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 track listing

  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

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

Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats? synopsis

The midget residents of a village called Vileness Fats are under constant attack by the Atomic Shopping Carts, armored carts equipped with large drills. The villagers enlist the aid of conjoined twin tag-team wrestlers, Arf and Omega Berry. The Berry boys 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 Fats 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 Fats: 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, eventually killing each other. The nightclub's owner Uncle Willy delivers the closing moral of the story. Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats? ends here, as the intended finale to the film was never shot 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

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