Don't Ask, Don't Tell (2002)

I’m among the legions of fans who grew up on cable television watching the geniuses at “Mystery Science Theater 3000” (Don’t know it? Look it up), or as we people in the know call it “MST3K” spoof films like “The Mole People” and “The Horror at Party Beach”. Yeah, it’s official I’m a nerd. Anyway, I spent many a long day watching Servo, Crow, and Mike watch bad movies only to trash them with their witty one-liners which often made me laugh, so when I was chosen to view the newest gag film “Don’t ask Don’t Tell”, I was more than willing to discover what lay ahead of me. “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” is a spoof, but it also becomes its own entity in the process as a film within a film. The people at “Refried Flicks” take the 1954 junk heap “Killer’s from Space”, an old schlock science fiction film directed by legendary director Billy Wilder’s younger brother W. Lee Wilder which starred Peter Graves and re-dub it, add new comedic scenes and masterfully edit this old piece of junk.

What emerges from the rather odd hybrid is a really funny some times too silly film. I’ve seen “Killers from Space” and Director Doug Miles and Writer Tex Hauser refry this film pretty good with a new plot and villains which becomes a tasty satire poking fun at the homosexual paranoia running rampant in these here modern times what with banning gay marriage, some people still thinking it’s a disease and not genetic, and “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”. During the reign of president George Dubbya Bush, the military now has plans to eliminate all homosexuals from the face of the Earth and keep them from trying to sign up to the military, but when their best soldier, a sex crazed lady’s man Doug Fartin, or Fartan, as he prefers to be called, is captured by a race of homosexual alien’s, he’s surgically altered into a homosexual despite the frantic help from a group of doctors, military superiors and his whiny wife who refuses to admit he’s turned gay, but now as the aliens plan to build a large ray to turn everyone on Earth gay, he has to stop them while refusing his own sexual urges.

With the help of comedian Lloyd Floyd, who portrays numerous characters, “Don’t ask Don’t tell” is a silly but very enjoyable comedy. I was very entertained while watching and some scenes and one-liners just made me laugh out loud. One running gag in particular where the general’s office, every time someone enters his office you hear a toilet flushing, the constant gag in which the doctors try to get in Doug’s wife’s pants, and the notoriously bad acting from the original cast meshed in with the new actors’ comedic dubbing make this a rather funny experience. Many of the scenes are often pretty wild and off the wall including Lloyd Floyd’s various characters like Nurse Bendover and Freud who has an addiction to helium.

While the jokes are very obvious, like the Peter Graves character making references to his own work (“This is just mission impossible!”), it’s also amusing and even the weakest jokes will invoke a smile like the constant cutting to close-ups of the characters with the same facial expressions, Doug’s constant use of the word “Fabulous!”, and the “so stupid it’s hilarious scene” in which a security guard attempts to pry a gun from Doug’s hand with little success. Audiences should keep an open mind to “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” but fans of “MST 3K” will surely get a kick out of this. The creators of this film don’t skimp out on the audience with some great features on the DVD like a feature in which you can watch the original scenes from “Killers from Space” that constantly pop up throughout the course of the film, and a nice menu sequence with a music video and much more.

“Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” is silly but it dares to be silly and never apologizes; I can’t wait to see what new move we’ll see refried. May I suggest “Horror at Party Beach”? Sometimes “Don’t ask Don’t Tell” is silly just for the sake of being silly and that doesn’t always mean funny. Some scenes I could have done without, the dance number with the gay aliens, the constant pot references, and Lloyd Floyd’s humorous but often times too over the top performances as the various characters. Also, a lot of the scenes could have been very funny and subtle had they been just an instant shot, but instead some of the scenes are just drawn out too long like Titler’s musical sequence, Nurse Bendover’s scenes and many of the sexual scenes in the strip club in which I never truly understood what their purpose was.

Also, there are some references to writer Tex Hauser and Director Doug Miles’ work that no one will get, hell, even I didn’t get it, and it’s rather alienating towards the crowd. The jokes during “Don’t ask Don’t Tell” are either hit or miss. Some jokes are quick and subtle and laugh out loud funny, and some are amusing, and then just odd to the point whether you’re never sure whether to cringe or scratch your head in curiosity, there are also many references to old horrible science fiction films that many people won’t understand except the largest of film buffs but will make general audiences very puzzled. With humor sometimes ranging from laugh out loud funny, to witty, to sometimes too silly, “Don’t ask, Don’t Tell” is an off-beat, hair-brained, and weird spoof of a horrible science fiction flick. It’s fabulous! Can’t wait for the sequel.