HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Werewolf
Little Monsters
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans
Pentathlon
Anna
Moulin Rouge
Ray & Liz
African Queen, The
Helen Morgan Story, The
Golem, Der
Yentl
Finishing Line, The
Triple Threat
Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, The
Driven
Planet of the Dinosaurs
Gwen
Big Breadwinner Hog
Thunder Road
Moby Dick
Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie
Mad Room, The
Phantom of the Megaplex
Night Sitter, The
Child's Play
Power, The
Midsommar
After Midnight
Dolemite is My Name
Varda by Agnes
Toy Story 4
Master Z: Ip Man Legacy
Man Who Never Was, The
Greener Grass
Scobie Malone
Gangster, the Cop, the Devil, The
Brightburn
Satanic Panic
Claudine
   
 
Newest Articles
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
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
   
 
  History of the World Part I The Good Old Bad Old DaysBuy this film here.
Year: 1981
Director: Mel Brooks
Stars: Mel Brooks, Dom DeLuise, Madeline Kahn, Harvey Korman, Cloris Leachman, Ron Carey, Gregory Hines, Pamela Stephenson, Shecky Greene, Sid Caesar, Mary-Margaret Humes, Orson Welles, Rudy De Luca, Paul Mazursky, John Hurt, Spike Milligan, Bea Arthur
Genre: Comedy, Historical
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Twenty million years ago, the dawn of mankind occurred as the apes learned to walk erect on two legs, whereupon as the sun cast its light on the landscape they began masturbating furiously. Then, a few million years later, they had evolved into cavemen where their culture was in its most nascent form, as the leader of this tribe (Sid Caesar) led his people into a new way of thinking, bringing them to understand humour, art and music, although this also gave rise to the critics who were wont to piss on the art if they didn't approve. Now we have established the human race, we can settle on the story of Moses and the fifteen commandments...

Writer and director Mel Brooks' previous film to this had been his exacting Alfred Hitchcock spoof High Anxiety, which had gone down well with the public but those critics he always had a grudge against did not appreciate his attempts to take on and send up the Master of Suspense. A lot of that was down to Brooks' liking for the most obvious, broadest gags he could invent, which if you were not among his legion of fans could elicit more of a groaning eye roll than a hearty laugh, but the benefit of going that obvious was that there was more of a chance for anyone to get the joke, no matter what their sense of humour was, though whether they would appreciate it was another matter.

Still, Brooks aficionados continued to make his movies successful, and History of the World Part I was one of his movie parodies more than it was a takedown in his inimitable fashion of historical events, as if Hollywood's attempts to go highbrow and court glowing responses from the more intellectual, or would-be intellectuals, in the audience was something he had seen straight through. Essentially, Brooks didn't trust Hollywood to be classy when he had experience of precisely how crass it could really be. Translating this to a script he penned himself, he took a variety of eras that movies had depicted, and proceeded to take the mickey mercilessly. But was he quite as funny as he thought he was being?

For those fans, that question hardly needed to be asked, they loved the jokes and the dirtier the better, bringing everything down to the basest level as Brooks suspected everyone was able to relate to. If you were not among that coterie, it wasn't so much a matter of not getting the historical references, for while he was keen to show off his erudition, if you'd paid attention in history classes or had read a book or two - not watched a movie, though, definitely not - you would see what he was getting at no problem. No, it was all to do with Brooks' irreverence, nothing wrong with that, but there was plenty oddly cynical about dragging everything under his gaze here through the mud of lampooning, putting across the notion there really was no point in aspirations to culture.

For the Roman segment, for example, Brooks played a stand-up philosopher, equating the idea that working through some high-falutin' thought processes to divine the meaning of life was better off the province of comedians, after all they were no less observers of existence than serious-minded writers. But with jokes straining for giggles about slavery, circumcision, eunuchs and a punishing class system among others, you would have a better time with Asterix. Next up, the brief but lavish Spanish Inquisition musical number again showed Brooks and company had been given an impressive budget, yet the material was relentlessly upbeat when you may well have the impression that adding a layer of depth, even darkness, to the injustices of the past would have offered a richer prospect. By the time the French Revolution is upon us, you could complete your scorecard of the director's regulars, and be impressed how well designed this was, but lament the lack of zingers. The Jews in Space trailer was better than Spaceballs, however. Music by John Morris.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1372 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
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: