Monday, December 8, 2014

The Kentucky Fried Movie - 1977

"The Kentucky Fried Movie" - 1977
Dir. by John Landis - 1 hr. 23 min.

Original Trailer

by Clayton Hollifield

I grew up on movies like "The Naked Gun" and "Airplane!," but "The Kentucky Fried Movie" was the scattershot starting point for not only the Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker team, but pretty much for all modern spoof movies.  Even better, a lot of the movie is still really funny, even independent of what's being spoofed.  It helps that there are parts of the film that don't directly tie to other movies, and what's here is deliberately silly and filthy at the same time.  But much in the same way that "Airplane!" has aged well (no one else does this type of humor in quite the same way, so this approach hasn't really been overexposed), "The Kentucky Fried Movie" holds a lot of it's humor, which is saying something for a film that's nearly forty years old.

"KFM" is an anthology movie, comprised of a bunch of unrelated skits (mostly; there are a couple of recurring gags that pop up).  Some are movie parodies (like "Cleopatra Schwartz" and "Catholic High School Girls in Trouble"), some aren't.  The largest segment in the film is a take-off of Bruce Lee's classic "Enter the Dragon."

In some regards, you could consider this an analogue to "Saturday Night Live."  What's the difference?

Well, the one chief difference between this film and SNL is that, like every good '70s movie, it's chock full of breasts.  But not just breasts...

And since it was the '70s, you're not going to get the same thing from the actors that you get from the actresses.  This is about as good as it gets for the ladies:

Now, this isn't the only reason that "KFM" isn't Saturday Night Live.  For the most part, the actors in the film aren't really people who you've heard of, except for the known actors who are making cameos, like Donald Sutherland or Bill Bixby.  But their involvement is more along the lines of "I can't believe they got involved with these weirdos" than actually doing any of the comedic heavy lifting.

But mostly, this is a silly movie with nudity and dildos (and other stuff, too).  In other words, this is exactly the movie you're going to want to throw on after a night out and a couple too many drinks.  You don't need to be in that state of mind to enjoy "KFM," but it doesn't hurt.  It's consistently funny throughout, and comes off cohesively even though the sketches are unrelated, because the style of humor is consistent all the way through the film.  The sketches generally don't overstay their welcome, and it's also a lot of fun to see gags getting worked out that would get play in Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker's later work.  Plus, director John Landis would go on to do a couple of decent films later on, too,  I'm not claiming that "The Kentucky Fried Movie" is better than "The Blues Brothers" or "Airplane!," but that this film is worth checking out on it's own merits.

4 / 5 - Streaming

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