Thursday, February 01, 2007
Various Artists 'Rave 'Til Dawn Techno's Finest'
At a family Christmas gathering many years ago, my cousin Dan Lively and his wife started talking about a movie called Hysterical. It was made in the early 80’s, was written by the Hudson Brothers, and they were also the stars of the flick.
I had never heard of the film they were describing as “hilarious” and “down right funny”.
Dan’s wife even purchased a bootleg copy on VHS from an eBay seller that didn’t keep up their end of the bargain. If I recall correctly, they lost about twenty-five bucks on the deal. But they didn’t let those grapes sour them. They maintained that Hysterical was one of the funniest movies EVER!
They tried to recall and describe how funny the movie was through their laughter and knee-slapping, but I wasn’t quite convinced. The Hudson Brothers had an old kids show back in the 70’s that I made time for until I had to go to Sunday School, but I never ever heard of Hysterical. The film was completely lost on me.
I always kept it in the back of my mind for future reference.
A couple of weeks ago, it surfaced to the forefront of my feeble mind. I logged onto Netflix and searched their “over 50,000” titles in their database just so I call file that card back in the “every-so-often” recall file. Somehow I knew that it wouldn’t be listed or even available.
Boy Howdy! Was I surprised! They had it!
I immediately recalled the knee-slapping and laughter filled retelling of the movie from my cousin and his wife long ago on Christmas in West Virginia (technically it was in January because it’s so hard to get everyone together during the holidays).
I put it on my queue and waited until it was shipped to me.
It sat there at the top of my list as available “now” for over a week. I thought that perhaps it was just listed, but Netflix didn’t actually own it. I figured that Hysterical was a movie that no one wanted to see since it hadn’t been available in almost 20 years. Eventually, I would get it. I would just have to be patient.
Finally, the DVD was shipped to me last Friday and I finally received it today on the first of February. The return envelope said that it came from Richmond, Virginia, but I have my doubts. I think it was shipped from the home office in San Jose, California and Richmond would be its point of dust collecting until some other person wanted to see it. Normally, things sent from Richmond only take 2 days to get to me.
I sat down to watch this wonderful cinematic parody of horror films from a time before 1982 with my nephew Preston. There was no title screen; it went straight into the film. There wasn’t even one of those pesky, stay-on-the-screen-forever FBI warnings.
Within minutes, Preston got bored and I was right behind him. I knew that Dan had a “wackier” sense of humor than me (I was always the straight man), but this was his biggest misguided suggestion. I had to eventually send Preston into another room because his boredom led to hitting and beating on Unka Gene. It was the ultimate sign of his disapproval.
I soldiered through it while thinking there must be something redeeming in the film, but I came up emptier than Rosie O’Donnell at an Ethiopian all-you-can-eat buffet. The movie was a complete waste of my time and DVD rental. Hysterical is probably one of the worst films ever made.
And of course now I’m thinking… Was the The Hudson Brothers Show just as bad too? Was I just too young and stupid to realize it for the crap that it really was?
I’d like to give The Hudson Brothers Show another try, but I’m afraid that I’ll see with different and grownup eyes.
I managed to watch the whole picture, but I sadly gave Hysterical 2 out of 5 stars on Netflix.