Johnny suddenly realizes his life is a hollow lie.
Here’s a very bizarre and surreal “social guidance film” courtesy of the Prelinger Archives. The film short, made in 1956, is called Helping Johnny Remember. It stars a boy, “Johnny”, who is shunned by the kids around him because he’s bossy, uncooperative, and selfish. The disembodied narrator tries to show Johnny the way by getting him to be a Smiley and not a Sulky!
We think Johnny doesn’t get along because he’s stuck in a bizarre closed-universe, Purgatory-like, trapped with inferior peers. Hell is not other people; it’s just this group of vapid kids! (That haircut of Johnny’s reminds us of Verbal Kint, who as we all know was really Keyser Soze, puppet-master of the ring of thieves).
In comes Ashleigh Nankivell to help deconstruct this slice of 50s social indoctrination. Ashleigh has, as her resume explains, a large and dedicated social media following. She’s an art, web, graphics and video whiz kid who put together this funny horror short based on Helping Johnny Remember. It was made using After Effects and features music by Good Old Neon.
Helping Johnny Remember (his dark powers)
Nice acid-trip. We like to think that the demon kids are what Johnny really “sees”. Glad he was able to embrace his dark side to emerge victorious. Did Ashleigh watch Aphex Twin videos prior to making this?