Laserdisc

Sloppy Saturdays: Volume 2 – ‘Junior’

junior

What is ‘Sloppy Saturdays’?

I realized that I own over 300 movies, many of which I have not watched a second time. Whether on Blu-Ray, DVD, or the legendary LaserDisc, I have a lot of films I need to watch again. So, I’ve decided I should probably go through these and justify why I own them, and perhaps, why you should too. I put them all into a database and will randomly mix them up once a week. Come back every Saturday for a new review. 

-Nick, Editor of CinemAbysmal

 

Sloppy Saturdays – Volume Two

Junior (1994) – Comedy | Absolutely Insane

Directed by: Ivan Reitman

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Format I Own: LaserDisc

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Synopsis

OK. Bare with me. Junior is about Arnold Schwarzenegger, who plays some kind of scientist that deals in pregnancies, with his OBGYN partner Frank Reynol…Danny DeVito (if you’re not already gagging at the thought of this, you might need to reevaluate your life) in San Francisco. They create a drug that supposedly induces healthy pregnancies in women after they tested it on chimps or some shit, but the FDA turns them down and they lose their funding. It’s basically the setup for Ghostbusters, but about two dudes that want to get women pregnant instead of chasing spectral entities through New York. Anyway, DeVito convinces Schwarzenegger that he should carry the baby in some kind of abdominal cavity, sans anything that would biologically allow a baby to grow or thrive, but yeah. Guess what happens by the end of the movie?

What I Love

I have absolutely no reservations in calling this movie a huge fucking turd. Honestly, it’s an insult to film and really should never have been made. That being said, I love and respect a lot of what Ivan Reitman has done as a director, and most are allowed their misfires (I’m looking at you, Tom McCarthy’s The Cobbler). Reitman is responsible for GhostbustersMeatballsStripes, and more. However, he’s also at fault for a lot of shit, so whatever.

If you saw 1988’s Twins (also with Schwarzenegger and DeVito), well, you know what you’re getting. So in a way, this falls along the same lines as that film and his other Schwarzenegger-helmed flick, Kindergarten Cop. This movie has an absolutely fucking batshit plot in which a god damn baby grows inside of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s muscly abs. If you don’t love that a movie was made strictly around that nuthouse premise, you need to learn how to enjoy this weird thing called reality. Because, guess what? This movie actually, really exists.

My Favorite Scene

About 80 minutes into the film (yes, this shit factory is nearly two hours long), Arnold goes full drag at about eight months pregnant. He and DeVito show up at some kind of compound for expecting mothers to find shelter from the evil dicks at the college that want to steal her…er, his baby away from him as it was experimental, so belongs to them. At this point, the estrogen has completely taken hold of Arnold and he and DeVito hug as the James Newton Howard score intensifies. He even starts speaking like a woman, and it’s so insultingly bad, I couldn’t help but giggle like a little kid.

THEN, holy shit. A god damned montage in which Arnold does Lamas and races other pregnant women down stairs and cries to doctors and shovels food into his mouth. It is so spectacularly out of control and really saved this movie for me.

 

What You Might Not Like

What really bothered me about the film was my now current familiarity with perhaps Danny DeVito’s most iconic character in his career: Frank Reynolds from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Now, I realize this film was made in 1994, but holy shit, all I can think about is Frank alone in a room with a woman doing gawd knows what down there, and it just does not work. Other than that, the film really is just shit. Arnold is practically yawning the whole film and the story is laughable, at best. I couldn’t imagine watching this with anyone that had a trace of a Medical education or even faintly studied Biology. It’s so ridiculous.

Honestly, the last time I watched this movie was over 20 years ago. I remembered liking it, so swooped up the LaserDisc copy and have just had it sitting there for years. Will I watch it again? Eh, maybe? If I want to show someone how not to make a movie, I’ll definitely show them this. But did I enjoy it again? Oh, hell no.

How You Can Watch

  • Streaming on HBO Now as of 04/07/2017
  • Rent for $2.99 on Apple TV, Google Play, and Vudu

 

Final Score: 1.5/4

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Similar Films: Twins, Kindergarten Cop, Any Movie that a Dude is Pregnant in…

Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy

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Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy (1996) – Comedy | Absolute Insanity

Directed by: Kelly Makin

Starring: The Kids in the Hall

How I Watched: Laserdisc

Best Line: “Sorry we’re a few hours late, there, Ma, but you know how the kids…uh…hate old people.”

It’s not too often that a movie comes along and makes you feel like you got hit by a bus full of certifiably insane people. Brain Candy from the Lorne Michaels-produced Canadian comedy troupe, The Kids in the Hall does just that. This movie has enough craziness in it to make you question reality, and that’s not even taking the film’s plot into account. The five men in The Kids in the Hall play possibly more women in this film than men, and very often convincingly. This may be cliche, but this movie really has to be seen to be believed.

If you’ve ever seen The Kids in the Hall’s sketch show, you may know what to expect when you watch Brain Candy. It’s crass, ridiculous, out of control and so strange at times, that you may have to pause just to process what happened. The plot concerns a pharmaceutical company that has developed a drug that cures depression by clutching on to your happiest memory and replaying it over and over again. The doctor that developed this drug called ‘GLeeMONEX’ is pressured into releasing it to the general public before properly testing it and chaos ensues. The plot though, really plays second fiddle to the random shit that happens in the movie.

Just some of the characters that The Kids play in the movie include a clinically depressed grandmother, a gay father in homophobic denial, Mark McKinney doing a spot-on impression of Lorne Michaels himself, a character modeled exactly after Glenn Danzig, Brendan Fraser (what?!), a good number of characters that were developed in the show itself, and of course, the infamous Cancer Boy. The film actually met a lot of protest due to this character, a young boy with terminal cancer that just recites incredibly depressing facts. He actually only has a tiny bit of screen time, but I honestly find it to be one of Bruce McCulloch’s best characters, even if it is horribly insensitive.

Now, there is no way I would consider this a great film, or even include it in the list of the best comedies that I’ve ever seen. What Brain Candy is however, is a refreshing hour and a half of a very funny group of people unleashed in the world of R-rated comedy. The laugh-tracked show was first broadcast on the Canadian CBC and later picked up in the US by HBO. It ran for five seasons in the late 80’s and early 90’s and in my opinion, is the pinnacle of sketch comedy. It defied many of the rules laid down by SNL and others, and it almost seems as if it was Lorne Michaels’ outlet for weirdness that he could not broadcast on NBC.

Brain Candy does have its share of problems, though. I’ve read before that they wanted to include more to make the film substantially longer, but I think that would have made it even more chaotic than it is. Even the trailer is packed full of scenes that didn’t make the cut (including an appearance by Janeane Garofalo). Like their sketch show, a lot of the storylines in the film have nothing to do with each other, except for when the characters are affected by GLeeMONEX. The movie just feels a bit too out of control, but I hope someday there is some kind of “Ultimate Edition” that The Kids originally wanted us to see.

You can’t let these minor problems get in the way though. Brain Candy is absolutely strange and stands on its own as a great feat in the world of Cult Classics. It is unfortunately hard to find these days and as you can see above, the only copy I own is on Laserdisc. You can get the DVD online pretty easily, but it’s not exactly cheap if you want a new version. If you do find yourself lucky enough to happen upon it though, do yourself a favor and pick it up. I guarantee you won’t regret it.

Final Score: 3/4

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Similar Films: Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie, Strange Brew