Pandemonium (1982)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Parody/Spoof, Satire  |   Run Time - 82 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG
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This Airplane!-styled spoof of slasher movies has its moments but is ultimately more bizarre than it is funny. The script takes a shotgun approach to humor, mixing genre-specific humor with the kind of gags that could pop up in any comedy. Some of the gags are truly clever (example: the Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigate the murders, a nod to the fact that many slasher films were shot in Canada) but those gags are outmatched by scenes involving humdrum grossout humor and other scenes that are just plain bizarre, like a death by electric toothbrush and a throwaway gag about bestiality. That said, director Alfred Sole keeps the film moving at a breezy pace and gives it a surprising amount of horror-film atmosphere for the jokes to bounce off of. Pandemonium further benefits from strong comic performances: Carol Kane uses deadpan wit to impressive effect as the "final girl" heroine, Paul Reubens turns in a deliriously eccentric turn as the main cop's sidekick and the supporting cast includes everyone from Judge Reinhold to Tab Hunter. Ultimately, Pandemonium doesn't produce enough consistent laughs to qualify as a top-shelf comedy, but its cast and its distinctively eccentric approach make it a worthy curiosity piece for the cult movie set.