Kentucky Fried Movie John Landis

Kentucky Fried Movie John Landis
7
It's difficult to imagine just how much comedy changed in the '70s. At the beginning of the decade, shows like Laugh In still ruled, delivering unrelated jokes with obvious punch lines. By the end of the decade, a new generation had taken over, irrevocably changing the collective sense of humour. Saturday Night Live, National Lampoon and the work of Jim Abrams and Jerry and David Zucker set a tone that can still be felt today. Kentucky Fried Movie marked the beginning of the latter trio's ascent to the comedy hall of fame. Born out of the Kentucky Fried Theatre group, the film presents a series of unconnected sketches, some lasting no longer than a minute, and kung-fu spoof Fistful of Yen, which lasts a full half-hour. Taken as a whole, there's a brilliant sense of anarchy at play, as sacred cows are slayed left, right and centre. Blaxploitation flicks, teenage acne treatments and the Hare Krishnas are all placed in the film's unrelenting crosshairs, as one-liners pour out of the characters' mouths. Today, Kentucky Fried Movie is a clear antecedent to the producers' coup de grace, Airplane, which they would unleash three years later. Essentially a feature-length version of their first film, Airplane set the bar for funny so high, few films have been able to match it. Of course, Airplane knocked this film down several notches and time hasn't been as kind to Kentucky as Abrams and the Zucker's later pictures, such as Top Secret! and The Naked Gun. Yet it remains amusing throughout and is, at times, hilarious, bringing its unique charm to the table. Despite the lack of a coherent plot, it's far and away a better film than the piss-poor spoofs coming from Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. This Blu-Ray release includes some of the goodies that came with previous DVD releases. The conversation with Jerry and David Zucker about their career is particularly intriguing, giving great context to the role they played in changing comedy. (Shout! Factory)