A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Movie 17 – Amazon Women on the Moon

Amazon Women on the Moon – March 17, 2010

Much like last night’s Kentucky Fried Movie, tonight’s is a channel flip movie. But where last night’s was so very obviously from the 1970s, Amazon Women on the Moon is pure 1980s. The first sketch stars Arsenio Hall! It’s lacking a little something in the way of the charm of Kentucky Fried Movie, but it’s still got breasts. As Andy has pointed out, you can tell when implants got popular.

The fun part about this one for me is that the central “movie” is a parody of old 1950s sci-fi adventures, and thanks to MST3K, we own and have seen several of those. I love them. They’re so horrible and yet so awesome at the same time. This one definitely has the combined feel of Firemaidens from Outerspace and the Rocky Jones serials, with the soundtrack from This Island Earth. Anyhow, one of the things about this one that’s a little different is how they’ve presented the movie within the movie. It has interruptions for ads and other sketches, often complete with channel switch static and noise, then comes back with an apology for the interruption. It’s made to look like an entire reel is missing mid-film. The point behind it is for “realism” but while the laconic announcer and still title cards do make me nostalgic for channel 56’s Movie Loft from my childhood, it just isn’t as much fun to me as the set-up in Kentucky Fried Movie.

Still, there are some great sketches. Like “Bullshit or Not?” A Ripley’s Believe It or Not parody with Henry Silva, who asks at the end “Did I just take this job for a quick buck?” Also a favorite is “Video Pirates”, which is still relevant, even if it’s DVDs now, not videocassettes and laserdiscs and oh my god, betamax. Really, it does have some fantastic bits, but it’s not quite as quotable as Kentucky Fried Movie is. I’ll think of the “I’m soooo scaaaaared!” bit from “Video Pirates” when I see an FBI warning, and we can’t say the title normally, we have to say it in the cadence of the announcer in the movie. But compared to last night when every other line had me laughing and wanting to quote it, it’s just not the same.

One thing I do love about this that gives it an edge is the post-credits extra: Reckless Youth. It’s a parody of a health/informational short films like the ones MST3K did and Rifftrax does now. It stars Carrie Fisher as a poor young woman who contracts “a social disease” while partying in New York. The tone is so spot on, it cracks me up. Having seen a ton of educational shorts, I’m always up for a good parody of them.

So yeah, overall? It’s a fun movie, much in the same vein of Kentucky Fried Movie (and there are some callbacks to it, like Samuel L. Bronkowitz showing up twice in Amazon Women), but it’s not quite as good.

Tomorrow we move on to a channel flip movie with a plot! Weird Al’s UHF.

March 17, 2010 Posted by | daily reviews | , , , | Leave a comment

Movie 16 – Kentucky Fried Movie

Kentucky Fried Movie – March 16, 2010

Still no heat or hot water and if I had to watch/review 300 tonight I think it would probably end up with a review that read “Fuck Sparta. Fuck Gerard Butler. Fuck it all.” I can’t do that tonight.

So tonight? We’ve got Kentucky Fried Movie, one of three movies we categorize as “channel flips”. Amazon Women on the Moon and UHF are the others, even though UHF actually has a plot. Kentucky Fried Movie is unfettered by such things as plots! It relies on bad puns, running gags and breasts. Oh yeah, there are breasts. Lots and lots of breasts. Particularly in the section that’s an ad for the fake porno “Catholic High School Girls in Trouble”, which, incidentally, was cut out of the version available for rent at the local video store near my high school. Make no mistake, this movie is full of offensive shit. It’s a product of the 1970s and it shows, not just in the clothes, hair and pop culture references, but also in the jokes and overall humor. There are a lot of jokes in the movie that just wouldn’t fly these days, and with good reason. Still, I’m fond of it. Partially because there’s enough humor that’s still funny to keep the movie amusing as a whole, and partially because of its channel flip format.

The reason we call these movies “channel flips” is because of how they’re structured. There’s a central “movie” that spoofs on a popular trope (kung fu movies for this one, with A Fistful of Yen) and then a series of short sketches, commercials, show promos, news segments, etc. surrounding it. This movie has a lot of quotable moments, like the “I’m a gemini, so I can expect the unexpected” line (followed by being shot with an arrow) and so very many in A Fistful of Yen. I’m also fond of the poisonous fish exchange in the segment about ocean exploration. The thing is, it’s hard to explain this movie without just going through every bizarre 1970’s flavored moment of it. There’s the parody porn, the mock ads, the educational video about zinc oxide, and after a while you just sort of stop registering that it’s different. It’s like flipping channels but every channel you flip to is showing sketch comedy.

In the middle of all the inanity of the short sketches is A Fistful of Yen. It’s horribly stereotypical, full of puns that will make you wince, and is the source of one of our most oft repeated exchanges. You see, there’s a moment where the villain shows the hero how he’s split up his prisoners into three cells. As they walk past he explains:

Villain: “Just lost drunken men who don’t know where they are and no longer care.”
Hero: “And these?”
Villain: “These are lost drunken men who don’t know where they are, and do care. And these are men who know where they are and care, but don’t drink.”
Man in cell 2: “Where am I, I don’t know where I am!”
Other man in cell 2: “Yeah, and I don’t drink.”
Villain: “Guard! Put this man in cell number one, and give him a drink!”
Guard: “What do you drink?”
First man: “I don’t care.”

Why do we reference that so very often? No clue. It’s the last line that does it. And neither of us drink! So clearly we’d belong in cell three. The men in the cells are later rescued by a running gag from an earlier sketch. It makes very little sense, but if you’re looking for sense in this movie? You have chosen poorly. It all ends with a Wizard of Oz reference. That should tell you what you’re looking at here.

After A Fistful of Yen is over, there’s a whole other chunk of channel flip sketches. There’s a beer commercial, a disaster movie promo, a short bit from the United Appeal for the Dead, the zinc oxide film, a black and white court sketch, and a few more news updates. They’re all at least a little funny. Enough so that if I quoted every moment I loved I’d have a few pages of quotes. So instead I’ll leave you with just one: “The popcorn you’re eating has been pissed in. Film at eleven.”

March 16, 2010 Posted by | daily reviews | , , , | Leave a comment