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Wow. I read about this movie and it sounded so awful that I had to see
it, and my gosh, I can smell it in St Louis. Where do I start? National
Lampoons was trying to follow up 5 years later on the success of Animal
House, but they completely missed the mark. I'll go chronologically
with these short flicks.
Short Film #1
Poor Peter Riegert (Boon from Animal House). Apparently, he wasn't working back then, so the boys at National Lampoons probably called and said "hey, we're making a c**ppy movie, wanna be in it?" Peter was like "well, I'm not doing much these days, why not?" He was a great side character in Animal House, but he couldn't carry this sorry short flop for 5 minutes.
POSSIBLE SPOILER The premise is funny enough, with Jason Cooper (Riegert) telling his wife to leave him, she needs to find herself. It's too weird that they're actually in a happy marriage. So he chases her off, there she goes, and Cooper is in charge of the kids. This, off course, leads to him burning the house down, losing several of the kids, and sleeping with an assortment of New York bimbos (including an ever so young Diane Lane). Then the wife comes back, wants the kids, and the film ends with a coin flip that'll decide the fate of the children. The idea was actually somewhat clever, but the director stunk. The characters all seem like they're falling asleep, they HAD to be doped up. Sorry Boon, your legacy was tarnished with this flop.
Short Film #2
Enter Dominique Corsaire. Pretty girl, recently finished college, not sure what to do with her life. So she becomes a slut, starts sleeping around with some mega rich guys, takes their money when they die, and she doesn't stop until she beds the most powerful man in the world, Fred Willard (Ooops, I mean the president of the United States). Once again, it could have been funny, and though I was happy that Corsaire (Ann Dusenberry in real life) wasn't afraid to bare all, her acting was horrible. What a waste of time.
Short Film #3
I can't believe I made it this far. Here's the rookie cop Brent Falcone (Robby Benson) with veteran Stan Nagurski (Richard Widmark). Falcone is young, naive, thinks he can really help people, though he becomes cynical after being shot several thousand times. Nagurski, really, has just given up caring. He watches muggings, assaults, you name it, and never intervenes. He figures the world is lawless and he'll probably get sued if he does anything. Even Christopher Lloyd (at the end of Taxi's run) gets in on the action, getting the police called on him, committing a crime, but having his lawyer there to protect him. God bless America!!
Once again, could have been funny, the performances were intentionally campy, but goodness, no energy whatsoever. Henry Jaglom and Bob Giraldi should be ashamed of having their names on this schlock. I think the writing wasn't bad, the ideas were there, but the execution was pulled off as well as the rescue attempt in the Iranian hostage crisis. If I had been a part of this film, I would want my name removed, it's horrible. Then again, that's why I watched it.
The only good thing about this garbage is that Dr John did the film score (repeating "Going to the Movies" over and over again) and the film isn't much longer than an hour and a half. Show this one in film classes with the heading "what you should NEVER do in film-making." This script should have been left on the shelf because yep, it's that bad.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was not expecting much from this film, maybe a few laughs. I was happily surprised. It's a bit of stream-of-consciousness. The writers allowed their characters to go off wherever they wanted to go, which is refreshing. Even if it meant having a young daughter go off on a fire truck and never be seen again. The middle story, about the margarine is actually quite funny. Yes, there are some over-used gags, like using the theme to Jaws. But really, the movie does have its own feel, its own way, and I enjoyed most of it. The cop story goes on a bit long, but Christopher Lloyd is funny, and there is a very stupid line that made me laugh; it was something like, "When I woke up I looked around for my dog to smack it, because I like to smack my dog when I wake up, and he got upset and went into the bathroom and filled my syringe with Ajax." Anyway, I laughed out loud quite a few times. Relax, enjoy the film for what it is. And enjoy the cameos.
I chuckled a few times during this movie. I laughed out loud during the
notarizing of the margarine company handover (pun intended).
There are three segments in this movie. The first one is supposed to be a spoof of "woman 'grows up' and launches career" movies. The Tampax® box was the funniest thing in this segment. Most of the cast members aren't listed here on IMDb. They are the lucky ones. Few other people will be able to connect this thing to the ruin of their acting careers.
The second segment is a spoof of "sharkish woman sleeps her way to the top and seizes control of huge industry" movies. Robert Culp has several funny moments, all physical humor, including the aforementioned handover. After his character dies the segment sinks lower and lower as Dominique Corsaire rises higher and higher. By the time she becomes First Lady I wanted to rip the cable out of the TV and watch "snow." I switched to Pakistani music videos instead. I don't understand Urdu, or whatever language the videos were in. It was still better than listening to the dialogue in this painfully dull "story."
Then came "Municipalians" with the *big* stars, half of them on screen for less than a minute: Elisha Cook, Jr., Christopher Lloyd, Rhea Perlman, Henny Youngman, Julie Kavner, Richard Widmark and ... *Robby Benson.* It's supposed to be a spoof of "young cop teams with hardened, substance abusing older cop who needs retirement *badly*" movies. The horizontal flash bar on the police car is very impressive. It was interesting seeing old RTD buses, and a Shell gas station sign, and an American Savings sign -- none of them are around anymore. Nagurski's "Never stop anywhere you might have to get out the car" made me smile momentarily. Then they discuss how boring the young cop is. A lot. Back and forth about how boring he is. That was as boring as this description of how boring it is. Nagurski's Law Number Four, "Never go into a music store that's been cut into with an acetylene torch," made me think that the music store is a real business at the actual location the dispatcher gave. Thinking about that was more interesting than the set-up for the gag which followed. Young Falcone (Benson) gets shot. A lot. He becomes a hardened cop like Nagurski. The segment keeps going. On and on. And on. It won't stop. It rolls relentlessly onward no matter how many times you wish he'd just *die* already so this thing will end. It doesn't. It goes on and on and on.... Then a "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" episode which I've seen four times already comes on. Thank God! This abysmal movie ended while I went to get the mail.
National Lampoon was once a funny magazine. Whether you liked the stoner hippie days of the late sixties or the smug and sassy coke-head days of the seventies (when the comedy was fortified with plenty of naked babes) depends very much on your date of birth, but everyone agrees that by the early eighties, middle age had killed off whichever remaining sparks of anarchic humour that the drugs hadn't, and offerings like this film and the increasingly terrible spin-off records shot further holes in the hull. Outside of a nicely illustrated title sequence, there's absolutely nothing to recommend this singularly depressing stinkbug. If you make it through the baffling opening segment, 'Growing Myself', hoping things will get better, tough luck - they don't. Whoever thought the idea of a woman being brutally raped with a stick of butter was comedy gold deserved to have his head handed back to him on a platter of dog mess. If there's ever a global shortage of guitar picks, the negatives of this rambling, incoherent ragbag of crummy ideas and dire performances may well serve some purpose.
Facts about National Lampoon Goes to the Movies, a.k.a. National
Lampoon's Movie Madness:
1. The movie is poor, even by Lampoon's typical standards. 2. It's not funny. 3. No one goes to see a movie.
So, after I finished watching it, I began wondering why on earth it's called 'National Lampoon Goes to the Movies,' and why it was ever conceived, much less actually made. It would be like calling Austin Powers 'An American Guy Goes to the Movies.' How lame. He isn't American, and he doesn't go to movies. None of the characters in Lampoon's so-called 'satire' are funny, and none go see movies, which causes a bit of a problem. I had hoped it would be something in the vein of Mystery Science Theater 3000, but it isn't.
This was National Lampoon's first film after Animal House, although you couldn't tell it from the quality of film. Poorly developed, rough and amateurish by any standard, it induces headaches not a good sign for an 89-minute movie that seems double the length.
I've noticed a pattern. Really bad movies are typically renamed and this little disaster falls under that category. It has two separate titles -- probably to help try and promote it to people too stupid to remember how bad a panning it received from home video critics in 1982/83. 'Hmm, Movie Madness I've never heard of this movie before! Let's rent it!' And then, the realization: 'Hey, wait a minute, this is just National Lampoon Goes to the Movies!'
It was shelved by MGM/UA, never to be released into theaters or DVD; it occasionally pops up on television a few times per decade, which is just about the only place you'll manage to find it.
It's split up into three stories a parody of self-enlargement videos, butter and corporate ruthlessness, and police brutality/cop-buddy films (I guess). The first segment stars Peter Riegert (Animal House) as a frustrated guy who divorces his wife and does some other stuff. I'm not sure what because it was so boring my mind started to drift. Until the sex scene popped up.
Part II is about an exotic dancer raped by a stick of butter (don't ask) who decides to become Queen of the Margarine so she can cut off the supply of dairy products. Ouch! This contains the only funny line in the movie: 'Only I can make love with my son!' If you think that doesn't sound very funny, you're right it's not. And just imagine it's the highlight of this film!
Part III is about a cop who chases down a serial killer (Christopher Lloyd) only to lose his nerve and shoot the guy. It does contain one funny scene but it's extremely over-acted only Lloyd really exhibits any humor, playing his character dry and compassionate, yet strangely surreal. The part where he's choking his victim and the meek cop stands by watching it all unfold, at least, evoked a chuckle or two.
It's a shame to watch such a cast of semi-famous names resort to low standards. The writers of each segment clearly believe that they're being very ironic and clever by spoofing so-called stereotypes the fault being that the movie becomes one huge contradiction, favoring the standard T & A instead of plot; crude humor instead of witty dialogue; desperate performances instead of inspired ones. It's easy to see that none of the actors were enthralled with the material, muttering their lines, often so embarrassed they can seldom make eye contact with the camera.
The movie isn't funny, as I said before. I laughed once, at only one line, and even then it was a halfhearted one. Two chuckles, a smile, and a very weak laugh. Compared to Movie Madness, a number of other decent comedies seem like regular laugh tracks.
I like National Lampoon's Vacation series (or, at least three of four installments), and their classic Animal House, but their recent slew of direct-to-video bombs such as Golf Punks (with that great comic genius Tom Arnold) provide a good example of why their magazine went out of print more than a decade ago. It gets really old, really fast.
Sad to see a new film, called Gold Diggers, is being released with their 'stamp of approval.' It's like condemning a film before it even hits theaters maybe they should start not advertising their name all over the place
Distributor: 'This movie is bad. It gets the National Lampoon stamp of approval. That'll teach you not to make something so awful next time.'
Forget the death penalty. Just stick a bunch of criminals in a room and make them watch this over and over every day for a month.
It's so bad that I can't even begin to explain its putrid vileness. I give up.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Hey, this was a parody, and I thought it was pretty funny in parts. It
was arranged in order from weakest to best episodes.
I didn't care for the first episode at all. It just seemed pointless, and the parody elements were over the top. I guess I missed the redeeming feature of Teresa Ganzel's T&A scene because I saw the movie on TV, where they censor anything good.
The second episode about the corporate climbing rags-to-riches story was better, but I really didn't get into it until just about the end, where the First Lady relinquishes her marriage and position to Dominique. that's when it struck me that this whole story was just a parody of a feminist's wet dream. Then I thought the story was pretty funny, but fairly predictable and linear.
The third episode I thought was great! I loved the parody of every serious cop coming-of-age flick ever done, and I liked Robby Benson's acting. Yes, I said that. I thought his smarmy, sensitive young cop fresh out of the academy was just sickening enough to avoid being over the top, and then I absolutely loved the way he suddenly became a rude, burned-out, unkempt, obnoxious cop. It was a great juxtaposition and I gained respect for Benson right there.
The plot of the third episode was tight, and it even had a twist at the end after the burned-out Falcone kicks Nagursky out of the car to attend to a dangerous domestic dispute, and then Falcone ends up getting shot (again), even though he stayed in the car this time!
Actually, I saw the end of this movie several years ago and I remembered the little closing shot of Benson doing some Buster-Keaton-like prat-falls down the road as the iris fade closes in. I was impressed by his physical acting (if that was indeed Benson and not a stunt double).
"National Lampoon Goes to the Movies" is the worst movie ever made,
surpassing even the witless "Plan 9 from Outer Space." At least that
was just inept; the Lampoon film, on the other hand, is both inept and
Once upon a time, movies used to respect their audiences' intelligence.
This one, however, holds a fetid, rotting carcass up to our faces -- and
then tries to rub our noses in it.
Another reviewer on this site wrote that the only good parts of the movie are the nude scenes; and I agree, Misses Ganzel and Dusenberry do flash a bit of flesh, and very nice flesh it is. But the directors seem not to realize that even T&A needs a good story to surround it. There's none of that here.
Perversely, the film makers save the worst for last. The third of the three segments is the ugliest of the trio. In this vignette, Robby Benson plays an eager-beaver young police officer reporting for duty on his first day on the job. He is paired with a weary, cynical oldtimer played by Richard Widmark. For just a moment, we are given hope that this film will end triumphantly. Surely, we think, the youngster's spunky attitude will rub off on the cynic and change him for the better.
Forlorn hope! Instead, the cynic wins the day -- and the youngster's spark is doused forever. "National Lampoon Goes to the Movies" and heads right for the toilet, asking us to follow it down the drain. Nominally, this is a comedy. But where's the humor?
I just saw this Movie on a local TV Station (TV8's "Big Chuck and
Little John" in Cleveland, Ohio) I had never heard of this movie and
decided to watch it.
I know of no thesaurus that can even come close to aiding me in describing how bad this movie really is. The script is awful. The acting, well other than one of two exceptions, is pointless since there is nothing in this material that merits any real effort.
It looks like a bunch of little ideas, leftover from various writing sessions, that where thrown into a blender. It's not just funny. The "parody" aspect is strained at best. Some references where almost out of date (even for the time of it's release). No wonder I had never heard of it, it's really bad, worse than anything Saturday Night Live, MAD TV or even In Living color put out in their worst days.
If you see it on TV, it is a great example of how NOT to make a movie. Whatever you do DON'T WASTE A CENT.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
One of the strangest comedies ever made, and unfunniest. Trailing
NATIONAL LAMPOON'S ANIMAL HOUSE by five years, you'd expect the boys to
something. But this movie lacks madness and couldn't be more
sterile and uninteresting.
Consisting of three tales, the first has ANIMAL HOUSE alumni Peter Riegert going through an early midlife crisis. He dumps his wife, quits his job and raises his children by himself: while dating a fourteen year old (Diane Lane) and not caring about anything especially humor.
The second is the most bizarre: SUCCESS WANTERS has JAWS 2 ingénue Ann Dunesburry as a beautiful college grad who becomes a stripper she's raped by horny businessmen using, of all things, margarine and then marries a margarine Mogul and soon becomes a monopolizing widow. Then she's the first lady of the U.S. President and the real first lady's lover. Sounds more enticing than it really is, but Dunesburry looks great as usual.
Then we have the last and worst story although an indie film icon Henry Jaglom directs it (Bob Giraldi helms the first two). In MUNICIPALIANS a starry eyed Robby Benson plays a rookie cop who, unlike his gruff and lazy veteran partner Richard Widmark, wants to take the job seriously. He gets shot and beaten and just about everything else in the Wile E. Coyote tradition and What does it matter? What does any of it matter? But like a train wreck, you might wanna take a peak. (And the magazine's cartoon artwork between the stories are actually pretty cool.)
For More Reviews: www.cultfilmfreaks.com
Despite the actors who starred in this movie, there was no hope,
including Christopher Lloyd who is a big name and is a very talented
man. It started out pretty slow, and my husband asked me when was the
movie supposed to get funny! We continued and managed to watch the
first story. The second story started and we decided to turn it off
after about five minutes.
My husband and I thought we were taking advantage of a Black Friday sale at a bargain store chain and decided to add some more movies to our collection. So, we bought this DVD for $1.88, but that was still $1.88 too much!!!
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