Sunday, January 10, 2010


Released: 1979

Reviewed: 1.1.10
Star rating: 3 out of 4

Dan Aykroyd (Frank), Ned Beatty (Ward), John Belushi (Wild Bill), Lorraine Gary (Joan), Christopher Lee (Wolfgang), Tim Matheson (Loomis), Toshiro Mifune (Akiro), Warren Oates (Madman), Robert Stack (General Stilwell), Treat Williams (Stretch).

After the attack on Pearl Harbor people in California panic figuring the next attack will be on their coastline. As civilians and military personell race to prepare for attack a Japanese submarine arrives on the coast, selecting Hollywood as their target.

This was a fun little spoof though it isn't quite as funny as some other films like Stripes. It does make you wonder though what Californians were thinking back in those days. There isn't much character development up-front and the plot is set with text narrative at the beginning of the film. From there it jumps right into satire and drama of the day. If you can imagine what the fear was like in 1941, then add goofballs and mix well, you will probably enjoy the film. Anyone else, like my current viewing partner, will probably not see the comedy or entertainment value.

Acting was interesting if not good by most here. Aykroyd, Beatty, Gary, Matheson were all a bit green but good. Belushi was an obnoxious hysterical jerk as usual, though green as well.

Camera work, sets and backgrounds were all nicely done with the film having a decidedly 1940's feel. Special effects were good and added an authentic feel to the film. I particularly enjoyed the ferris wheel rolling down the pier and a naked woman wrapped around a periscope. Sound was good while dialogue was decidedly campy.

Overall this is a fun little film with mild nudity and foul language but should be okay for teens and above. The humor will definitely appeal to a select audience and won't be enjoyed by everyone.

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