1940 | B&W | 8 min.
Produced By: Jam Handy Organization
Sponsored By: Chevrolet Motor Company
Produced in 1940 by Olympic swimmer-turned instructional filmmaker, Henry Jamison “Jam” Handy, A Case of Spring Fever is a delightfully insane little film. Like many similar ephemeral films, A Case of Spring Fever was rescued from the pit of obscurity by the gang at Mystery Science Theater 3000. Appearing in the series’ penultimate episode alongside the equally bizarre, 70’s killer worm flick, Squirm, Spring Fever is fondly remembered by many “Mysties” as one of the strangest and most entertaining short films ever to appear on the show.
The short opens with our hero, Gilbert, flat on his back, attempting to repair the springs on his couch. Struggling to sort his way through the tangled mess of springs, he angrily declares, “I hope I never see another spring as long as I live!” He is immediately visited by the aptly named Coily, a demonic little spring-sprite who is apparently the pint-sized defender of all things springy. He grants Gilbert his wish and makes all of the springs in the world disappear.
Startlingly unconcerned with the satanic little gnome currently wandering about his house, Gilbert gives up on his now spring-less couch and checks his watch, only to find that it has stopped. Unfazed, he decides to call his buddies and tell them that he can now join them for a round of golf. Of course he quickly realizes that the phone no longer works because, as Coily so helpfully points out, there are “NO SPRINGS!” He tries to go on about his day as if nothing had changed, but Coily follows him around, taunting him unmercifully as everything fails to work properly in its new spring-less state. Doors, blinds, seat cushions, his car’s gas and brake pedals—nothing works as it should without Coily and his divine springs.
Finally realizing his mistake, or perhaps just fed up with the malevolent little demon-spring following him around, Gilbert pleads with Coily to take back his wish. Satisfied that Gilbert has learned his lesson, Coily relents and changes everything back to the way it was. An ecstatic Gilbert spends the rest of the film spreading the good word about springs, much to the dismay and boredom of his golf buddies. With another soul now firmly under his evil influence, Coily appears and laughs in his demented, elderly 1840’s prospector way as we fade to black.
If we are to take the premise of this short seriously (as the boys at “MST3K” did with Mikey, the Mike sprite) then we must assume that there is a relentlessly annoying, demonic champion for all inanimate objects. Just think of horrifying possibilities. “Celly” the cell-phone sprite, who would remind you how terrible a world it was when one actually had to be at home for telemarketers and bill collectors to harass them endlessly. “Spendy” the government sprite, who would follow you around all day, pestering you for spare change, until the day when he would inevitably kick you in the beanbag, steal the entire contents of your wallet, and complain that it still wasn’t enough. “Spritey” the Sprite sprite, champion of all the clear sodas. Why, even short films themselves must have their own pesky little pixie. I can almost hear it now. “NO SHORTS!” Ugh. I’m not gonna sleep well tonight.
Reviewed by Derek Miller
Posted August 23, 2009
Enjoy this whacky little film for yourself right now for free.
Courtesy of Archive.org.