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Mole Show/Whatever Happened to Vileness Fats? is the first home video release by The Residents, issued on VHS in NTSC format in the US via Ralph Records on October 2nd 1984, and by Doublevision in PAL format in the UK and Europe in 1985.

The video contains two short features: Mole Show, featuring footage of two performances from the group's then-recent Mole Show tour, and Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats?, a compilation of footage from the group's abandoned feature film project Vileness Fats.

Two related albums were released alongside this video; the newly recorded soundtrack for Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats? in 1984, and PAL TV LP in 1985.


In 1982, The Residents became interested in the then-developing VHS home video format, and so the next year they decided to film three performances from their 1983 Mole Show tour for potential release - the first performance, a performance in Spain, and the final performance. These three videos were all compiled into a 27 minute long short feature entitled Mole Show.

The Residents then had the idea to edit some of the footage from their abandoned feature film project Vileness Fats (shot between 1974 and 1976), ultimately creating a 33 minute long "concentrate" version from the 14 hours of film and video footage kept in the group's archives.

This heavily shortened version of the Vileness Fats narrative, entitled Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats?, also featured a newly-created, mostly-instrumental soundtrack which replaced the original audio, which the group felt was of too low a quality to be suitable for release.

These two short features were then combined to produce an hour long VHS, which was released by Ralph Records in NTSC format in the US in 1984. The video was then released in PAL format in the UK and Europe in 1985 by Doublevision.

Two related album releases followed the release of the video; the soundtrack to Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats? in 1984, and the PAL TV LP in 1985, including selections from both features.

Mole Show

  1. Voices of The Air
  2. The Ultimate Disaster
    1. The Sky Falls
    2. Back To Normality?
    3. First Warning
    4. Won't You Keep Us Working?
  3. Another Land
    1. Rumors
    2. Arrival
    3. Deployment
    4. Saturation
  4. Final Confrontation
    1. Driving The Moles Away
    2. Don't Tread On Me
    3. The Short War
    4. Resolution?
  5. Smack Your Lips (Clap Your Teeth)
  6. The New Machine
    1. Idea
    2. Construction
    3. Failure
    4. Reconstruction
    5. Success
  7. Migration
    1. March To The Sea
    2. The Observer
    3. Hole-Workers' New Hymn
  8. Happy Home

Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats? synopsis

Mole Show/Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats? VHS back cover

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The midget residents of a village called Vileness Flats are under constant assault by Atomic Shopping Carts. The villagers enlist the aid of conjoined twin tag-team wrestlers, Arf and Omega Berry. Arf and Omega fight off the Atomic Shopping Carts by invoking the immortal Indian priestess Weescoosa.

A banquet is held in their honor, where the Mayor of Vileness Flats personally thanks them. Steve, the village's religious leader, delivers a lengthy, boring speech. Arf and Omega heckle and throw their food at Steve, and he walks away, dejected.

Steve has his own problems; no-one but his mother knows that he has a secret hidden personality, that of Lonesome Jack, leader of a gang of midgets named The Bell Boys who live on the other side of the bridge. To complicate matters further, both Steve and Lonesome Jack are in love with Weescoosa, who has spent eternity searching for her one true love. Whenever it seems that she has found him, he dies tragically.

With the Atomic Shopping Carts out of the way, the Bell Boys begin raids on Vileness Flats: they will be able to cross the bridge disguised as meat, in order to steal the real meat from the village. The villagers ask Arf and Omega to deal with the Bell Boys, and they agree.

Before they do anything, however, the twins head off to a local nightclub, Uncle Willy's, to relax. They see a performance of "Eloise" by N. Senada and The Residents and meet beautiful singer Peggy Honeydew, who performs "Lord It's Lonely", and later flirts with both twins, causing them to become jealous of each other.

Arf and Omega become engaged in a knife fight, with Omega eventually killing Arf. The nightclub's owner Uncle Willy delivers the closing moral of the story as Omega pathetically drags his dead twin from the dance floor. Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats? ends at this point, as the intended finale to the film was never completed by the group before the project was abandoned.

Liner notes

Mole Show

The Residents toured a large portion of the world from the fall of 1982 to the summer of 1983. The Residents' Mole Show contains excerpts of shows in Madrid, Washington D.C. and San Francisco, plus computer animation and graphics. It is 27 minutes long.

Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats?

From 1972-1976, during the height (or depth) of their "theory of obscurity" period, The Residents worked on a video movie called Vileness Fats; it was never completed. Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats? is an edited version of several scenes from the movie plus a new soundtrack. It is 33 minutes long.

- The Cryptic Corporation


Mole Show

Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats?

See also

External links and references

Vfshoppingcart-sml-transparent.png Vileness Fats
(1972 - 1976)

Cast and characters
Saint Steve / Lonesome Jack (Jay Clem) · Weescoosa (Sally Lewis) · Arf and Omega Berry (Palmer Eiland and George Ewart) · Ninnie (Danny Williams) · Steve's Mother (Marge Howard) · Peggy Honeydew (Margaret Smyk) · Weenie (Danny Williams) · Uncle Willy (Hardy Fox)
Irene Dogmatic · J. Raoul Brody · Barry "Schwump" Schwam · Hugo Olson · Bill Dewalt · Diane Flynn · Homer Flynn · Tony Logan · Dennis Sealy · The Mysterious N. Senada as himself

The Residents: direction, screenplay, music, sets, costumes · Graeme Whifler: lighting, sets, second unit direction · Diane Flynn: costumes · John Kennedy: editing

Soundtrack music
"Aircraft Damage" · "Mammy" · "The Importance of Evergreen" · "Eloise" · "Kamikaze Lady" · "Lonely At The Top" · "Fever" · "Russian Love Song" · X Is For Xtra ("March de la Winni" · "Asonarose" · "Soundtrack Music Piece 17")

Related works
The Boarding House performance · Santa Dog · Meet The Residents · Not Available (X Is For Xtra) · The Third Reich 'n Roll (video) · Oh Mummy! Oh Daddy! performance · Fingerprince · Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats? (soundtrack · PAL TV LP) · Video Voodoo · Twenty Twisted Questions · Icky Flix (soundtrack · "The Knife Fight" · RZ VF) · Theory of Obscurity: A Film About The Residents · Triple Trouble (trailer · soundtrack)

Related articles
Vileness Flats · Atomic Shopping Carts · Residents, Uninc. · Sycamore St. studio · Ralph Records · The Cryptic Corporation · The Ugly Grey Theater