Sesame Street resident Ernie knows a good movie when he sees it. It has to have funny parts, sad parts, surprising parts, and Charles Bronson tearing somebody’s private parts off. That’s why the 1974 vigilante film Death Wish, starring Bronson as widower who seeks vengeance on his wife’s killers, is the perfect choice for date night. Like with most things involving Bert and Ernie, Bert is slow to come around, but by the time the chainsaw mutilations kick in, he needs little convincing that this is a great, great movie.
At least that’s the alternate reality presented by Youtuber Eric Zaldivar in “Bert and Ernie watch Death Wish.” The footage splices together well, as both Death Wish and this early Sesame Street skit share the same low-fi analog picture. The pairing also puts Death Wish in clear perspective, presenting over the top violence that was condemned at the time as brutally disturbing but now seems cartoonishly campy. Conversely, the darkened room of friendly Muppets takes on a menacing quality (amplified by Bert’s tense laughter) that has more in common with Meet The Feebles than it does with Big Bird or Oscar The Grouch.
Considering Zaldivar’s other YouTube entries consist of kill count videos, perhaps there’s a Count von Count/Dirty Harry mashup in our future.