An Idiocratic Thing Happened to Action Jackson on the Way to Hawaii

Idiocracy

(2006, dir. Mike Judge)

Plants crave electrolytes.

Plants crave electrolytes.

When Mike Judge delivered Idiocracy, 20th Century Fox executives scratched their heads trying to come up with a marketing angle. They failed, buried the movie for a year, then released it with no marketing at all. Thank Moloch for home video, the greatest invention of the 20th century.

Idiocracy doesn’t go to too much trouble trying to hide the subtext that the supposedly future setting is poking fun at modern-day society. The jokes are not exactly subtle, but on the other hand there’s plenty of them. Perhaps not a classic, but definitely worth more than one viewing.

Action Jackson

(1988, dir. Craig R. Baxley)

foo

There’s absolutely no homoerotic subtext in any of this, no sir.

Hot on the heels of the previous year’s Predator, action-hero-in-the-making Carl Weathers is upgraded from a sidekick to the man of the hour in this amalgam of 80s excess. The franchise the studio was obviously aiming at never happened, and if you’ve seen Action Jackson, you’ll know why. Gratuitous violence, even though it was the name of the game back then, just isn’t quite enough, even with Craig T. Nelson as the bad guy delivering seriously badass roundhouse kicks.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

(1966, dir. Richard Lester)

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Rest your gaze upon this image and take in all the hilarity, provided you can handle it.

I’m a bit confused now. I was under the impression that AFTHotWttF is a legendary comedy with wall-to-wall funny moments. Instead, I walked away thinking that it just wasn’t that entertaining. There are a lot of jokes, true, but they’re all telegraphed so far ahead that by the time they finally arrive, there is no payoff – just a vague feeling of disappointment. I don’t know, maybe men dressed in drag was daring and outré in 1966. The original stage play (which the movie appears to follow religiously) may have worked better, I wouldn’t know. Buster Keaton, for all of the 2 minutes he’s in this, is endearing though.

Hard Ticket to Hawaii

(1987, dir. Andy Sidaris)

That snake's gunna git it.

That snake’s gunna git it.

This time I’ve saved the best for last. Directed by Andy Sidaris, the Visa Mäkinen of Uhmurica, Hard Ticket to Hawaii is the Citizen Kane of low-budget schlock. HTtH has it all: gratuitous nudity (courtesy of a bunch of Playboy models), awful acting (see above), a nonsense plot involving diamond smuggling and chasing a monster snake, a hilarious “sex” scene, cheezy special effects, etc. etc.

Still not sure whether this is down your alley? If a rubber anaconda being blown away with a rocket launcher inside a house and said rocket launcher being wielded by none other than Ronn Moss (as CIA agent Rowdy Abilene) doesn’t do it for you, then by all means, go and watch Titanic for the umpteenth time.

What’s conceivably even more amazing is that Ronn Moss, whom we all of course know and love as Ridge Forrester of The Bold & The Beautiful, is easily the best actor in the whole movie. This, of course, is more of a statement about the entire ensemble. YouTube has an abundance of choice moments – such as the infamous “beach frisbee” scene – but really, do yourself a favour and go to the trouble of viewing the whole thing. Your life will never be the same.

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