The first words on the screen were “Presented by R.I. Diculous.” A few more of these “wacky” credits followed confirming my suspicions that I was in for one of those most painful of movie going experiences: the bad movie that tries to be so bad that it’s funny.
Of course, what all the morons out there who desire to parody these kinds of movies fail to grasp is that the movies they’re sending up are already funny and they’re already funny because of how seriously they take themselves. Once you decide to up the ante and have the movie be in on the joke, the chance of utter failure increases exponentially.
It’s possible to succeed in making these sorts of movies, but you need real talent working on the film. Unfortunately, this film’s “talent” consists of Bruno VeSota, Robert Ball, and Frankie Ray.
I have no clue who Robert Ball or Frankie Ray are, but director Bruno VeSota was well known to me. As the guy who played Dave Walker, the fat cuckold from Attack Of The Giant Leeches! And just to make sure you can properly take the measure of this man’s abilities, he also helmed The Brain Eaters!
I don’t know about you, but when I was watching Big Dave Walker being walked all over by his wife, Liz Baby, or when he was forcing Liz Baby and her boyfriend into the swamp full of giant leeches, I never said to myself, “hey, here’s a guy that might be ready to direct!” I will confess that I said out loud, “hey, here’s a guy who would probably look better behind the camera than in front of it,” but I was thinking more along the lines of a guy just watching or maybe holding some power cords or something.
After suffering through Robert Ball and Frankie Ray’s unfunny antics for upwards of seventy minutes, I likewise thought that they could have been much better on extension cord duty, too.
They play a pair of dumb, bumbling army privates who are sent to investigate a cave that’s been revealed by an explosion the army has set off. Inside the cave are some aliens that are bent on arranging an invasion of Earth by their homeworld.
Before we can get to any of that however, we have to endure scene after painful scene on the base that shows us how hilarious our pair and their lives in the army are.
You’ve got them battling a hose. You’ve got one of them stuck in a barrel while a lit cigar is burning his butt. You’ve got their superior officer firing his service weapon during a mission briefing. You’ve got him accidentally setting off a grenade during the same briefing. You’ve got a headache from rolling your eyes as far they will go into the back of your head.
There’s plenty of far superior service comedies out there. Can we move on?
Things aren’t any better though, once they finally get to the cave. There they encounter two big broads dressed in rather unflattering skimpy space suits that allow us to see their less-than-toned stomachs hang over their waistbands while you get an unwelcome glimpse of some doughy butt cheeks whenever they turn around real fast.
These two are in charge of the alien operation and are assisted by the Vegemen. These are plant-like creatures that run around trying to capture Privates Phillbrick and Penn once they make their escape from the cave. These creatures are guys in tights with some kind of sacks on their heads that have straw sticking out of them. At least they didn’t have any flabby flesh exposed.
As if all of this weren’t excruciating enough (lots of really lame jokes from Penn and Phillbrick are tossed around along with lots of second grade level physical comedy), there’s some kind of encounter with a band of Indians that would be horribly offensive if it wasn’t so long and unnecessary to the plot.
Frankly, I’m not about to take a movie to task that’s attempting to be a parody as well as being more than fifty years old for trotting out Native American stereotypes, but I will complain that it just isn’t funny and that it has nothing to do with anything else in the movie. It’s just stupid. There’s no more artful way to put it than that.
In fact, that’s really what this movie boils down to. Pure stupidity. It’s the sort of thing where the ten people who made it probably thought it was a real knee-slapper, but turned out to be the sort of thing you had to be there for and even then, you had to be really dumb or drunk. A landmark in awkward comedy that falls mortifyingly flat.
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