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Bacon Head (2001)
Great overlooked comedy
Baconhead is full of original ideas, some more fleshed out than others, but at the very least proves that Ray Mahoney should get more work. It is a collection of shorts, most of them tied together in various ways, and all seeming to take place in the same world. It is a world where a guy named Chauncy finds himself chased out of The Land of the People Named Chris, has songs about a guy that cleans tubs "Quinlin the detailing tubbist", and oh yeah, toast is illegal. A major part of the movie, and one that ties in with other parts, is the Toast Police. They are four cops out to interrogate and kill anyone they have to in order to get to the bottom of all the toast coming into town. It is also a world where you order a pizza, and the topping is pepperoni-sized pictures of your own face (leading to an awesome scene where the guy that ordered the pizza has been killed, and the cop checks the pizza). There are arguments about having a clue, a notion, and a purpose ("I've never even SEEN a purpose much less had one!"). A highlight is the Senator and the Monsignor, who have a slogan duel and conversation using their own lingo that could catch on as much as the phrases from Wayne's World if enough people saw it. My friends and I reference this movie a lot. There are a few unrelated skits, such as the musical number "Three Guys in Band Hats", and a couple made up commercials. A very unique movie, one where a guy can be picking pieces off the ground and say he is collecting his thoughts, while another comments not to worry about one of them because its just a crazy notion. Low budget for sure, but very original and funny to the right audience. While I'm a huge Troma fan, and this is a Troma release, it doesn't fit in with the typical idea of what a Troma movie is. They just happen to be the American distributor. It is (or was) available on VHS, and on a Troma DVD called "Tube Top TV" that also includes a movie called "Viewer Discretion Advised". Not one for people that need Hollywood-level production values, but if you like original humor that you won't find anywhere else, check this one out. Also, it is in black and white, obviously a creative choice, which seems to fit it well. I hope I've convinced a few people to check this one out at least.
Parker Lewis meets middle school
I avoided this show for a while simply because it was a live-action Nick show and I hadn't liked any they've had since "Pete and Pete" (I'm currently 27). However, I decided to watch this show one day after "Drake and Josh" (another current Nick live-action show I've noticed is funny) because I saw that the episode was directed by Fred Savage (for you kids, I grew up watching him on "The Wonder Years" and in the video game themed movie "The Wizard"). So I watched and its really good and really funny. However, I suggest to any fan of this show to look for episodes of "Parker Lewis Can't Lose". This was a show I grew up with that is made in much the same style of "Ned's" but is about high school kids and is aimed at a slightly older audience. It has the cartoon style writing and sound effects and many things in common. I have no doubt that the person who pitched the idea for "Ned's" to Nickelodeon said "We are going to make a show like Parker Lewis but set it in a middle school". Currently, "Parker Lewis" isn't on DVD, but if it ever is or you have the chance to see episodes otherwise, don't miss it. While I really enjoy "Ned's" and watch it whenever I see it on, I still must say that "Parker Lewis" topped it in every way. Not because it's the one I grew up with, but just watch it, you couldn't get much better or funnier. The fact that it was about high school made a lot more material and more adult issues and jokes possible. It never used gross-out jokes just for shocks, but used the freedom to make some really witty moments. It also didn't have to set as good of an example as "Ned's" because it wasn't a kids show, allowing some good characters with less morals than Nick would let them have. I'm sure it will be on DVD someday, it was pretty popular when it was on. Keep watching Ned's, or watch it if you haven't, but don't miss out on the original show that must have inspired it, and was the master of this type of show.
If you don't enjoy this movie you aren't familiar with the original
I think that most people saying bad things about this movie must think it takes itself seriously, which says something about the people to begin with. If you know the original 1936 version, this movie is awesome, otherwise you'll likely be confused. It is a sarcastic version of the original film with some great campy music, with great choreography. The songs that have nothing to do with pot are some of the best. It may seem like it was convenient for rhyming purposes to call the love interest Mary Lane, yet that was her name in the 1936 version, long before they called pot Mary Jane. Just a great coincidence that made for great rhyming. The DVD includes the hour long 1936 movie, if you haven't seen it, watch it first. This really is a musical version of that same story, pot paranoia intact, as the original was misinformed scare tactics. Despite your stance on legalization, you can't deny that the original film grossly exaggerated the effects. One hit and people become killers and whores. The movie is first and foremost a goofy musical comedy though. If you are looking for a message you won't find one except maybe the fact that people used to believe anything they saw on film. Don't judge this movie without seeing the original though, and if you don't get a laugh out of the original, you wont out of this either. It is required viewing, so much that they included it on the DVD!
Parts of the Family (2003)
Very entertaining release by Troma
I bought this movie direct from Troma at a convention, I'd wanted to see it since Troma first ran previews on their dvds for it years ago. It has taken a while to come out, and was available at this convention, but still not released to regular outlets. Lloyd Kaufman's appearance in it made it even better. The DVD contains two different versions of the movie by two different director. I just watched the "original" version and have yet to watch the "tromatic" version, so maybe I'll comment again after that. I have 7 other Troma movies to watch though from that convention. I'd recommend this one though, especially if you are familiar with Troma releases. Otherwise, what are you waiting for? Get familiar. I'd suggest starting with Tromeo and Juliet, The Toxic Anvenger (parts I and IV), and Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD, those are all Troma in-house productions though, where Parts of the Family is simply distributed by them. As far as distributions, I'd say check out Cannibal: The Musical.
Mainly for the fans... no the BIG fans
I liked this movie a lot, though I could understand how some wouldn't get a lot of the jokes as they are references or homages to things that happened in the original series, some very obscure. I've probably seen every episode about 4 times if not more, as well as shows about the actors, and have just looked up trivia on the internet from it over the years. I still think it would be a funny movie, but only about half as funny, if you didn't know a lot about the show. One part I liked a lot, and a good example, is when Uncle Arthur materializes. First I never thought anyone could play a Paul Lynde character, but Steve Carrell pulls it off nicely, giving me more hope for his portrayal of Don Adams' Maxwell Smart in the upcoming Get Smart movie. But when Uncle Arthur wants to drive Jack somewhere, Jack remembers an episode where he wasn't a good driver and brings up the fact that he can't drive well. Uncle Arthur says "that wasn't really me, I'm a good driver!". This is because earlier off on the show, before they had a character named Uncle Arthur, Paul Lynde guest starred as a driving instructor with anxiety problems. It really wasn't Uncle Arthur, it was another Pual Lynde character from the show. I doubt most people are gonna get the jokes of this level at all, but as a fan I'm glad they made them. It definitely seems well researched. It isn't a remake of the show though, so if the casting is a little off, it doesn't bother me. I don't however understand why Isabel (Nicole Kidman) has a real Aunt Clara that screws up spells and collects doorknobs (you see her bag of doorknobs briefly), just like the show's Aunt Clara, when Uncle Arthur is required to be a fictional character that has materialized briefly. Isabel wasn't allowed to watch Bewitched as a child because of how it portrayed witches, but after things like this I was expecting her to find out it was based on her actual family or something. Though this was never a deal breaker, I really liked the movie, and Will Ferrel was hilarious as usual.
The Secret Squirrel Show (1965)
Exactly who is this guy working for?
Secret Squirrel is a great show, and Super Secret Squirrel, which was part of the "2 Stupid Dogs" show in the 90's was even better. I know is name is secret Squirrel, but its still odd to me that everything he has is imprinted with "SS" as this was of course a Nazi thing in WWII. They never say exactly which country he's working for! The SS all over the place creeps me out though! Now if we can just figure out who Dasterdly and Muttley were working for on their show that was all about stopping Yankee Doodle Pigeon. Doesn't sound like America, though they were bad guys, they were lovable bad guys. Maybe its a Hogan's Hero's type of thing. Oh well, great cartoon all around!
Wally Gator (1962)
The Greatest Operator in the Swamp
I watched this cartoon as a kid, and a lot more now that Boomerang is showing it. It's another one of the Hanna-Barbera formulas where a zoo-keeper or similar is trying to keep an animal from getting into mischief. These would also include The Hair Bear Bunch, Squiddly Diddly, Magilla Gorilla, Yogi Bear, and I'm sure a few others that aren't coming to mind. This is what I would consider good Hanna-Barbera, where I'd put Yogi, Huckleberry Hound, and Quickdraw McGraw as the best. I at least like this formula better than the group of teens solving a mystery formula, which was WAY overdone after Scooby-Doo, and with little talent. The one thing I don't get about Wally Gator is that the opening theme has him riding a boat around a swamp, while the theme song says "Wally Gator is the greatest operator in the swamp." The show takes place at a zoo though, there is no swamp there. There's one episode where he breaks out of the zoo and returns to the swamp to steal turnips from a farmer, which he says he used to do when he lived in the swamp. So maybe he was once there, but not in the show. You could wonder why the greatest operator in the swamp would allow himself to be captured and put in a zoo, but then he does mention how zoo life is much more luxurious, meals brought to you, etc... so maybe its exactly what he wanted.
John Leguizamo: The Pest (1997)
Hey man I love it
I'm not gonna try to defend this movie... it makes me laugh so much that it has to be brilliant. Apparently it doesn't make everyone laugh like this... if it does though, its some of the most fun you can have watching a movie. Critics hate it, a lot of people say its annoying, maybe I'm tasteless, but if so I'm tasteless and having a good time watching "The Pest". This is coming from someone whose favorites list also includes stuff like "2001" and "Pulp Fiction", as well as silent stuff like "The Last Laugh". Not that people that like those would like this, but just goes to show, different people like different things. My favorites include "Jason X" as well, so you be the judge! Hopefully you'll see what I do in this movie, if not, too bad... it can be fun!