HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Slapstick of Another Kind Why Don't You Go Take A Flying F - Oh, Never Mind
Year: 1982
Director: Steven Paul
Stars: Jerry Lewis, Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman, John Abbott, Jim Backus, Samuel Fuller, Merv Griffin, Pat Morita, Orson Welles, Virginia Graham, Steven Paul, Cheire Harris
Genre: Comedy, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: A race of space aliens have offered Planet Earth a gift: twins who have the power of incredible intelligence, but when they were given birth to in China, they may have progressed their society far in advance of anything elsewhere in the world, but the aliens did not like the goals the Chinese had in utilising that intelligence. So they tried again, making Lutetia (Madeline Kahn), the wife of rich businessman Caleb Swain (Jerry Lewis), give birth to two very ugly and apparently mentally backward twins, a brother and sister. They were hidden away from anyone's gaze, so ashamed were their parents, so no one knew their true potential...

Kurt Vonnegut was undoubtedly one of the twentieth century's great writers, and one of the most accessible, which is why every so often someone thought it might be a good idea to bring his ideas to the cinema, whereupon anyone watching usually finds that perhaps he wasn't so easy to adapt as they anticipated. Slaughterhouse-Five is probably the most successful film version of his work, certainly the most widely known, but what of the hardly seen movie of Slapstick, Vonnegut's whimsical exploration of loneliness amid some strange flights of fancy?

What indeed, as the writer and director Steven Paul, then known for being one of the youngest in Hollywood, found himself floundering when he tried to recreate what was on the page and add in some elements that suggested he was a big fan of Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind, not something that would presumably have impressed the notoriously sci-fi shunning Vonnegut. So in this story, the twins are genuinely from another planet, and Paul apparently took the novel's dedication to Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy to heart by having the action grind to a halt every so often for a stretch of physical humour.

There are even Laurel and Hardy impersonators onscreen, a nice touch in a film that otherwise eschews the subtle in favour of the broad, both in comedy and in sentimentality. Having Lewis on board might have raised hopes for the quality of the gags, but he was past his prime and not working from his own material anyway, and seems paradoxically ill-suited to this kind of clowning - he doesn't mine any laughter from it, at any rate. Which is a pity considering the cast also included such skilled performers as Marty Feldman and Madeline Kahn, with her and Lewis playing the children as well as the parents, done up in grotesque makeup to accentuate their alien personalities.

The point is, if you're separated from someone you are particularly close to, then you feel as though you're missing part of yourself somehow, and this is taken to its logical conclusion (well, illogical conclusion actually) in the characters of the twins Wilbur and Eliza. Together, they are geniuses who could solve all the world's problems; this is set in the future so that the oil has run out and everything runs on chickenshit, for example, and the idea that there are those in society feeling alone and unloved can be remedied by the twins' new plans for humanity. But the world's problems are nothing as to this film's problems, with any sincere message marooned in an ocean of the downright weird, so if you know the book you can see by how far the film has missed its charm, and if you don't you'll be wondering what the hell is going on. And yes, cineastes, that is Samuel Fuller as Wilbur's Colonel. Music by Morton Stevens, including a horribly over-literal title song.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4206 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: