NEVER MIND AEROBICS, HERE’S PUNK ROPE

2008, $3.99, at Goodwill on Colorado, Eagle Rock

First Impression: This DVD “serves up a sizzling stew of fitness, fun, fantasy, and rock and roll.”

Second Impression: Paging the Solid Gold dancers!

Punk Rope comes to us from the Coco 66 Gym in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. When I hit play, and I see the converted-batting-cage set, complete with peeling lead paint on the concrete walls, I am instantly disappointed.  I assume this is going to be another vanity project with poor lighting/sound quality and a not-camera-ready host.

Said host, Tim Haft, looks awkwardly into the camera while wearing his comically oversized headset mic. I notice he has a tattoo of the DVD cover logo on his shoulder! His commitment is admirable, but it doesn’t give him confidence. Rather, he rocks back and forth in his chair as he gives his introduction. The more uncomfortable he is, the more uncomfortable I get. This is unbearable!

Then we start the workout, and my attitude takes a complete 180. This workout is fun!  It’s not all jump rope.  It’s really all about playfully moving around to punk songs. The host introduces each section by telling us the name of the song, the artist, and he city they’re from. Each mini-workout is the length of a punk song and is themed like a cute skit, with light costuming to augment the theme. In one segment, a sassy librarian walks in to shush everyone.  In another, we’re pretending to run away from Bigfoot through the woods. Bigfoot’s furry paws appear at the bottom of frame to provide inspiration. Of course, he comes up on stage at the end, and it’s just our buddy wearing fake paws!  Good times, you guys!

The 14 work-skits, or skit-outs, are performed by a rotating cast of delightful weirdos who clearly do not take any of this very seriously. There’s lots of blue pigtails, mustaches, and ironic knee socks. The World Famous Roller Derby Jeerleaders make an appearance. They all seem like they would be super fun to hang out with. If I lived in New York, I might actually go to this gym. Oh, who am I kidding? It takes forever to get to Greenpoint.

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