Difficult to find and never released on home video, National Lampoon’s first TV outing for HBO from 1978 is great! Watch it now as “someone” does not want you to see it! Uploaded to YouTube very recently, who knows how long it will be available. Outside of bootlegs of varying quality the last time this was available was on Super 8mm film!
Here’s a pretty concise review of Beavers from the Cult Oddities blog:
If you’ve seen Mr. Mike’s Mondo Video, The Groove Tube, Tunnelvision, or Loose Shoes, then you have some idea of what to expect from National Lampoon’s Disco Beaver from Outer Space. The difference is, the tone and comedy is a little more consistent than any of the aforementioned. Following the early success of Saturday Night Live (simply titled Saturday Night in those days), there was an onslaught of coked out sketch comedy films and TV specials released including this one, which was made for HBO. The premise is pretty simple: A couple sits down for an evening of channel-surfing, and the programs they flip past on the TV are some of the most bizarre one could imagine!
There’s Dragula, a gay vampire who turns straight guys into raging queens (this skit seems to be the inspiration for Curse of the Queerwolf), a schizo ventriloquist, confessions of a Perrier addict, an Oscar Wilde skit that’s captioned for a then-modern American audience, an off-kilter country singer, commercials for people with chronic gas, plus plenty of other weirdness and depravity… and Lynn Redgrave (who probably fired her manager soon after)!
Unfortunately, this is yet another case of a TV special being unavailable on home video and largely unseen for decades. Weirdly, the special (or more likely excerpts from it) were released on a Super-8 film reel (with Magnetic Sound!). Despite it’s legitimate unavailability, copies of the special have popped up on online video sites and can frequently be found for sale on i-Offer. If you like moronic ‘70s skit comedy with a perverse edge, you’ve just found the motherload.
Much hilarious gay-themed insanity here, surprisingly including Dragula, as mentioned above, which was actually inspired by an amazing horror comic book take-off in a 1971 all horror issue of National Lampoon drawn by the amazing comic art superstar Neal Adams, with an incredible cover by Frank Frazetta! You can read the whole comic in large, clear scans at the Horror of it All blog.
Oh I almost forgot! It also features Laugh-In‘s Henry Gibson! Enjoy this vintage insanity while you can!