HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Moonchild
Verite, La
Guilty, The
Stranger in the House
Redcon-1
G.G. Passion
Chien Andalou, Un
Boar
Bulldog Drummond
First Man
Machete Maidens Unleashed!
Cannibal Club, The
Grasshopper, The
Searching
Human Desire
Climax
Stiff Upper Lips
American Animals
Outlaws
Venom
World on a Wire
Velvet Buzzsaw
Picnic
Dick Dickman, PI
Hunter Killer
30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock, The
Race for the Yankee Zephyr
Boys in the Band, The
Brainscan
T-Men
   
 
Newest Articles
He-Maniacs: Ridiculous 80s Action
All's Welles That Ends Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 1 on DVD
Shut It! The Sweeney Double Bill: Two Blu-rays from Network
Network Sitcom Movie Double Bill: Till Death Us Do Part and Man About the House on Blu-ray
No, THIS Must Be the Place: True Stories on Blu-ray
Alf Garnett's Life After Death: Till Death... and The Thoughts of Chairman Alf on DVD
Balance of Power: Harold Pinter at the BBC on DVD
Strange Days 2: The Second Science Fiction Weirdness Wave
Strange Days: When Science Fiction Went Weird
Ha Ha Haaargh: Interview With Camp Death III in 2D! Director Matt Frame
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
   
 
  Radioland Murders Scare On The AirBuy this film here.
Year: 1994
Director: Mel Smith
Stars: Brian Benben, Mary Stuart Masterson, Ned Beatty, George Burns, Scott Michael Campbell, Brion James, Michael Lerner, Michael McKean, Jeffrey Tambor, Stephen Tobolowsky, Christopher Lloyd, Larry Miller, Anita Morris, Corbin Bernsen, Candy Clark, Dylan Baker
Genre: Comedy, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Penny Henderson (Mary Stuart Masterson) is being run off her feet in her job as an executive at WBN, a brand new radio station which is to broadcast its opening night of shows this very evening. To complicate matters, her husband Roger (Brian Benben) is trying manfully to persuade her not to divorce him, even though she caught him in a clinch with one of the station's singers, Claudette (Anita Morris). He insists it was all a misunderstanding, but she is not too sure. But there's no time to worry over that now - the broadcast is about to begin! So why is there a mysterious voice breaking over the airwaves as the band starts up?

Radioland Murders was a project long in gestation, and its producer George Lucas, who in addition came up with the story, was due to direct it back in the seventies until Star Wars happened and he decided he wasn't keen on directing anymore. With a script by American Graffiti writers Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz, also worked on by Ron Osborn and Jeff Reno (whose cult credentials included producing and writing Duckman on T.V. - oh, and The West Wing as well) the omens were good, or at least they were for those willing to overlook the flops the Lucas name had been associated with over the years.

As it turned out, Radioland Murders joined the shamefaced ranks of those failures, and for most was quietly forgotten about. But for fans nostalgic for the old time radio that the film depicted, not to mention the by-now neglected genre of comedy murder mystery whose heyday was around the same time that the radio the film depicts was ruling the airwaves, this was a real gem. Harking back to the likes of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello's Who Done It?, you could not call this sophisticated humour, and as far as the laughs went there were far fewer hits than misses, but its boundless enthusiasm became oddly infectious after a while.

As a mystery, it's not up to much because the only person the murderer can be is the only one who acts normally apart from Penny (and there's no way she could have been the killer). This means everyone else is way over the top, practically winking at the audience to gee them along as the likes of Michael McKean plays a band leader who can turn into Spike Jones at the drop of a hat or Ned Beatty as the short-tempered station boss join the rest of the cast in gleefully consuming the scenery, no mean feat when much of it was computer generated. In fact the plot grows more and more difficult to get a handle on as it proceeds, only falling into place in the final five minutes.

That plot sees the station desperately trying to stay on air while the most important staff are picked off one by one, always preceded by an ominous voice breaking into transmission (it is never explained how the killer manages to do this while still in plain sight of other people). Benben is exhausting to watch as he does his best with keeping the tone frenetic, dressing up in outlandish costumes or performing stunts that see him hanging off the side of the towering building. Masterson's Penny may faint occasionally, but she's the much needed calm in the eye of the storm as Mel Smith's direction keeps things snappy enough to almost forget that the material is not hilarious enough. But it is likeable, and wins you over in its breathless rush through a genre that really didn't mean much to audiences of the nineties and might have been better suited to the seventies after all. Music by Joel McNeely.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2513 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
George White
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
   

 

Last Updated: