You might have to have a solid appreciation of Hogan's Heroes to get into this movie at first, since it's riffing and twisting the ridiculousness of the sitcom via both the situations and the characters (at least three of the major cast members are here, with the Nazi's recast as Russians--but with little change to their costumes, accents, or characterizations, which is one of the jokes, you see . . .bad guys are interchangeable and type-cast in this world of politcal strategizing). Basically, the filmmakers have bumped up the scope, sex, and maliciousness of Hogan's Heroes (a sickly twisted show to begin with, if you really think about the ramifications of making a Holocaust/Nazi comedy--something that's been done multiple times at this point, but at the time of Hogan's making, and of the making of this film, neither Nazi's nor the Cold War were traditionally laughing matters). The jokes are admittedly scattershot and strange, but the strangeness itself is the reason to watch this film--it's endlessly inventive in idiocy and absurdism, while making some intriguing political insinuations about patriotism and political gloss (not things you'd expect in an over-the-top exercise in wackiness). A failed effort? Hell no--this is an under-appreciated work of abstract art-comedy.
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