The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977), Cert 18.

Director - John Landis.

Writers - Jim Abrahams & David Zucker.

Starring - George Lazenby, Bill Bixby, David Zucker & Jim Abrahams.


Premise - The Kentucky Fried Movie is a series of comedy skits, spoofing on TV shows, films and advertisements.

I expected quite a lot from The Kentucky Fried Movie given that it was directed by John 'The Blues Brothers' Landis and written by the comedy gods that are Jim Abrahams and David Zucker (Airplane!). So why was I disappointed?

I have a feeling it's because I've seen it all before. I'm sure if I had seen this film in 1977 then I would have a very different outlook. I'm sure back then the kind of comedy on offer here would be considered cutting edge, but this is 2002 and a thousand other spoof films have come and gone.

If this film had been released today I have no doubt that it would debut on rental and probably star a washed up Leslie Neilsen as the TV anchorman. You see, because this is my first viewing of the film and I have seen a ton of similar films in my life, this formerly cutting edge film seems as innovative as the next Meg Ryan romcom.

That's not to say there isn't any laughs to be had, some of the skits are indeed quite amusing. The parts I enjoyed most were the spoof of the early morning magazine show with the rampaging gorilla and the Death Society. The spoofs come thick and fast, apart from a tortuously long take on 70's kung fu films. This is the films longest skit and unfortunately the one most devoid of laughs. Sure, it was probably a laugh riot in the 70's when Kung Fu films were all the rage, but today it just seems tired.

A lot of the skits are just poor and it's no fault of the amount of similar films I've seen, the jokes just fall flat. The film is a mixture of the completely unfunny, the mildly amusing, but I've seen it a bunch of times and the pretty damn hilarious. Alas, the former two take up the lion share of the screen time and the short running time feels about twice as long.

I could go on and talk about the standard of acting and direction, etc., but there really is no point as both actors and director are not given enough time in each skit to show their worth. Indeed, the only actors I recognised were failed Bond George Lazenby and Mr. you-wouldn't-like-me-when-I'm-angry Bill Bixby. It's a cast of unknowns for the most part, which I guess works in the films favour as you concentrate more on the jokes.

When it comes down to it though The Kentucky Fried Movie is an incredibly mixed bag that fails through no fault of it's own. If only I had seen it many years ago.


4/10 for The Kentucky Fried Movie.

Poster Quote - This movie is overdone.