrent for anyone thinking of committing a crime. Luckily, it never glorifies the subject, but shows how tough prison can be, and how touch the officials can make it for someone who gets out of line. The tape features mature subject matter and nudity, so be warned.

Real Entertainment will be releasing additional titles this year, including another volume of “Jerry Springer: Too Hot for Television!” and “Forbidden Video: Extreme and Uncensored.” All Real Entertainment titles are available through most video stores and retailers.

AVAILABLE FROM THREE MARTINI LUNCH:

SPRING BREAK UNCENSORED

Three Martini Lunch Productions sent their cameras to Florida for the annual migration known as Spring Break, and came back with enough footage for this eye-opening look at fun in the sun called “Spring Break Uncensored.” It’s pretty much what you expect, a wild collection of young, good-looking people doing the most juvenile things. But then, what is Spring Break for? Watch as contestants participate in a mock “sex on the beach” contest (and then find themselves being arrested for lewd conduct in public….go figure), or as they expose themselves for the cameras. The cameras also hit all of the popular parties, and provide in-depth lessons on how to have a wild and carefree time. Most of the participants are drunk and unruly, so they’re willing to do just about anything in front of a camera. Should make great ammo for their political opponents when they decide to run for office years from now. Hey, I don’t mind watching good looking young people get naked and have a good time. I’m just glad that I have the option of fast- forwarding through the really banal moments, or turning them off all together. Grab a beer, kick back, and let the party begin.



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