Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Favorite Underrated Comedies - Samuel B. Prime ""

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Favorite Underrated Comedies - Samuel B. Prime

Samuel B. Prime is a Film Programmer at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (). Formerly, Director of UCLA's Melnitz Movies. Find him on twitter here: https://twitter.com/sbprime

FLODDER (1986): Dutch horror film maven Dick Maas (THE LIFT, AMSTERDAMNED) has a softer, sillier side that becomes apparent with the first film in the FLODDER trilogy. A film about a low-class family of outcasts that refuses to obey society's norms simply by their very indecent nature, I typically pitch these films to other cinephiles as a kind of "Dutch version of THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES." The family itself is a series of strange characters -- the mother whose cigar never leaves her mouth; the handsome, womanizing son; the busty daughter, and the younger son who has "feelings" for his sister. In the first film, the Flodder family is selected for an exchange program wherein they swap houses with a very wealthy family. By the end of the film, the family has leveled their new home through a set of incomparable and extremely outlandish set pieces. Never released in the United States, so you'll have to buy PAL to see these.


K-9000 (1991): The cover for this movie is a German Shepherd in sunglasses hanging out on a beach with a man in a tanktop. If that doesn't make you want to watch this film, what's wrong with you? K-9000 is a TV movie from the writer of DIE HARD, Stephen E. de Souza and, perhaps unsurprisingly, bears some striking resemblance to the writer's best known work. To complete the Mad Lib version of this film, "It's like DIE HARD, but in a _______," the blank is a science lab where super-secret sci-fi level computer technology gets implanted into animals. Chris Mulkey (from THE HIDDEN) plays a highly-decorated, but washed-up cop who can't play by the rules or keep his life together. When he accidentally bumbles into a science lab to prevent some a terrorist plot to capture a dog that has been altered with computer parts, he manages to press the wrong button on a random machine and gets a chip implanted in his brain. At the same time, he also sets the pup free. He soon learns that the chip allows he and the dog to communicate. The dog is sassy and critical of Mulkey's slobbish lifestyle, but more practical than he is. The dog teaches him lots of life lessons and they make great partners while fighting crime together. The only thing Mulkey teaches the dog is how to fetch. Also only available on PAL formats, but worth it.


TEEN LUST (1979): Directed by legendary character actor James Hong, TEEN LUST is one of the greatest boner comedy jams ever made. In this surprise turn as a director, Hong surpasses the boner comedy genre entirely and creates something that more closely resembles the Luis Bunuel's THE PHANTOM OF LIBERTY and the aforementioned FLODDER series by Dutch director Dick Maas. TEEN LUST is smart, laugh-out-loud funny, one of the best films I've seen in recent memory. I love this film with all my everything. Other titles that this film was released under include: THE GIRLS NEXT DOOR, POLICE ACADEMY GIRLS, HIGH SCHOOL TEASERS and MAMA NEVER TOLD ME. You can find this one on VHS and Code Red will be releasing a U.S. DVD with commentary soon.


ZEBRAMAN (2004): By Takashi Miike - one of his movies vaguely aimed at a youth audience, but much too alarmingly strange for any child I've known. I'm not going to say much about this one, except that at one pivotal point, a unicorn fires laser beams out of its horn.


MASSACRE OF PLEASURE (1966): AKA: MASSACRE FOR AN ORGY, this oddball picture seems like the by-product that resulted from someone's frustration in trying to understand and/or enjoy Jean-Luc Godard's ALPHAVILLE from a year earlier. Directed by Jean-Loup Grosdard (actually, Jean-Pierre Bastid), the film is a slow, subtle, and satisfying burn with straight-faced jokes aplenty. The lazy viewer might mistake this for a pretentious art house groaner, but the captive will appreciate its spot-on satire. A boat is also a nightclub, a man sincerely talks on his shoe as if it were a phone, and a presumably crazed and homeless man bangs on a trash can attempting to alert everyone everywhere about impending doom, but nobody pays him any mind. In-between these extraordinary sequences, various amounts of sex and violence. You could call MASSACRE OF PLEASURE an example of Godardsploitation. And you probably should.

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