Reviewed by John Weber
Rating: 6.5 Beans
hy it's another one of those late-60's-early-70's all-star messes Hollywood grew fond of for awhile --
until someone woke up and realized how much money they were losing on this slop.
This movie plays like "Night of 100 Stars" -- most of the celebs that cameo here barely do more than walk down an aisle and get introduced.
An Iron Curtain (remember the Iron Curtain?) country
is kidnapping America's cultural icons. At least the ones that are slumming enough to turn up in this thing. It's up to the American spy community, represented by Mike Kellin (who shows his teeth more than J. Fred Muggs) and some character in a box with faces painted on. That character is voiced by Rich Little. A computer shaped like a woman (ha ha) called MOTHA (Mechanical Oracle That Helps Americans)(ha ha) advises them on what the best course of action is. Unfortunately, the recommended plan isn't to immediately set fire to the script and start over.
So how would you get washed-up stars freed from the Commies? Send in troops? Complain to the United Nations? Steal THEIR washed-up stars? Nope.
Form a rock band, make them famous and get them behind the lines. Ah.
Four non-talented actors (using their real names) are kidnapped by our guvmint and taught everything they need to know. For instance, Richard Pryor teaches them soul. Action star Clint Walker teaches them basic warfare. Trini Lopez teaches them the guitar. Dick Clark passes judgement on their coolness. James Brown drops by to award them a gold record. And, in the truest, most realistic moment in the entire movie, Ed Sullivan is forced at gunpoint to put the Phynx on his show. Probably the only way in hell that would happen.
The four no-talents, by the way, are A. Michael Miller, Ray Chippeway, Dennis Larden and Lonny Stevens. Barely household names in their own households. The awful songs the Phynx sing are by, incredibly, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame songwriters Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller. Well, would you waste your A-material in this drivel?
It took me repeated viewings to stay awake and watch the whole thing. This rivals "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" as a satire ten times worse than the movie genre allegedly being lampooned. Although any movie featuring a government-sponsored orgy (way before the Clinton administration) can't be a total loss, right.
Oh, those pop icons I mentioned? Here's a partial list of the rest: Rona Barrett, Martha Raye, Joe Louis, Colonel Sanders, Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, Georgie Jessel, Johnny Weissmuller, Guy Lombardo Xavier Cugat (and his band), Patty Andrews (of the Andrews Sisters), Busby Berkely, Dorothy Lamour, Jay Silverheels, Pat O'Brien, Butterfly McQueen, Rudy Vallee and Edgar Bergen (with Charlie McCarthy).
Better they should have appeared on "Hollywood Squares." Colonel Sanders to block, please.
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