May 6, 1979: The Kentucky Fried Movie in UK cinemas

“This film is totally out of control!”

Kentucky_Fried_Movie-1979The Kentucky Fried Movie is a 1977 independently made American anthology comedy film, produced by Kim Jorgensen, Larry Kostroff, and Robert K. Weiss and directed by John Landis. Among the numerous star cameos are George Lazenby, Bill Bixby, Henry Gibson, Barry Dennen, Donald Sutherland, Tony Dow, Stephen Bishop, and the voice of Shadoe Stevens. The “feature presentation” portion of the film stars Evan C. Kim and hapkido Grand Master Bong Soo Han. The Kentucky Fried Movie marked the first film appearances of a number of actors who later became famous, as well as being the vehicle that launched the careers of the Zucker brothers, Abrahams, and Landis.

Landis’ work on the film was responsible for his being recommended to direct National Lampoon’s Animal House in 1978.

The film’s writers were the team of David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker, who subsequently wrote and directed Airplane!, Top Secret!, and the Police Squad! television series and its film spin-offs, The Naked Gun films.

Cinema-UK-05-06-1979

The Kentucky Fried Movie contains largely unconnected sketches that parody various film genres, including exploitation films. The film’s longest segment spoofs early kung-fu films, specifically Enter the Dragon; its title, A Fistful of Yen, refers to A Fistful of Dollars. Parodies of disaster films (That’s Armageddon), blaxploitation films (Cleopatra Schwartz) and softcore porn/women-in-prison films (Catholic High School Girls in Trouble) are presented as “Coming Attraction” trailers. The fictional films are said to have been produced by “Samuel L. Bronkowitz” (a conflation of Samuel Bronston and Joseph L. Mankiewicz, but also a spoof of B-movie producer and American International Pictures co-founder Samuel Z. Arkoff). The sketch See You Next Wednesday mocks theater-based gimmicks like Sensurround by depicting a dramatic film presented in “Feel-a-Round”, which involves an usher physically accosting a theater patron. 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 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 instead. [Wikipedia]

Watch the trailer on the Shout! Factory YouTube Channel.

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