Ok, we started this morning with The Kentucky Fried Movie from 1977. This feels like a movie that I would have seen with my friend Art, but I think he was in Korea at the time so it was probably something that Dee and I saw together. She looked out of the corner of her eye this morning as I watched, and she read. She said that she didn’t remember this movie as being this crude, but that is all I remembered about it. One of the reasons I thought I saw this with Art is that we both used to make fun of other movies or people by pointing out that they reminded us of one of the fake trailers in this movie “Catholic High School Girls in Trouble”. Mary Ann I’m not sure I would recommend this to you or anyone in the family (except Rick). This film is definitely nasty but also very funny. It is the first film from the Abrams, Zucker and Zucker team that later created Airplaine and the Naked Gun Movies.
There is no story, it is just random vignettes designed to provoke laughter. The longest segment is a parody of Enter the Dragon, that runs about 20 minutes. If you have seen the Bruce Lee film, you will find this hysterical, if not, it will only confuse you but you will still laugh. There is a segment filmed at the Rialto theater in South Pasadena, and I know I sat in the seat that the protagonist was in when I saw “The English Patient”. Also, the summer of 1977 contained a lot of Rocky Horror Picture Show screenings at midnight, so the theater looked exactly the same in Kentucky Fried Movie as it did when we saw Rocky Horror (just less rice and toast).
John Landis was the director for this film and there were many trademark references in the movie. I probably should not admit that some of the segments reminded me of stupid jokes that I still make. I cracked up at the line “He’s leading the witness!” The visual just takes the point and treats it literally. This movie was like “Saturday Night Live” only it was done without the restrictions imposed by a TV network. Nudity, language, racism, commercial parodies, and the time period make the film very evocative of the era.
There were a series of movies done in this style over the years, including “Tunnelvision”, “The Groove Tube” and “Amazon Women on the Moon”. You don’t see this anymore and that is probably because cable programming took over this genre of entertainment. I got a good vibe from most of the movie, sometimes the timing is off or the commercials that are being made fun of will be obscure for a modern audience. I thought some of the sex jokes were a little over the top, while others were sexy and a little close to home, “Turn on the News.” Don’t think about whether any of it make sense, just look at it as a time capsule from a very weird time in America.