HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Isabelle
Non-Stop New York
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Oblomov
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
Ibiza Undead
Wings of Eagles, The
Beats
Body Parts
Shock of the Future, The
Friday
High Life
High Noon
Comes a Horseman
Scandal in Paris, A
Greta
Fight, The
Pink Jungle, The
Skiptrace
Double Date
Mind of Mr. Soames, The
Long Shot
Sherlock Holmes
Amazing Grace
Monitors, The
Memory: The Origins of Alien
Mesa of Lost Women
Banana Splits Movie, The
In Fabric
Sisters Brothers, The
Aniara
Flamingo Kid, The
Queen, The
Avengers: Endgame
Vanishing Act
Critters Attack!
Prison on Fire
Dragged Across Concrete
Do the Right Thing
   
 
Newest Articles
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
   
 
  Neighbors Next Door Is Only A Footstep AwayBuy this film here.
Year: 1981
Director: John G. Avildsen
Stars: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Cathy Moriarty, Kathryn Walker, Lauren-Marie Taylor, Tim Kazurinsky, Tino Insana, Igors Gavon
Genre: Comedy
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: It's another dull evening in the suburban home of Earl (John Belushi) and his wife Enid (Kathryn Walker), or at least it is until Earl hears the sound of a car drawing up outside the house next door. This turns out to be his new neighbours, and an attractive woman calling herself Ramona (Cathy Moriarty) rings the doorbell. Earl invites her in and as his wife is preparing something to eat he offers to let her join them for a meal, but what she is actually doing is opening a packet of frozen waffles. Earl doesn't think that's appropriate and neither does Vic (Dan Aykroyd), Ramona's husband who Earl finds settled down in front of the telelvision. This is just the beginning of what will be the most frustrating night of Earl's life...

Scripted by Larry Gelbart from Thomas Berger's novel, this troubled production was the last film of Belushi, who died shortly after filming from a drugs overdose. Ironically, the character he plays here couldn't be further from that personality, as a straightlaced, repressed family man - the strongest drug Earl would have taken would have been aspirin. Indeed, Belushi is cast against type, with Aykroyd taking the wild man role of Vic, winding up his new neighbour at every opportunity, but crucially never admitting he's out to make Earl's life a misery with his confusing talk and crazy schemes. The film was considered a disappointment on its first release, perhaps because of that casting quirk, but is not at all bad.

Movies starring Saturday Night Live comedians are a mixed bag generally. Most of them are pretty poor, in fact, but Belushi and Aykroyd had genuine star quality and could have gone on to make a successful double act for the rest of the decade if tragedy hadn't intervened. Here their interplay is very successful, as is the uneasy rapport with Ramona who continually acts as if she's trying to seduce Earl only to embarrass him or later on foil his passions and possibly seduce his wife instead. Enid will always take the side of Vic and Ramona, as we realise when Earl, skulking around in the bushes after Vic has taken thirty two dollars to get a takeout meal, sees her throwing the steaks he wanted to their new neighbours' dog.

Not only does Vic claim to go and get something to eat with Earl's money, but he also takes Earl's car, saying that the brakes are broken on his own truck. When Earl spies Vic making spaghetti and steaming the label off a jar of sauce in his own kitchen, he immediately grows suspicious and decides to test the brakes on the truck, only to send the vehicle into the nearby swamp. So Earl is continually on the defensive, and every time he confronts Vic or Ramona they always have a good explanation for their actions or resort to laughing off his accusations as a joke. The plot would have been just as appropriate for a horror movie, and almost becomes one when the two men venture into the swamp.

Although rarely more than gently amusing, there are a few good touches of lunacy. Vic demanding to know if Earl psychically willed Ramona's towel to fall off while she was in his bedroom as all the time Earl begs for help, sinking into the swamp, is a solid example of the kind of relationship the two have, full of misunderstandings and power games. As incident piles on incident, you can't help but feel sorry for Earl, and you get the impression that the actors really liked the characters they played, as their amiability shines through even at their most infuriating. However, when Vic and Ramona make plans to leave, it's hard to be convinced by Earl's pleading for them to stay, despite his protestation that he's never enjoyed himself as much as he has since they arrived. Still, Neighbors manages to be more winning than its reputation suggests, and a fitting, if uncharacteristic, swan song for its star. Music by Bill Conti, which sounds as if it comes from a Looney Tunes cartoon.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3721 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
  Derrick Smith
   

 

Last Updated: