tough and ruthless, rough and toothless

Kentucky Fried MovieIt was one of those early morning moments. Up with the baby but too tired to do anything but couch it. Those mornings when you watch the movies that are normally too much of too little to keep your attention. This time around it was Kentucky Fried Movie. Always a breezy watch, being short silly and plotless. The precursor to the more entertaining Amazon Women on the Moon. This is the first Abraham/Zucker/Zucker movie, coming three years before the much superior Airplane!… And it shows. Very low-budget feeling, and rather haphazardly thrown together, it is nonetheless a fun movie with a good heart where you feel that everyone was in it just for the fun. A satire on television viewing, it feels like school project in many ways, or a blend of old Mad magazine and National Lampoon. Made up of a series of skits that is unabashedly dumb, juvenile and pre-PC, Kentucky Fried Movie takes the form of channel surfing as you move around from commercials to TV shows to late-night movies.

There is a feature presentation in the middle, a fairly dull Spy/Kung-Fu movie called Fistful of Yen wherein a Kung-Fu master is hired by the government to infiltrate a crime lord’s fortress in the mountains. While the Kung-Fu is fairly entertaining, the piece didn’t grab my attention. And it is all presented in one piece, unlike the feature presentation in Amazon Women, whose broken up viewing I preferred. But then I preferred that sci-fi feature better anyway.

 

Kentucky Fried Movie

 

The commercials that are thrown in are pretty dumb, covering topics like zinc oxide, headache medicine, lingering odors and love making, though they can be entertaining… Especially the zinc oxide informational piece, I never knew how much I needed it! Then, there are the newscasts. The movie is heavily laced with these which, while they are innocuous enough, are also unfunny. This movie does certainly show its age with the humor. But the two-way newscast at the end of the film, one of its trademark scenes, is pretty funny and clever.

 

Kentucky Fried Movie

 

As with real life, the movie previews can be the best part. There are a good number of them interspersed here, and they can be fairly extensive. I do enjoy seeing the satirical and contemporary take on some of the film genres of the 1970’s. Especially the reference to “Earthquake” which I remember hearing in the theater below me once at the Broadway Theater. Here we are given teasers for: the ultimate disaster movie, “That’s Armageddon” (featuring George Lazenby), the undeniably risque teen sexploitation number “Catholic High School Girls in Trouble” (hide your eyes),

 

Kentucky Fried Movie

 

and the gritty crime exploitation drama “Cleopatra Schwartz” (featuring: machine guns, lots of violence, tough streets and the titular heroine [ala, Pam Grier] who marries a Hasidim and forms a crime-fighting couple).

 

Kentucky Fried Movie

 

In addition to all of these goodies, there are also some surprising actor appearances: the irreplaceable sexploitation queen Uschi Digart (billed this time around as Ursula Digart) in a rather excessive shower scene (in, of course, Catholic High School Girls in Trouble, which I had a capture of here, but I pulled it in a lingering moment of propriety), Bill Bixby (no, I did not watch this because of the Hulk movie) doing a celebrity commercial plug, and Donald Sutherland as the clumsy waiter in That’s Armageddon.

All in all, it is a silly, harmless and risque satire on TV of the 70’s which, while it is silly and cheap, is a pretty fun watch. One of these days, I’d like to watch it back to back with Amazon Women…



meandering boringly…

Well, what do I know. Idly relaxing around the home, in my first weekend at the new apartment… Baby and dog napping, wife at work… I came up with the perfect kind of dull task that I enjoy with my morning coffee… What are the most popular bands, according to plays registered on that favorite site of mine, last.fm? It seems to scarily give away the “average” last.fm user. While this is far from scientific, as I just guessed which bands to look up and sometimes followed those band’s “similar artists” links if I’d heard of who was on it and I ended up listing the bands with over 40 million plays. I imagine that unless I am even more disconnected than I thought, this should be somewhat accurate…

1. The Beatles: 107m plays. This is no surprise, but being a “Stones man” it was a bit shocking to see The B’s with 4 times the action of the Stones.

2. Radiohead: 103m plays. What? I still don’t get this. Yeah, I bought their first album when Creep came out, and I remember some video with someone on fire in the street, but I haven’t heard much else and it just doesn’t seem too interesting to me.

3. Red Hot Chili Peppers: 73m plays. These guys? Still? I was into them up until Mother’s Milk, but I never would have imagined they would be the third most played band anywhere.

4. Pink Floyd: 58m plays. Some may think it’s played out, but I thought that finding them up here was a welcome surprise. While I don’t listen to them much, I think very highly of their “Dark Side of the Moon” to “The Wall” era, having heard little else by them.

5. Linkin Park: 56m plays. I just don’t know. Are they Nu-Metal? I’ve never actually heard them, but I’m still a bit surprised as to their ranking.

6. Coldplay: 56m plays. Same as above, except I’m pretty sure that Coldplay aren’t nu-metal, and I did suspect they were pretty popular.

7. Death Cab for Cutie: 54m plays. Exactly the same as above. Never heard them, their name is irritating, and somehow my pal Jon has logged some 4,800 songs plays for these guys on his last.fm account.

8. Metallica: 53m plays. No surprise here. I like their cover of “I am Evil”, I liked “Ride the Lightning” and I used to listen to “Master of Puppets” a lot, but they really lost me when that boring ass “One” song from “… and Justice For All” came out. And recently I saw their movie and realized just how lost they were.

9. Nirvana: 42m plays. I’m halfway surprised about this, I know they got pretty big (and Bleach and their unplugged album are both quite good), but I would have thought that they would be a bit more forgotten by now.

10. Green Day: 42m plays. Whatever.

12. Fall Out Boy: 42m plays. Huh? Who?

13. My Chemical Romance: 40m plays. I don’t know, but the name scares me… I picture boring “industrial”/punk/ballads for teens and some really bad fashions.



 

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