Hooray for a dreary, rainy Saturday morning. Add to that the fact that I feel like crap and it makes for a not so fun morning. So I think I should make this morning more fun and, luckily for me, today’s movie is just the thing to do that. I think everybody has seen the movie Airplane and almost everyone recognizes it for the comedy gold that it is (yes, there are those rare people that don’t like that movie). But before they made movie history with that masterpiece, there was another movie written by the Zucker brothers and Tim Abrahams that showed audiences just how funny they were, The Kentucky Fried Movie.
The plot: The movie is made up of a collection of short sketches and parodies with the longest of them being a spoof of Enter The Dragon.
- The movie starts with a newscaster stating that “The popcorn you are eating has been pissed in. Film at eleven.”
- Next there is a commercial for Argon, an oil company that is able to produce oil from unusual sources, such as teenagers faces, combs from Italian people, and fast food.
- Next is an A.M. morning show segment where an onsite reporter can’t hear the studio as he winds up scratching his butt and picking his nose on camera, a point/counter-point segment devolves into profanity laced insults, an astrologers report meant for people who can’t take responsibility for their lives, and an animal segment where the handler shows an Australian hamster and a gorilla named Dino. As the handler comments about having trouble getting the gorilla to mate, the gorilla rips off the handler’s shirt before going on a rampage throughout the studio.
- A man gets into his car as a series of alarms go off, forcing him to lock the door, buckle his seatbelt, and finally zip up his pants to silence them all.
- A parody preview of a sexploitation film called Catholic School Girls In Trouble. Among the clips shown are three topless girls chained up and being whipped by a dwarf in a clown suit, and a girl’s boobs being pressed against a glass shower door while she is having sex.
- A man goes into a theater to watch a movie in “Feel-A-Round”, where an usher physically acts out what happens in the movie to the viewer, culminating in holding a knife to the viewers throat at the film’s climax. When the theater announces the next movie is Deep Throat, the patron runs screaming from the theater.
- A commercial for a headache medicine that cures people by making them unconscious.
- A talk show called High Adventure where the boom mike operator continuously messes with the host and his guest.
- Another quick headline from the newscaster, stating that “Moscow is in flames. Missiles heading toward New York. Film at eleven.”
- Bill Bixby hosts a commercial for headache drug Sanhedrin, where he shows researchers in a clinic hitting people on the head with various objects in order to get test results.
- A commercial for a home deodorizer where people that don’t use it have guests tell them upfront what the house smells like.
- A couple put on a record of a how-to guide for sex. As the couple follows the record’s instructions, the man experiences premature ejaculation so the record company sends Big Jim Slade to satisfy the woman.
- The feature film parody titled A Fistful Of Yen. A detonated nuclear missile has been revealed to be Chinese made, but the Chinese government denies any involvement. The real mastermind is a man named Dr. Klahn, who has stolen famed nuclear physicist Ada Gronick. The British government hires Loo to infiltrate Dr. Klahn’s fortress, a mission which Loo initially refuses until he learns that he can kill 50 or 60 people. Loo arrives at Dr. Klahn’s base, where he meets up with Ada before infiltrating Loo’s underground lair. When Loo is discovered, he defeats several of Dr. Klahn’s men before he is captured and forced to fight Klahn’s bodyguard. When Loo defeats the bodyguard, Klahn sends the rest of his army after him, but Big Jim Slade appears and frees Klahn’s prisoners, who proceed to fight with Klahn’s army. Loo faces Klahn and defeats him by throwing a bucket of water on him, causing him to melt. Loo then wakes up at his home in Kansas, believing it all to have been a dream.
- A commercial for Willer beer, featuring Hare Krishna monks.
- Another headline with the newscaster stating, “Rams plagued by fumbles as earthquakes rock Los Angeles. Film at eleven.”
- A commercial for Scot Free, a board game based on the John F. Kennedy assassination
- A parody preview of a disaster film called That’s Armegeddon. Starring George Lazenby as the architect, Barbara Radnitz as the nurse, and Donald Sutherland as the clumsy waiter.
- A commercial for United Appeal for the Dead, an organization that supports keeping the corpses of their dead loved ones around and treat them like family.
- A courtroom parody where they treat the trial like a game show and take every word literally. Wally and the Beaver make comments from their seats in the courtroom while a newscaster broadcasts what is happening. There is a brief commercial where a girl is frying a cat in Nesson oil, before going back to the courtroom. Back in the courtroom, the witness points to the driver of the vehicle which turns out to be the newscaster
- A parody preview of a blaxploitation film called Cleopatra Schwartz, featuring a Pam Grier like woman and her husband, a short Jewish Rabbi, who work together to clean up the streets.
- An education film called Zinc Oxide and You, where a woman is at her home where everything that uses zinc oxide begins disappearing, including her car’s brakes, her kitchen sink, her husband’s pacemaker, and even her artificial limbs.
- A parody of the TV show Thrill Seekers called Danger Seekers, where a man named Rex Kramer walks up to a group of African-Americans and yells out a racial slur, before running off with the men chasing after him.
- A couple turn on the news before they begin to have sex. When the woman is topless, the newscaster starts stumbling over his report as he begins to focus more on the couple. Members of the news crew appear on the screen to watch the couple and they begin to cheer them on but when the couple turn back to the TV, the crew disappears and the newscaster resumes his report. The couple resume having sex and the crew returns to the screen, with all of them sharing a collective orgasm with the couple before the newscaster signs off.
- The movie ends with the newscaster stating, “I’m not wearing any pants. Film at eleven.”
The Kentucky Fried Movie was well received by the critics, earning an 80% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Some critics felt that though it was juvenile and tasteless, the film showed some genuine wit and had excellent production values. The movie was a box office success, earning $20 million off of a $650 thousand budget. Aside from launching the careers of the Zucker brothers and Jim Abrahams, this movie also helped launch the career of John Landis, who would go on to direct other classic films such as National Lampoon’s Animal House, An American Werewolf In London, and The Blues Brothers.
This is such a funny movie to watch, so long as you aren’t easily offended. The actors all did a good job in their roles but the writing and imagery were the stars here. The writing was incredible and really showed the comedic timing of the writers. Add to that the various sight gags that were used to enhance the humor and it just made the movie that much funnier. Yes there were some parts that some would find offensive but overall, this is simply a funny movie that promised better things from the people that came up with it.
Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5