A Review of ĎC.O.G. - The History of Future Civilizationí

By James Quick

Dear potential DVD consumer:

For those who arenít yet familiar with the Consortium of Genius (aka C.O.G.) or their new DVD, I will now introduce it in the style of an online vendor: "If you liked this DVD, you may also like: Morgus the Magnificent, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Pinky and The Brain (minus Pinky), the Three Stooges, megalomania, mind control and world domination."

Lewis DíAubin embodies the manic (or maniac) character of Dr. Milo T. Pinkerton, who makes Dr. Evil look like a Tele-tubbie when it comes to diabolical scheming and global ambitions. Heís a fearless leader and a peerless lead singer.

Dr. Pinkertonís greatest technical innovation is Drumbot, who is not merely a drum machine but also "projects himself" as a lively interactive character in the stage show.

The current C.O.G. lineup includes electric bassist Dr. Z (Jim Fairchild) -- whose polysyllabic name Iím not even going to attempt to spell -- who is funky, fresh, and foreign (presumably born somewhere between India and the Key of Asia Minor). More than just a mad scientist, he teaches a number of correspondence courses (Iím thinking about enrolling in the "Harem-ology" course myself).

Some group of caring souls (in bullet-proof vests, if they know whatís good for them) needs to intervene between Dr. A. Pentatonic (Jeff King) and various bottles of distilled spirits, but this does not diminish that heís one hell of a guitar player and a reasonably effective yat-gangster in a lab coat. At no time on the DVD does he say "Iíd rather have a free bottle in front of me than a pre-frontal lobotomy", but if he had, it would have summed up his character rather well.

Stylistic chamelons, these mad doctors have dissected, assimilated and stitched back together styles and songs from such diverse groups as the B-52ís, Devo, Limp Bizkit and Rush. The common thread in all of this seems to be "over-the-top fun."

Thereís genuine laughs in the 30-minute featurette "C.O.G. vs the Phantom," with special effects believable enough that my 7-year-old son was actually creeped out by the titular monster. (Sorry, guys, there are no other titulars on this DVD.)

There are three music videos on the DVD, and while all are enjoyable, "Destroy Old Things" should win some kind of award for magnificent stop-motion animated weirdness.

Fans of the group should enjoy a progression of infomercials from previous C.O.G. incarnations and lineups of the group (only Pinkerton and Drumbot have been with the band from its inception back in the 2nd Millenium).As you might expect from a group of technical geniuseses...es (Iíll run the spell-check on that later), there are lots of little fun surprises on this DVD that you can accidentally stumble across or just jump out at you when you least expect them.


Or risk the consequences...


The Q