There was a guy at my work who collected, what he called, "strange" instruments. He knew that I played stringed instruments, so he brought one of these in for me to try. I expected it to be louder, but it was a fun experience.
The guy in the middle video is very talented. He seems to be playing a tiny snare drum with his elbow, whilst operating that Frankenstein instrument. I am surprised he doesn't bow that thing with a flute for good measure.
I recall being told that these were originally made to enable a sound which the early microphones could sense and record, leading to the term "recording violins."
There was a chap that used to play one in the crowded and noisy Fremantle Markets in Western Australia; the sound seemed to carry quite well over the hubbub.
Thanks buddy, joking aside, he plays well - actually they all do. I prefer the violin to the Strohvoil or Romanian horn violin. However, if it is good for Romanian and other eastern music then I can see the point of it. But when people just use it for novelty factor I don't like that so much. Any music played with sincerity, rather than ego, is good in my book.