Saturday, March 22, 2014

1980: The Worst/Guilty Pleasure

Doubling up here because there are only three for my worst list and one huge guilty pleasure.

The Worst

Really, really, really disappointing film based on the wild life and times of journalist Hunter S. Thompson.  Bill Murray is cast as the man himself (a fine bit of casting that Bill went overboard with) and Peter Boyle is his traveling companion.  Not much of a plot to be found and not much in the way of laughs either.

Few things are worse than bad comedies (a fact proven by my worst of the year list consisting of three comedies) and the only reason this isn't my pick for worst of the year is that there is something even more putrid.  This film, however, is a crass bit of unfunny garbage starring the late Doroth7y Stratten as an android on a ship of incompetents looking for a priceless artifact.  Bad comedy, a nothing plot, even the admittedly nice Chris Walas f/x aren't enough to save this one.

Here it is, the worst of the worst of 1980.  The first Smokey and the Bandit was an enjoyable enough comedy with some nice stunts, good work from Burt Reynolds, Sally Field and Jackie Gleason and a rather deft touch by director Hal Needham.  The sequel though, takes the stuff that worked for the first movie and tosses it out in favor of Burt acting like a self-centered jerk, some bad comedy with an elephant, some dull stunts and absolutely no point whatsoever.  Even Gleason and Dom Deluise (struggling manfully with a one-note Italian accent as a joke for his character) aren't enough to save this one from being one of the most obnoxious things I've ever sat through.

Guilty Pleasure
 
This really should be on the worst list but for some ungodly reason, I find myself digging the hell out of the Cheech and Chong movies.  The first one was okay but this and the one that came after it were both directed by Tommy Chong and as a result, are two of the most bizarrely disjointed movies I have ever seen.  In the case of this one, it is a true stoner comedy in every sense with a barely lucid plot about the two guys dealing with angry neighbors (who have a point really since their house is a hellhole and they might be two of the worst neighbors on the history of film) as well as trying to sell weed.  Cheech pulls off two roles here, playing his usual role as well as his Texan cousin Red.  Paul Reubens is also on hand here as an obnoxious desk clerk and Michael Winslow cameos, doing his usual sound effects stuff.  The latter half of the film has Red and Chong going around town getting into mischief while Cheech tries to get laid.  It's not deep comedy (to be honest, the film is just weird) and Chong isn't much of a director but in spite of myself, I end up laughing enough to say give this a look.  Don't do it sober though, that's the sort of thing only a guy like me can pull off.

Up next, we get the good stuff...

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About Me

I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.