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Herschel Gordon Lewis has had an incredible career, and made many incredible
movies. He's credited with making the first gore movie ("Blood Feast"), and
directing many other legendary horror movies like "The Wizard of Gore" and
"2000 Maniacs". He also made this children's movie. That's right, a kid's
movie made by the man behind "Monster A Go-Go".
In this fable for America's adolescents, young Jimmy makes a foolish wish and stops time, so he and the motherly Aurora travel to the great clock to restart time. Unfortunately the evil Mr. Fig, who is a great advocate of procrastination, is determined to stop them. They fight an epic battle for the control of time and space, battling for the ultimate existence of mankind and the destiny of the endless recesses of the vast universe, and they also sing and dance! There's a great song about beans ("Beans, beans, wonderful beans/Nobody knows how much it means/to have beans in the morning and beans for lunch/beans for dinner and beans by the bunch"), and the self-explanatory show-stopper "I'm Mr. Fig", during which our villain does a disturbing dance where he pantomimes riding a horse, which looks very perverted.
At one point the movie stops, and an odd, boring cartoon plays for twenty minutes. Then the movie starts back up again.
Why don't they make great movies like this any more? No wonder our children are turning out like dullards, what with garbage like "Baby Geniuses", "Good Burger", and "Pokemon" crammed down their throats. Maybe one day David Cronenberg will make a children's movie, or David Fincher. Come to think of it, why not a remake of "Jimmy, the Boy Wonder" directed by David Lynch? Are you listening, Hollywood?
I did not find this film as unwatchable as the other watchers posted
here. I have seen other films from H.G. Lewis and He is capable of
competent and actually entertaining film-making. Though he is known for
"Blood Feast" and "2000 Maniacs",which I think is a very clever
feature, he actually has a fairly large body of work in several genres.
At some point he decided to create some fantasy films for children. Let
me start right off by saying that the home video of Jimmy The Boy
Wonder, that I viewed is from Something Weird. A company known for
putting out rare and hard to find titles. It is safe to assume that the
print from which they made this recording was likely in very poor
condition and probably could not be helped. The video quality is very,
very poor and there is much electronic "bleeding" in the image and
color. These factors certainly hamper any attempt at an accurate
critique of Mr. Lewis work. The credits indicate that Jimmy, The Boy
Wonder, was shot in Eastmancolor, like his other film and they look
great. I will give Herschell the benefit of the doubt about quality of
its original visual presentation. It likely looked quite colorful and
The opening credits is some colorful artwork with some original music. Most of the movie seems to have been shot around the same Florida locations that Lewis is known for. Coral Castle, Cypress Gardens and probably his own back yard. The overall plot is a bit like The Wizard of Oz and I suspect that was the main inspiration for Jimmy. Many fanciful characters wear fantasy type costumes such as wizards and Indians and oddball fairytale types. It is hard to judge from the VHS but The costumes are pretty hideous. Generally too busy and often ill fitting. There are a few silly songs in feature and I actually enjoyed them. They seemed out of sync at times, but I have no way of knowing if this is true of every print, or just this one. The audio on the SW video is also very poor. There is a villain called "Mr. Fig" who is always trying to get people to slow down and waste time. I could not believe the similarity in appearance and voice to the bad guy Robbie Rotten on "Lazytown" who is always trying to make everyone slow down and be, well, lazy. This guy is almost a mirror image. Midway through the film footage of the unfinished French animated feature "The Curious Adventures of Mr. Wonderbird". Almost every character in the thing is dubbed by Herschell Gordon Lewis himself. The dubbing was so out of sync that it was actually disorienting. I don't know how anything this awful could even be created. Obviously HGL did not have the time to do a credible job. Mouths move and say nothing. Voices are heard when no one's mouth is moving and you can't tell who is supposed to be talking. every now and again some words actually match the lip movements and it actually startles you!!! It really is a shame because the animation is fantastic. I am at a loss to explain how the rest of the film was put together. I suspect the HGL may have utilized some local children's theater talent. I think that someone could, given the current technology, potentially restore or fix this film and make something enjoyable. But its not likely to happen. Is it good or bad. Well, I cant recommend it as anything more than a curiosity. Though it has a steady pace, is short, and not exactly boring, I don't think children would find it entertaining.
Herschell Gordon Lewis, father of the gore movie, made a few kiddie movies
between gore spectacles. I have had the fortune to see one of these and am
utterly flabbergasted! JIMMY THE BOY WONDER is a wonder, all right, from
start to finish. You will not believe what you are seeing!
Jimmy Jay is a little brat who wishes time would stop on the first day of school. Mr. Figg, a weirdo with ugly eyebrows and an Adam Sandler voice, stops the universal clock and we are treated to shots of people unconvincingly freezing (sometimes people still move in the background!). A frantic wizard bedecked in a hideous cape and pointy hat summons his daughter Aurora (like a breasty young Kathy Bates) to aid Jimmy in his quest to the end of the world in order to start the clock again. And so it begins, possibly the most unpredictable, unbelievable, and amazing adventure any child could ever view! I can't imagine what a kiddie matinee thought of this! First SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS, now this?!
JIMMY THE BOY WONDER is 100% entertaining. I didn't get bored once through the entire thing, I just sat totally mystified, bewildered, and in utter disbelief. Features a lake of laughing potion, a badly dubbed European cartoon about a magic globe, horrible songs like "Beans", "Mr. Figg", and "Think Big" sung totally off-key and lip-synched terribly, a band of green Indians, Slow Motion Land (!), and of course, turning the whole world red and blue (don't even ask). The ending is also ridiculous, but fun. JIMMY THE BOY WONDER comes highly recommended by me for those who are looking for a good time and something out of the ordinary. This is definitely up your alley if that's you!
I think if you haven't seen this-thing-the other comments pretty much cover
what goes on up there on the little screen.
[Actually, let's establish right here that no matter how detailed the comments are, there really is NO WAY IN HELL you can possibly imagine what actually goes on up there on the little screen without actually seeing this horrifying cowflop. But I digress.]
So I'd like to make a comment, vs. write a review. I've mentioned in other Comments that I found out early on that, in my hunt for the world's worst movies, there's different dimensions of "worst." There's big-budget worst (Skiddoo, Myra Breckrindge, Battlefield Earth), low-budget why-are-watching-this? worst (no finer example than Night of Horror), utterly whack wolverine-hit-by-a-car-eating-its-own-leg worst (Troll 2, Blood Freak), stately, elegant, completely insane worst (Godmonster of Indian Flats! Godmonster of Indian Flats!), run-screaming-from-the-theater worst (King Kung Fu), and just-plain-depressing worst (Pink Motel, Microwave Massacre).
Jimmy, the Boy Wonder, creates its own class of worst. Jimmy, the Boy Wonder, makes you want to rise, smoldering, from your Barcalounger, go out on the street, and assault perfect strangers with a two-quart Mason jar full of nickels. It makes you want to get a buddy with a jailhouse tattoo, drive to western Kansas, and do an entire family of hardworking Republicans in a remote farmhouse. It makes you want to go to an orphanage and pour sugar in the gas tanks of the busses. Jimmy, the Boy Wonder is violence-inducing worst. Instead of Mike and the Bots, Jimmy, the Boy Wonder needs a simple silhouette of Sam Kinison at the bottom of the screen, going, "AAAAAAH! AAAAHHHHH! AAAAAAAHHHHH!" for ninety minutes, to help you scream away your pain, but it won't help, believe me, it won't help, your humanity will fall from you and you will run out like a horde of Mongols on hairy ponies looking for a nunnery to despoil.
There's my comment. I'm going to go watch Night of the Zombies about forty times to wipe the memory of Jimmy, the Boy Wonder out of my mind.
What a film. Now some may find this film appalling, (but that's because you're sober Dammit!) but to those who appreciate the genius of Herschel Gordon Lewis, in all his levels should find this film as a gem in the rough. With classic lines such as "It's not every day a tree offers you a hotdog." This film is bound to entertain. To best appreciate this fine cinematic experience, I urge whom ever may wish to watch this to be highly intoxicated. The sexual undertones (overtones), really spice up this film, just like adding handcuffs to popcorn. Near the end of this film, jimmy shows his true acting ability, by appearing eager to accept a "hotdog."
....along comes this piece of absolute crap! This was one of HG Lewis's
children's films, made in between all his trash and gore epics, and the only
reason to ever show it is
if you have children you want to punish. Though you may get hauled in for
child abuse later, as exposure to this film will do both your kids and you
permanent brain damage.
Let's see: a friendly fairy godmother who looks like Kathy Bates with a bad hangover, a droopy-mustached, overacting villain, a kid who redefines noxious child acting, the fact that most of the action was noticably filmed in the same dreary park (it looks like someone's backyard), wretched songs, crummy photography that looks like faded Super 8.....all of that alone would qualify this as bad, bad, bad, bad, BAD!!!!!
But wait! In order to pan out the running time, a Mexican cartoon was spliced in. The cartoon itself actually looks professional enough, but the dubbing (done by Lewis himself) is light years away from the character's mouths. This incredibly inept dubbing job just drags the cartoon portion down to the already low level the rest of the film has earned.
If you think you can endure this film without losing any facet of your mind...more power to you.
MST3K, you listenin'? Let's see you get through THIS one!
This is ostensibly a children's film. I would only show it to a child if I
wanted to give them a good example of nearly worthless film making. I say
nearly worthless because I did enjoy the song about beans. It really is
bad that little Jimmy's wish to stop time did not apply to Lewis and the
rest of the people responsible for this "film", thereby preventing them
continuing with production.
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