Kentucky Fried Movie
Directed By: Barry Odom
Starring: ... I guess Tyler Badie?
Much like hell in Dante’s Inferno, there are seven levels of bad movies.
1. Movies that are good, but age poorly and become bad
2. Movie that are simply not good — not horrendous, just not good either
3. Movies that seem like they should work, but don’t for some inexplicable reason
4. A classic Bad Movie™ — disappointing, bland and generally frustrating
5. Movies that are bad and wholly unenjoyable
6. Movies that are so bad they become somewhat enjoyable
7. Movies that, in defiance of God’s will, drain the life from everything around them
It seems there’s little doubt where Mizzou’s latest
effort product falls.
Kentucky Fried Movie was, in the early stages, just a Level 4... if you’re being generous, you could argue for a Level 3. After an inexplicable box office bomb in Dead Man’s Effort, director Barry Odom seemed primed to put the pieces back together. After all, his reputation precedes him as a director who does well with putting together something out of seemingly nothing. We’ve seen him work on tighter budgets than this. He should be fine.
And then the notched turned down one level.
Around the turning point to Act Two, the whole thing just falls apart here. What was once a semi-coherent (if unenjoyable) slop through the mud becomes a mish-mash of lazily written scenes, castoff direction and general tomfoolery. At one point I think The Weather Girls’, “It’s Rainin’ Men,” started playing over the loudspeakers. People were tripping over themselves and others on screen! And they didn’t have the decency to cut that from the final product??
Then the notch turns once more.
At one point, things got a little comical. For a shining moment, Tyler Badie stole a scene, making something out of nothing for about a minute. The movie gained some energy from there, as the supporting cast fed off of his momentum. But when you don’t have a true star (or good direction), you can only do so much from one moment. It ends up falling apart again. At one point they recast the quarterback mid-game. There may have been an injury. Who knows though? It’s a comedy of errors!
At least, until the notch turns one final time.
By the end of this catastrophe, I found myself questioning my life choices. The worst movies have a way of doing that to you — they become existentially prodding in a way that goes beyond art, leisure and even time. Who am I? How did I get to this point? What have my years as a watcher of Missouri Tiger features brought me other than this cold, stifling pain? Does happiness exist, or is it an illusion? Should I maybe switch to serialized television?
That may seem like an abrupt end to this revue, but let’s be honest — there are only so many ways to talk about an all-time dump like Kentucky Fried Movie. It’s so bad that we can’t even leave it alone — we’ll actually have to sit around and talk about it for at least another week!
So we might as well spare ourselves a moment of sweet happiness and try to find a way to wipe this blight of a film from our memories.