Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Friday, March 31, 2017

Schlock (1973)

Starring John Landis, Saul Kahan, Joseph Piantadosi, Eliza Roberts, Tom Alvich
Directed by John Landis
(actor & director credits courtesy

A detective investigating the shocking murders of people throughout a small town by the infamous "banana killer" learns the culprit is an intelligent gorilla, the "missing link" between apes and man.

John Landis' first feature film uses a familiar science fiction premise to launch a satirical comedy, and he plays the gorilla creature himself, who's far more intelligent than the policemen trying to stop it.  With a cast largely full of unknowns, with the exception of cameos from Forrest Ackerman and acclaimed makeup artist John Chambers, the emphasis is on the comedy, and I found the film very funny.  Aimlessly swerving police cars and a movie theater (showing The Blob and Dinosaurus!) where the creature has to put up with a number of distractions are among the best running gags.  Impressively assembled by a very young Landis (who was in his early 20's at the time), although his screenplay doesn't offer a logical story as much as a series of jokes and comic situations one after the other, but that approach had to have inspired the Zucker brothers' comedies like Airplane! and The Naked Gun.

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