Roy Munson was raised to be the best bowler in the world (trained early on by his father). But a fellow bowler, Ernie McCracken and a misunderstanding with some rough punks, leaves poor Roy with the loss of his bowling hand! Not to let this get him down, he gets a prosthetic hand and becomes a travelling sales man. But it's really all down hill for him from that night on until ... One day he meets Ishmael who is Amish and sneaks away from the farm to bowl (his fellow Amish would disown him if they knew)! Roy convinces Ishmael to let him be his trainer and he'll make him the best bowler the world has ever seen. Reluctantly Ishmael agrees to go on the road and shortly afterwards actually finds that life outside the farm is quite fun. Soon their paths cross that of Ernie McCracken who is still a top ranking bowler. While Roy's career and life have landed in the toilet bowl, Ernie is still drawing huge crowds and all the babes! They both square off for the ultimate bowling championship .....Written by
Jane Byron Dean <McGinty@aol.com>
According to the Farrelly brothers, they didn't initially take Lin Shaye (The Landlady) seriously, after having already cast her in a small role in Dumb and Dumber (1994) at the suggestion of New Line Cinema studio executive Robert Shaye. However, when she came into read for this movie, she was mistaken for a homeless person looking for an ashtray. They politely tried getting her out until realizing it was her, in character, for the reading. The Farrellys were blown away and didn't see anyone else for the role. Shaye subsequently appeared in more of their films thereafter. See more »
During the Reno tournament, there are several instances where you can see the scoreboard above the lanes. Each time, the scoreboard has multiple names under each of the lane headings despite the fact that only one bowler is on each lane. See more »
At the end of the credits, the take where Lin Shaye does her cunningilus gesture into Roy's center rear view mirror is shown. She goes to the max with it until the director says, "Cut", and she busts out laughing at it. See more »
A deleted scene (not on the DVD) had Roy accidentally grabbing the Strip Club owner in the nuts with his hook. You can see the Strip Club Owner running out of the club after them holding his crotch. See more »
The crass breakout Farrelly Brothers comedy still holds up
I saw this back in the day in the theater at a midnight showing and loved it. "Kingpin" was a box office disappointment upon it's original release, but it found it's audience on home video and became something of a cult classic. The set-up is basically "The Natural" except instead of a 1920s Robert Redford having his baseball career cut short, we have a 1970s Woody Harrelson's promising professional bowling career cut short. Harrelson resurfaces 20 something years later to mentor an Amish bowling prospect, Randy Quaid, in order to get payback against bowling star Bill Murray, who was responsible for Harrelson's career ending bowling injury. Suffice to say, it's not the story that made this film memorable. It's the many over-the-top hilarious gags and some surprisingly earnest characters that make this film still hold up today. Some of he best gags involve Harrelson's rubber hand, the foul mouthed Lin Shaye, Harrelson trying to pass as Amish, Quade getting some cold drinks, and an odd Indecent Proposal sequence involving a cameo by Chris Elliott, but it's really Bill Murray who steal every scene that he's in, whether he's mugging after losing a bowling match, doing a self serving infomercial, or something as small as his bad hair combover, he is absolutely hilarious in what might arguable be his best comedic performance (and that's saying something). It's really too bad Murray's part is a supporting role, but it may be his limited screen time that makes his performance so special. Writer/directors Bobby and Peter Farrelly had previously made the popular (and I believe critically underrated) "Dumb and Dumber," but it was this film that helped pave the way for the slew of raunchy 90s comedies that followed, such as "American Pie," the Farrellys own "There's Something About Mary," all the way up to "Superbad." The 80s certainly had it's fair share of Porky's inspired raunch, but this new generation is a bit more story and character driven than their sleazier 80s counterparts. The main weakness of "Kingpin" is that the sappy maudlin elements of the story, which do certainly make the characters more empathetic, are often incongruous with the raunchy and absurd comedic elements. It's hard to go from Harrelson "milking" a bull or "paying" his rent to his hideous landlady to caring whether he finds redemption and self respect. However, "Kingpin" remains an enjoyably crass and rude comedy that although not be for all tastes is a hilarious treat if you can get into the spirit of the film. Vanessa Angel, Richard Tyson, Rob Moran, and Daniel Greene also appear in the film.
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