Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

David Wain and Michael Showalter distill the ’70s into a fake trailer

First of all, to be clear: Second Sound Barrier is a trailer for a film that doesn’t exist. If it did exist, it’d probably be great, but that’s beside the point. It also has nothing to do with perfume, even though the press release announcing the trailer mention’s “men’s fragrances” more than once. Instead, it seems to be an advertisement for the pungent, musky, slightly sweaty essence of ’70s-style manliness itself.

Commissioned by Catfish producers Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman under their Supermarché imprint, Second Sound Barrier was directed by Wet Hot American Summer’s David Wain and Michael Showalter and stars Jeremy Sisto, Peter Mensah, and Vincent Kartheiser as Roger Valour, Theolonias Courage, and Charles Michael Fortitude as The Wild Card, The Powerhouse, and The Artist. Wain and Showalter’s absurdist humor is evident throughout the three-and-a-half minute “trailer,” which also stars Juliette Lewis as “Lady Billionaire,” a woman with a seemingly endless supply of rubber masks and a mysterious illness can only be cured by breaking “the second sound barrier.”


Shot in grainy faux-retro style, The Second Sound Barrier also features fast cars, cute dogs, Ken Marino, Steve Little, stuff blowing up real good, male and female cleavage, and, of course, kung fu fighting. It’s like Black Dynamite, if Black Dynamite was a short film sponsored by a made-up fragrance tycoon. Like we said earlier, the feature-length version of Second Sound Barrier doesn’t exist, but maybe it’s time to do something about that. Showalter might not agree—“Why make a full-length feature film when you can blend and capture the essence of a film in three and a half minutes?,” he says—but Change.org petitions have been launched on far less.

Second Sound Barrier officially premieres on March 11 at SecondSoundBarrier.com.

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