Directed by John Landis
Written by David and Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams
Release Date: 10 August 1977
Running Time: 83 minutes
MPAA Rating: R
Editor’s Rating: 2 out of 4 random boobs
MAKE THE KIDS GO AWAY FOR THIS ONE. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, PLEASE LISTEN TO ME.
Alright, now that we have that out of the way, we can talk. The Kentucky Fried Movie is somewhat of an oddity when viewed today, but I can only imagine the feathers it ruffled back when it was released in 1977. That is, if it would have had a bigger distribution. As it stands, KFM is a kind of cult film, but not one of those sell-out popular cult films like The Rocky Horror Picture Show or The Room. No, this is definitely a pre-2000s kind of cult, before nostalgia took center stage with a vengeance. Back when no one cared.
Comparisons aside, I can still imagine a large crop of pubescent teenagers thinking this movie was the edgiest thing they'd ever seen, and then carried it with them through thier adult lives, so whenever a conversation about movies gets struck up, all of that person's friends groan because he just has to talk about the satiric "mastery" behind KFM, and oh did they know that the director went on to direct Animal House?
Yes, Frank. For the love of God, yes, we know. Please, can we talk about something else?
ARE THERE NO KIDS WATCHING THIS? POSITIVE?
Thank you for indulging me a second time. It's just, this film bears repeating that warning. And when I say film, I'm really just being nice. It's really just a hodgepodge of skits padding a 30-minute spoof of a Bruce Lee flick. the humor is rude and crude, and there are boobs. Lots of them. Whole bunches of boobs. Hoooo man, let me tell you about the boobage situation in this movie. It’s pretty critical.
The style and humor found here is something that moviegoers are still seeing to this day. The writing team of Zucker, Abrahams, and Zucker set the bar for the majority of spoof films that weren’t created by Mel Brooks, mainly because they were the ones writing them. And when they started to fall off, they, like Brooks, served as an inspiration to those who came next. The skit-style presentation to the movie is echoed today mainly by shows like Robot Chicken, but the crude humor and potty jokes are so prevalent nowadays and have been so crafted and improved that looking back on it now, the poop jokes in KFM just feel like a more basic, unrefined rip-off, even though many argue that this is the movie that started it all (I’m looking at you, Frank).
I would like to take a break here for a second and recognize my belief that, like a fine aged scotch or an artisanal cheese, poop jokes can be refined and honed to perfection. For instance, am I the only one who, since they read what I wrote, cannot stop seeing the word “anal” in artisanal? Ugh, it’s like the word “conscience.”
SERIOUSLY, THE REVIEW IS ALMOST OVER. DON’T LET LITTLE KIDS WHICH YOU DO NOT WANT TO HAVE AWKWARD PREMATURE CONVERSATIONS WITH WATCH THIS FILM.
Unfortunately, for all of its bluster and inspiration, KFM just doesn’t stand the test of time. It’s got some funny moments, but a lot of the humor is based in 1970s pop culture minutiae that nobody gets anymore. Or, it’s blatantly racist junk that still flew back in the olden days when Martin Luther King was “the guy who got shot less than a decade ago,” but just makes people cringe nowadays. The Bruce Lee spoof “A Fistful of Yen” is a perfect example, but the most concise is the “Danger Seeker” skit. This kind of Edgelord humor just hits one note, and if you’ve progressed beyond that, there’s not a lot in here for you.
It’s like going on a journey to uncover a lost time capsule you’ve heard of in stories told to you by your elders. Your village is in a drought, and you remember the tales long past of the time capsule and the powerful water-based magics found within. Knowing that you are the only one in the village with the determination and skill to find the capsule and save your home, you trek off into the wilderness alone. It takes months of grueling travel, across barren deserts and snowy peaks, but you finally find the resting place of the capsule. After slaying its guardian, you emerge into its chamber, a lone sunbeam glinting off of its dusty metallic shell. You hold the capsule aloft in your hands, triumphant, and in the distance you swear you can hear four notes echo. As you open it, you come across the spell entitled “Making Water.” You unroll the scroll, tension mounting in your gut as the saving grace of your village is about to be revealed, and once it’s finally unfurled--
You discover pictures of Gram-Gram peeing in the woods.
Then you remember: “Oh yeah. My ancestors used to be idiots.”
**I watched this film through a streaming service I pay for, which there is apparently “more to.” I was not compensated for this review.**