The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Absurd Comedy, Parody/Spoof  |   Release Date - Aug 10, 1977 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 78 min.  |   Countries - Germany, United States  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Perry Seibert

Released around the same time as other media-parody sketch-comedy films like The Groove Tube and The Boob Tube, The Kentucky Fried Movie shares with those films a fetish for female flesh and a reliance on sexually related jokes. What sets it apart from those other films is an obvious love for the targets of their satire. A parody of Bruce Lee films is funny for anyone, but those familiar with Enter the Dragon will appreciate the care that went into the details. Only true TV aficionados would actually get the adult Tony Dow to reprise his role from Leave It to Beaver, -- but have him play it as if Wally had never aged. The "ZAZ" writing team shows all the trademark techniques they would become famous for with the Airplane, Naked Gun, and Hot Shots films: bad puns, a penchant for the politically incorrect, and an ability to get at the heart of overworked genres. The disaster film, the blaxploitation films, and '70s soft-core sex romps are all parodied by trailers that manage to mock the excesses of those films by being so irreverently over-the-top themselves. It's a safe bet that this film would receive an NC-17 if it were released today. Director John Landis would not get this material completely out of his system. He went on to direct segments of the very similar 1987 effort Amazon Woman on the Moon, a film that, in its intermittent success, shows how difficult it is to make a sketch-comedy film as consistently funny as Kentucky Fried Movie.