Winnebago Man (2009)

2 Jun

Everybody is used to receiving links to funny movies on Youtube, in which someone performs a stunt, falls or does something which would just make you laugh. You usually forget about them pretty quickly, but they did offer a couple of seconds of entertainment.

Sometimes we forget that behind each of these movies there is a story and a person. Putting these movies on the internet for everyone to see might have a big impact on their lives. According to this documentary the Star Wars Kid has psychological problems and went to a mental hospital.

Documentary maker Ben Steinbauer decides to try to find one of the people in these movies to listen to their personal story and find out more about them. He decides on the Winnebago Man, also known as “the angriest man in the world”. I hadn’t seen a movie of this man myself, but the documentary quickly shows why this movie became so popular.
It shows all the outtakes of a salesman who is making a promotional video for Winnebago vans. The man is only shown cursing and yelling. Steinbauer asks himself whether or not this man is the same in real life and start his search for him.

The man, whose name turns out to be Jack Rebney is very hard to find. A private detective doesn’t find any known address, only some mailboxes. Steinbauer decides to continue looking for them and sends letters to all of the boxes. To his surprise he gets a call from Rebney and is invited to visit him.

This visit results in an interesting look into Rebney’s life, who lives alone with his dog on top of a mountain. Steinbauer regularly calls Rebney and slowly he start to open up to him. It turns out Rebney has a lot to say. He hope that Steinbauer is the one that can help him to get his message out to the world. It offers a very interesting look into the life of Rebney, an old man who is at the end of his days, but still is very verbal about the things he cares about. He’s also someone who really sticks to his way of life, no matter what others think of it.

I did think it was a shame that not enough time was spent on the stories Rebney wanted to tell. This might be because these stories were too serious to fit into this documentary or maybe Steinbauer thought they were not interesting enough.
Despite this small criticism he has managed to deliver a very interesting documentary. Rebney meets his fans and discovers that he is very popular because of his video and has to change his opinions about the people who like to watch it. It a documentary that really managed to fascinate me.

Score: 8

The trailer (NSFW):

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