The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977)
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HKAEHhhThe team of Zucker and Abrams is a shocking bit of cinematic lunacy that many comedy directors attempt and rarely achieve. “The Kentucky Fried Movie” is nothing but an endless barrage of brilliant comedy, and laugh out loud sight gags that appeal to an audience of an era that lived on television and movies. Though dated in some respects, “The Kentucky Fried Movie” manages to be one of the funniest and incredibly sharp lampoons that’s fearless, bold, and absolutely original.

With the same comedic grit from “Animal House,” Landis and the team of Zucker and Abrams rides completely off the rails with a series of comedy sketches that are relentless in their humor. In fact I dare you to watch this and “Airplane!” as a double bill. Zucker and Abrams deal out some truly excellent segments, including the new interactive movie theater feature Feel A-Round that features a young man accidentally walking in to a violent murder mystery (Have to love the ending!). There’s hysterical series of “Courtroom” scenes, and a wonderful ode to sexploitation films entitled “Catholic School Girls in Trouble.”

A Samuel L. Bronkowitz production the sketch, like the movie, is a rapid fire array of gags and literal jokes that hit their mark every single time, mocking the sex exploitation sub-genre, while also paying tribute to it, even featuring an appearance by Uschi Digard. While the film itself has no main characters or framing device it does follow a day on television starting from the 11 O’Clock news that consistently reports odd headlines and disasters, to an early morning show that involves ridiculous interviews. Zucker and Abrams even mock the entire era of quick fix products with commercials for Nytex P.M., and the Headache Clinic.

The Kentucky Fried Movie” runs the risk of growing tedious, and wisely garners a longer feature within the list of sketches called “A Fistful of Yen,” a wonderful and hilarious parody of “Enter the Dragon.” Evan C. Kim gives a fantastic performance as Loo, a character much in the vein of Bruce Lee who has to infiltrate an island and stop an evil dictator. You’ll be hooked the minute its establishing shot of Manhattan with “Hong Kong” imposed over it fades in. My favorite segments are, of course, “Rex Kramer: Danger Seekers” (seriously, how many modern comedies forms an entire gag around the n word and still manages to be laugh out loud funny?), and the closing act, “Eyewitness News” in where a couple decides to become amorous while watching the news, to which the newscasters on the tube begin to watch in absolute awe.

There’s also the precursor to “Airplane!,” the trailer to the disaster spoof “That’s Armageddon!” starring George Lazenby and Donald Sutherland. “The Kentucky Fried Movie” may be a complete parody of a bygone era of entertainment, but it still packs in the laughs at a non-stop rate thanks to the brilliant writing by Zucker and Abrams and the excellent direction from Landis. For folks that appreciate one of a kind genre entries, this is right up your alley.

 

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