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Roy Knable (John Ritter) loves watching television so much that his
marriage is falling apart because of it. When a door-to-door salesman
shows him a high-tech remote control, Ritter listens to his pitch, and
buys into it when he discovers that it's for a new television and
satellite system that offers 666 channels of programming--much of which
is not available anywhere else. However, the salesman may not have been
what he seemed to be, and Knable soon discovers that he may have agreed
to a contract that obligated him to give up more than money.
Oh, how I loved this film! Director Peter Hyams and the writing crew of Tom S. Parker, Jim Jennewein and Richard Siegel definitely had my number on this one. Stay Tuned is a very clever horror comedy that is extremely underrated and perhaps was a bit mismarketed. Although I'm a huge horror fan, and love horror comedies, I'd never heard of this one before (however, later I did find references to it in a couple horror sources, so it seems it wasn't completely overlooked by the industry and fans). But the horror aspect of the film doesn't appear to be advertised anywhere. I watched this on HBO's Family Channel. Even though Knable's son is important to the plot and there are strong fantasy aspects, this is not really a family film. Not that kids might not like the film, but they'd have to be kids who like horror (comedies) and whose parents let them watch horror (comedies). Enjoyment of the film is also helped by having a familiarity with the material that is being spoofed, and the references are broad enough that it would take years of experience to acquire that familiarity.
Why spoofed? Well, on one level, Stay Tuned is just a long series of crafty takes on film and television programs and genres, giving many well-known classics a more immediate horror twist--immediate because they all put our heroes, Knable and his wife Helen (Pam Dawber), in peril in some way. There are many more subtle jokes, as well, and the film even pokes fun at film students/film geeks. The spoofs range from silly to poignant, and can be as quick as a title or as long as ten minutes or so. One of the best is a classic Warner Brothers-styled animated segment. The style and the quality should not be surprising, as Chuck Jones designed and supervised the animation.
Under different hands, maybe this material wouldn't be quite as good as it is. Hyams' direction is spot-on throughout the film, the script (including the dialogue) is very intelligent, and in addition to Ritter and Dawber being as good as I've seen them, Stay Tuned also features Jeffrey Jones (one of my favorite character actors) and Eugene Levy. Both are fantastic.
Stay Tuned deserves much wider recognition. It is funny, suspenseful and seems to draw from a well of endless inventiveness. It's as good as any other horror comedy I've seen. There is also a surface message of turning off the television and living your life, which is a worthwhile sentiment, but perhaps a harder sell when it is packaged in a film as excellent as this.
A 10 out of 10 from me.
I stumbled upon this movie while channel flipping, ironically enough. I thought that the film was very well done, with just enough cheesy humor to keep me groaning and laughing. The jewels of the film were found in it's references and TV jokes. Some humor at actor Ritter's expense gives the impression that movie is making fun of itself. Jeffery Jones plays an excellent role, further showing off the actor's versatility. What the film lacked in plot, it made up for in originality. The highlight of the film is a cartoon segment done by the legendary Chuck Jones, parodying the Tom and Jerry clichés we all grew up with. All in all, a funny if not cheesy film, definitely worth watching.
This was a clever and funny movie, much better than I anticipated. Most
of the humor involves takeoff or parodies of television programs and
movies. Being familiar with most of them, I enjoyed the humor. The
takeoff involved having the devil take charge of some of these
John Ritter and Pam Dawber play husband-and-wife "Roy and Helen Knable" who get sucked into buying a TV dish package straight from The Devil. After the purchase, which comes complete with 666 channels, mayhem ensues. There were a number of spots in here I just laughed out loud. Knowing a lot of the TV programs that were being spoofed helps a lot, of course, but there is a lot of good material in this film. The special-effects were pretty good, too, especially for a film that really never got a lot of exposure nor, I assume, had a huge budget.
Jeffrey Jones and Eugene Levy, two guys who are usually pretty funny, supply some good humor here, too. I looked at this strictly for laughs even though I know the devil is somebody to take seriously, but this film was anything but played for seriousness. As a bonus, we even got a Chuck Jones cartoon in the middle of the story.
This is one wacky movie and I'd like to see it on widescreen DVD. I last saw it on tape. This is recommended to those who enjoy dark humor.
I've read a few bad-type reviews on this, but that just shows what I know. i think Stay Tuned is one of the funnier movies to roll along in a while. Yeah, it's filled with TV rejects like Ritter, Dawber, and Levy, but they're still kinda funny. The funniest thing are the TV parodies (yes, they're funny, dammit), and the whole parody of the modern entertainment industry. Plus you've got a great Chuck Jones cartoon set right in the middle. Moves along just fast enough to keep your interest, and the characters are just tolerable enough you don't want to turn off on it. As was noted, it grows on you.
Stay Tuned is a excellent movie! John Ritter, Pam Dawber, and Eugene Levy was good. Jeffrey Jones performed well. I like how the film was made. The scenes were really cool and the segment of Duane's Underworld was really funny! The wrestling match segment was awesome! George Gray played Mr. Gorgan. He was better known in the old wrestling days (when it was special in My opinion) of the WCW in the early 1990s as The One Man Gang and in the old WWF days in the 1980s as The One Man Gang and "The African Dream" Akeem! It was so cool seeing this 6'6, 400 plus pound wrestler because he is one of My all time favorites and also it was good to see Captain Lou Albano! Good music by Bruce Broughton and direction by Peter Hyams! Anyway, there is a whole bunch in the movie and is all I can say is that if you like Ritter, Dawber, Levy, and Jones and want a wild ride of a movie then I suggest you see Stay Tuned!
A very long time ago i saw a trailer of this movie when i was on vacation in the US and i said that one day i´d get to see this movie, some years went by and on my first trip to California i went into a Suncoast store bought some movie souveniers and asked for this film, I found it with a regular price and bought it,at this time i had just seen the trailer, not read any reviews or nothing, i just knew i had to have it cause it looked cool on the trailer, I was so right in buying it, this movie is great, being myself a couch potato i can relate to George Knable (Played wonderfully by the recently deceased John Ritter) and the stuff that happens to him when hes sucked inside his new satellite dish with his wife into a programming of 666 channels into alternative horror versions of classic shows and movies,Theres even an MTV kind of video with Salt N Pepa that is so cool i had to buy the soundtrack of this movie, i love that sequence when theyre all dancing, To me this film rocks and its a must see, John has passed away just 2 days ago and i feel this movie as being his best movie of all because he is the main character and he does a great job at being funny, I will always remember John Ritter.
I have always liked this film, since I was younger. It's an expensive flop
but at the same time I think it has plenty of laughs and is entertaining.
The late great John Ritter is always good value and likeable as is Pam
Dawber, the ultimate fanciable former sitcom star. She is differently
attractive and I have always fancied her like many others, particularly from
the Mork And Mindy days, you know that sitcom with Robin Williams that you
used to find funny but when you look back now it kinda
This is good family entertainment. It's inconsistent and some of the references aren't that funny but on the most part the referencing of old movies and TV shows is where most of the humour lies. Good fun. ***
The funniest bit is probably Roy Knable being plopped into a certain Santa Monica three story house, tripping over a sofa, and being questioned by a certain blonde and brunette, "Where have you been?!" Is "Three's Company" John Ritter's personal Hell? Who knows, but it's a broad wink to the couch potatoes in the audience.
My friend Kenn Harris recommended this movie to me and I was against it
from the start weeks ago because it always looked stupid to me and I
hate John Ritter with a passion. But I called him and apologized for
doubting him - this film is a hidden treasure.
While it is true that John Ritter is a one-dimensional actor, this film does not rely heavily on his acting or even his speaking. The bulk of this film is visual gags and pop culture references. If you grew up watching TV, you should catch most of these and they're hilarious. "Different Strokes" was great, and so was "Fresh Prince of Darkness"... and who can forget "Frankensteinfeld"? If that's not enough, two great actors round out the cast - Jeffrey Jones and Eugene Levy. Jones is often a minor actor, but he is given top spot in this film, and rightfully so. As we later saw in "Ravenous", this man has a full potential for evil and his screen presence is terrific. Levy is classic, his character is the real hero of this film. Best of all, this is a younger Levy, years before he became known as the father from "American Pie"... this is pure Levy, untainted. This film highly recommended.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I haven't seen the movie in years but do remember liking it. Both
Ritter,Dawber and Jones are perfectly cast in this comedy. A married
couple,one of which is totally obsessed with TV like many of us
all..kidding...anyway both husband and wife are sucked into the TV
through the Satel light dish and thus the real fun begins.
I won't spoil the movie for anyone but there's a very amusing sequence where both are animated mice. If you happen to see it in the video store rent it. Even though it didn't fair well at Box Office it still is a pretty good flick. One of Ritter's best movies in my opinion. I bought it at a yard sale shortly after Ritter died in memory as well as I knew it was a good movie having first seen after it was first released on VHS. Everyone in the movie was awesome. Sure there's spots where it could of been better but for the most was pretty good flick.
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