The Kentucky Fried Movie
The Kentucky Fried Movie.1977
Black and white with color - 83mn - Original version with French subtitles
10 September 2020 16:00
Screening presented by Marjane Satrapi
Produced by: Robert K. Weiss, Larry Kostroff.
Screenplay by: David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, Jerry Zucker.
Editing: George Folsey Jr.
Photography: Stephen M. Katz.
Music by: Igor Kantor.
With: Marilyn Joi, Saul Kahan, David Zucker.
Spoofing TV shows by probing their abyssal stupidity, the John Landis and ZAZ team deliver a gigantic zapping session. On the program: A sex maniac gorilla loose on the set, highly improbable debates, action movie parodies, a sex education class, fake adds...
Four years after having marked his ground with Schlock when he was 21, John Landis deepened the groove of his peculiar humor with a wild free-wheeling comedy, that almost fifty years later remains one of the funniest films ever made. Long before Airplane!, Zucker, Abrahams & Zucker formed the delirious trio The Kentucky Fried Theatre, producing hilarious live shows. Having no filmmaking experience, they called upon John Landis for this project.
A rightful heir to Ken Shapiro's trashier and cult The Groove Tube (1974), The Kentucky Fried Movie pursued this irreverent vein with a frantic series of skits featuring recurring characters. The film will inspire many, even becoming a matrix of sorts to many comedians such as Les Nuls, who are everlasting admirers. Add to that an immoderate cinephilic passion, innumerable parodic references to exploitaion movies, be it with trailers (erotic, horror, blaxploitation) or an uproarious Bruce Lee parody. Tarantino's gang will remember it for Grindhouse.
The Kentucky Fried Movie method is part exquisite corpse, part automatic writing, introducing a situation and then stretching it with variations to the absurd. No narrative rules here, nothing but digressions, thrown in pell-mell. Landis offers a visual equivalent of word puns where deconstruction, repetition and exaggeration reign, pushed beyond limits (see the incredible trial sequence), leaving you with the feeling that gags are being tested live, improvised from the genius strength of fortuity. Today still The Kentucky Fried Movie liberates a gush of wildly trivial and almost experimental pop culture.
The first time I saw The Kentucky Fried Movie, it was like eating a basket of fried chicken: simple and unsophisticated and yet delicious. I love fried chicken especially with a Monty Python sauce. It parodies everything from the first Kung Fu movies like Enter the Dragon to disaster or erotic films. The Kentucky Fried Movie is strange, experimental, violent, dumb, funny and sexy. It's the kind of movie that makes you want to make movies.