HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Midnight Hour, The
Willies, The
Playhouse
Love Lottery, The
Deeper You Dig, The
Trouble Brewing
Song Without a Name
Incident in a Ghostland
Relic
Nobody
Now, At Last!
Tales from the Hood
Radio Parade of 1935
Dead
Death at Broadcasting House
Huracan
Ghost Strata
Call to Spy, A
Tailgate
Other Lamb, The
Every Time I Die
Lynn + Lucy
Topsy-Turvy
Honest Thief
Blood and Money
Rose: A Love Story
Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made
Om Dar-B-Dar
Silencing, The
J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of SubGenius
Dick Johnson is Dead
Two/One
Cognition
Legacy of Lies
I Am Woman
Alien Addiction
Dare, The
South Terminal
Little Monsters
Yield to the Night
   
 
Newest Articles
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
   
 
  Kingpin Bowled Over
Year: 1996
Director: Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly
Stars: Woody Harrelson, Randy Quaid, Vanessa Angel, Bill Murray, Chris Elliott, William Jordan, Richard Tyson, Lin Shaye, Zen Gessner, Prudence Wright Holmes, Rob Moran, Daniel Greene, Will Rothhaar, Danny Murphy, David Shackelford, Hank Brandt
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Ever since he was a small boy being coached by his father, Roy Munson (Woody Harrelson) had been destined to be a professional bowling champion, but his dreams were about to come crashing down when he won his first tournament back in 1979. The man he beat was Ernie McCracken (Bill Murray), and losing against a newcomer became the source of a grudge for him, so much so that he fooled Roy into joining in with a scam against some unfriendly players. This resulted in McCracken fleeing while Roy was left to face the music: and lose his bowling hand...

As with many comedies directed by the Farrelly Brothers, Kingpin was essentially a road movie, taking its characters on a literal journey as well as moving them through some life changes. At the time it was released, it was criticised for its crude humour and reliance on putting not only the people on the screen but those in the audience as well through some disgusting sequences, and it's true this features some of the most rancid gags of the team's ouevre, but there's a curious sympathy with the three main travellers even as they go through the most awful ridicule.

Roy sees the light at the end of the tunnel when, seventeen booze-fuelled years after his "accident", he happens to meet Ishmael Boorg (Randy Quaid) in a bowling alley and be impressed with the skill he is displaying. Unfortunately Ishmael is Amish, and has no interest in gambling or going to Reno to win any championship, so as Roy hits rock bottom he is forced to pose as Amish to infiltrate Ishmael's community and persuade him to go along. As it happens, that community is desperately in need of funds, so Ish sees a chance to become a hero to his townsfolk who up until then have mocked him.

Predictably, Roy corrupts his new friend, as if he had a checklist of vices to introduce him to, starting with smoking and coffee and eventually alcohol, drugs, fast driving in cars and clothes with buttons. There are three people in this party, and the third they pick up when they save her from her rich and abusive boyfriend. She is Claudia (Vanessa Angel, the only one of the four principals not to don comedy hair), and she is as much a money-grabber as Roy is. They may not get on, but they act as rowing parents to Ish, so that by and by they see eye to eye and what is meant to be a touching relationship between the three of them develops.

That's if you don't mind your nose being rubbed in the ugly sordidness of their lives, and the Farrellys, working from a script by Barry Fanaro and Mort Nathan, could be mistaken on this evidence for wanting to make the most depressing comedy they possibly could. There's even a sequence where Roy goes back to his old hometown to discover it's hopelessly run down and abandoned, as if he is not allowed any happy memories anymore, an optimistic childhood included. This all leads up to a grand tournament with the long time coming showdown between Roy and McCracken (Murray in probably his sleaziest role), which is more than an opportunity to pack in ever more rubber hand gags, it is a chance for Roy to regain his self respect too. Not that the filmmakers let him off that easily. Is Kingpin meanspirited and cruel? Or are we supposed to feel sorry for these characters? It could well be both, and the laughs are measured out accordingly; not hilarious, then, but it grows on you if you let it.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2929 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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: