by Adam M. Wilcox
“The popcorn your eating has been pissed in. Film at 11.”
When you open up with a line like that, you can sit back in your seat stare at your popcorn funny, and KNOW you are in for a treat!
Do you want to laugh? Hard? I mean REALLY laugh?! If so you might want to take your shoes off and get ready to roll around in the mud for a while because this movie is as dirty as junior’s socks at 4pm on summer’s day. You might want to close your blinds, and check your inhibitions at the door. Do race jokes offend you? Does nudity offend you? Does racist sex jokes about nudity offend you? Might want to check all that stuff at the door too. Kentucky Fried Movie has not aged well at all, and that is in fact part of it’s charm. It has a strange title, but I assure you that Colonel Sanders, and KFC have zero to do with this movie.
It is hard to believe that there was a time where if anything was funny enough, it went in the script. The most recent thing that comes to mind is Family Guy which is always in hot water over something. Kentucky Fried movie is a series of sketches. The way it shows on the screen is basically the equivalent of being stoned, sick, or just too freaking lazy to change the channel on a Sunday afternoon. The sketches make fun of TV, News, Movies, Commercials, anything. Think of a more American version of Monty Python’s And Now For Something Completely Different. In other words, it is a comedy anthology film. There is not really any overall plot or narrative, or really anything that links any of these sketches together. Just a very cynical, and hilariously insane parody of having your TV stuck on one channel all day.
And that is what makes comedy work. When you take something, and exaggerate the hell out of it. This lost classic was written by David Zucker, Jerry Zucker, and Jim Abrahams, the same comedic geniuses behind Airplane! (IMO the funniest movie ever made), The Naked Gun, Police Squad, and Top Secret!, and directed by Jon Landis, the famous director of The Blues Brothers, Animal House, and An American Werewolf In London. This movie is filmed on the budget of one high school field trip. Various cameras were used. Many different actors. There are some surprise actor cameos in the mix, but I don’t want to spoil all of the fun. Just know that this movie makes fun of anyone and anything you might have heard of. Nothing is sacred here, and nothing is hidden. You want boobs? There are more boobs here than most slasher horror movies. All played for laughs, but totally worth it.
At one point as we go from movie ads, to commercials, to gameshows, the movie takes a huge left turn, and shows a large chunk of an impressive parody of Bruce Lee’s: Enter The Dragon. I think this might be where most of the budget of this movie went, but it shows. Evan C. Kim is fantastic! What makes the Zucker brothers’ movies work so well, is that real actors play these goofy parts as if they were in a real movie, and that is what makes it so damn funny. I mean funny where you laugh every time you think about it. There is just not enough good comedy like this now days. Most of the time, you are going to see Kevin Hart, Adam Sandler, or Will Farrell do the same bits over and over, mostly droll adlib humor with product placement, and then pause silently and look awkward so that the audience knows to laugh. Movies like this, are paced very quickly, jokes are hidden within jokes, and even the products featured in the movie are jokes within jokes themselves. They don’t even care, if the jokes land or not. You are either there, or you showed up to the wrong movie.
This movie does not make any apologies for being an adult comedy. This is Kentucky Fried Movie! Full of nudity. Full of racist, sexist dirty jokes. Full of puns. It may not have aged well, but it exists. It is a reminder that in less hypersensitive times, comedy movies used to be made for one reason, just to make people laugh. And sometimes the more extreme the material, the bigger the laugh. If you stay until the credits roll, and you check your sensitivity at the door, I can at least guarantee a good time. I give this lost comic gem a 4 out of 5 cheese curds. Some of this material might be dated. I mean if it was that offensive you would have changed the channel by now, but you are probably too stoned to even bother switching it off you lazy degenerates!
Movie at 11!