This time Zucker and Abrahams are spoofing, most notably, Elvis films and WWII spy movies. Val Kilmer stars as Nick Rivers, a handsome American 50s-style rock and roll singer. While performing in East Germany, he falls in love with a beautiful heroine and becomes involved with the French Resistance. Written by
Nick puts the 20th tally on the jail cell wall representing his 20th minute in jail. In the next shot the wall doesn't show any tally marks. See more »
[the East German national anthem]
Hail, hail East Germany / Land of fruit and grape / Land where you'll regret / If you try to escape / No matter if you tunnel under or take a running jump at the wall / Forget it, the guards will kill you, if the electrified fence doesn't first.
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It doesn't get much sillier than this - and they even say so in song!
An American rock and roll idol goes behind the iron curtain (while there was one!) for a culture fest but instead becomes involved in the resistance movement.
Forget about the film itself, the very idea of an Elvis Presley movie being mixed with a French resistance film and produced by the Airplane! crew is enough for laugh number one. Not only is this a bizarre world but seems to be playing games with time and history, the communist East Germany being portrayed as a kind of war time Nazi set-up!
Kilmer does well with an impossible role to the point where you wonder if he didn't miss his vocation. He can sing and dance better than many real singers and he proved in The Doors that he is really a major musical force. Strangely it is rumoured that he didn't realise this was a satire!
The stupidity of many Elvis movies and those Saturday morning children's reels (scientist and beautiful daughter) are taken to the cleaners and you have fantastic sight gags. The "falling guard" gag is one of the best sight gags in the history of movies - I challenge anyone not to laugh at it.
I enjoy a stupid movie every now and then and admit I enjoyed this one. Clearly the authors know little about German history or European culture and the little they do know seems cribbed from watching bad B movies on the subject, but what the hell. This is too stupid for anyone to get seriously uptight about. "How silly can you get?" sings Kilmer at one point in the film: Maybe a little, but not that much!
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