Anyone who has seen So I Married and Axe Murder remembers the father’s claim that Colonel Sanders put some mysterious chemicals in his chicken “so that you crave it fort-nightly.” I could not agree more nor could agree more that A Kentucky Fried Movies is dollar for dollar one of the funniest movies even made (the film had a total budget of $650,000 and made millions).
A Kentucky Fried Movie consists of largely unconnected sketches that parody various film and TV genres. The movie’s longest segment (and main feature) satirized an early, yet classic, kung-fu film: Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon; its title, A Fistful of Yen, refers to A Fistful of Dollars. Parodies of disaster films (That’s Armageddon), blaxplotation (Cleopatra Schwartz) and softcore porn/women-in-prison films (Catholic High School Girls in Trouble) are presented as “Coming Attraction” trailers to the martial arts classic. Many other sketches spoof TV commercials and programs, news broadcasts, and classroom educational films. The city of Detroit and its high crime rate are a running gag portraying the city as a literal Hell-on-Earth; in “A Fistful of Yen,” the evil drug lord orders a captured CIA agent to be sent to Detroit, and the agent screams and begs to be killed or castrated instead of that.
“The popcorn you’re eating has been pissed in…film at eleven.”
—Kentucky Fried Movie’s TV anchor
What does this movie really mean to me? Simple. At some point in the early 1980’s, the clamps went down on American Studios and they lost their balls. The American movie system began to bow to special interests and censor itself away from nudity, confrontation, and anything else that might slightly offend anyone. Films that would have been seen as ‘for adults’ in the pre-ratings-happy 1970’s were suddenly not acceptable for release in the 1980’s, as studio executives clamored for the baby market and shied away from anything that might get mommy writing a letter to a sponsor.
Then came the 1990’s, where the studios claim that they’d reversed the trend, with “outlandish” comedians like Adam Sandler, Martin Lawrence and anyone else who ever lugged a cable on Saturday Night Live. Oh how Sandler’s wacky Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore re-captured the truly satirical and gritty humor of Animal House or a Kentucky Fried movie—anyone comparing the two genres of films who would say these movies are in the same league is nothing short of a fool. For those of us lucky enough to know what real guerilla comedy was all about, recall the outrageous humor that the Zuckers gave us back when there may have been rules, but no one paid attention or nobody cared, are now we are tortured with crap like The Waterboy and Deuce Bigelow that are somewhere along the level of animal shit on the comedic evolutionary scale. Then, with 2000, came the evolution of a new, lower life form: Tom Green. Fellow readers, we’re going backwards, and if you want to see the standard that we were at back when comedy that was pure, offensive and was freely given to those looking to take it, then The Kentucky Fried Movie is for you. Whether you have to stay up late to watch it or get the DVD I suggest you do it, you will not waste 90 minutes of your life whereas watching “Deuce Bigelow” or “Beverly Hills Ninja” you will.
That is what I think anyways. Your thoughts?