R4 . COLOR . 81 mins .
M15+ . PAL
Sit down, Mary Brown, for another tale of ‘80s excess…
It took John Landis ten years, however he eventually cobbled together a follow-up to his Kentucky Fried Movie. The original was a series of sketches very loosely held together to form a movie and nothing much has changed here, save for Landis getting a quartet of his mates to join in on the directorial side of the nuttiness and the fact that more of what's on offer here is actually amusing.
Don gets down...
This time around we’re given a collection of comedic skits assembled roughly as a sort of late night TV surf, with the titular ‘50s sci-fi spoof the glue keeping things as together as they actually get. As with any assemblage of sketches, your personal comedic mileage may vary. For everybody who thinks the slapstick of Arsenio Hall’s opening gambit a laugh riot there will be others diving headlong for the remote, while some may find Don ‘No Soul’ Simmons decidedly crappy when others will be rolling about the floor oozing gleeful mirth from every pore. Mind you, if anybody isn’t tickled by Ed Begley Jr.’s capers as the son of the invisible man then serious help should be sought to have your sense of humour reattached.
"There ain’t no Thelma here man!”"
...but there’s certainly an impressive cast popping up here and there. Oh, and Steve Guttenberg appears as well. Michelle Pfieffer, Rosanna Arquette, Carrie Fisher and a bunch of guys renowned for their comic and otherwise works as well, including the inimitable Paul Bartel (assuming you stay put when the credits roll).
As dated as it is timeless, this is as hit and miss as any other compilation of sketches from various writers you could name – hell, even the Monty Python team had their fair share of funny-as-cancer moments. Ultimately it certainly (and sadly) beats the shit out of most any sketch type thing television series currently doing the rounds on Australian TV, so make of that what you will.
That guy on the left is a dick...
A surprisingly crud-free print has been sourced for this 16:9-enhanced, 1.85:1 transfer. Giving us decent colour for something so utterly ‘80s, the only major quibble is a tendency towards shimmer on regular occasions. Sure, there’s grain at times and all manner of film wobbles, farts and splats, however these are intentional so anybody finding cause for complaint is quite frankly a moron (possibly from outer space…) Overall it’s not the greatest transfer to ever have graced a DVD, but it’s much better than we’d guess most would have ever expected.
A standard Dolby Digital stereo mix is all that’s offered, and all that could reasonably be expected. There’s little to blather on about really, it does what it should in delivering the dialogue in an easily absorbed manner, while not offering up anything in the way of audible crappy bits that shouldn’t be there.
The music is almost all incidental, save for the dulcet tones of Don Simmons. Nothing rocks the house, but if Don did manage that we couldn’t accuse him of having no soul, so the joke would be lost and all and, erm, now we’re just trying to fill up space…
Anybody who’s made it this far is probably expecting our standard “there are no extras on this release”. Well HA! You’re wrong buster (or busterette, natch) as there actually are some. Nyahh!
Yes, it’s a surprise, and it’s even more impressive that they amount to more than a cruddy trailer or cast biographies (neither of which actually do make it). Rather, we’re given a set of six deleted scenes; an alternate opening, two deleted bits from sketches which made the final cut, plus three complete sketches which must have taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque when the final edit was sticky-taped together. Two aren’t really missed, especially the turgid war-based one, however the one about the French ventriloquist’s dummy is quite a bit of fun. Some may have seen this in the alternate TV cut of the flick.
Completing the extras is a set of outtakes that clocks in just shy of the six minute mark. It’s your usual collection of fluffs, but worth a quick peek nonetheless.
Surprisingly well presented as far as budget DVD thingies go, there are enough giggles on hand here to make this worth a look if you’ve never before had the pleasure. Bullshit, or not?
Jack & Sarah "Proving that simplicity is no obstruction to brilliance, this is an ultimately sweet (but not sickeningly so) tale that gives all those bigger English films out there a more than respectable run for their money... "