Review of The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977)
Seen in 2016.
As a fan of some of ZAZ’s later work, I was disappointed by the lack of complex and running gags in this sketch comedy. The funniest parts are linguistic, including the conversation about three distinct groups of Shanghaied prisoners, and some of the crude courtroom puns. The Jewish self-deprecation is also relatively clever and well timed: “Heiveinu shalom aleichem!” I was expecting a lot more of the rampaging gorilla and the Gemini deaths (a running gag, but poorly implemented). A few lead-ins are edited with deceptive credibility: Feel-A-Round and Eyewitness News. Elsewhere the amateur directing and editing is evident. The unfunny eroticism and frequent violence prefigure much later incoherent parody sketch comedies, including Scary Movie (2000), a franchise David Zucker himself would work on. The other, more innovative aspects of this film are defused by the 39 years that passed between its creation and my viewing.