When Nature Calls (1985)

When Nature Calls

aka The Outdoorsters

Directed by Charles Kaufman
Written by Charles Kaufman and Stan Weisman

I find this gag to be ‘bearable’.

“How many people remember that Eleanor Roosevelt had great tits?”

Seven years after Kentucky Fried Movie, a different group of filmmakers decided to basically do the same thing: a theatrical experience that was a parody of the entire theater going experience. You get fake trailers, fake theater announcements, fake concession stand ads (here’s a hotdog doing another hotdog doggy style! brilliant!) and a feature presentation that makes mockery of a big hit.

It doesn’t help us much now that the object of the film’s scorn, the series of Wilderness Family movies in the late 70’s, are pretty much forgotten now. Those were a series of film where the dad took everyone out into the woods where they were much happier without the technology. And, you know, other people.

They use most of the film’s run time to skewer this, but rather than settle for a simple parody, they mixed their approach with the Airplane gag-a-minute philosophy, and while there are a lot (a lot) of misses, it still works out since the people in front of the camera seem to be having such a good time.

Baby Bullets (N/A) – A baby buggy that gets to reenact gangster movie cliches. It’s funny. Because it’s a baby.

Yeah. And this is the trailer they start with…

Gena (Cheryl “Gates” McFadden) – The future chief medical officer of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” plays Gena in a trailer entitled Gena’s Story. This involves a lot of pokes at ‘female pictures’ that Meryl Streep probably would feel comfortable in. It also involves dancing around in her underwear, uh, if that’s your thing.
Marty (Matthew Adams) – The third and last trailer parody is probably the deepest of them all, which ain’t saying much. This satire of Raging Bull involves a great deal of swearing, which is all bleeped out (because bleeping is much funnier than uncreative profanity). I think the title of this segment is apt (Raging Asshole) and it wisely doesn’t overstay its welcome.
Greg (David Orange) – The lead and madman who kicks off the plot of our feature, The Outdoorsters. Greg one day decides his city job (in “Shanghai, 1913” which looks suspiciously like 1980’s New York) and take his family out into the wilderness where they can build a life. He’s completely self delusional and narrates this movie which only seems to feed into his madness. But, hey, check out that physique and kinky scarf.
Barb (Barbara Marineau) – Greg’s wife who thinks he’s crazy. She also will not make love to him, resorting to sticking mice traps in her pockets for whenever he gets frisky.

Probably also nuts.

Bambi (Tina Marie Staino) – A teenage girl who loves her teddy bear too much. And when she finally meets a real bear, it’s love at first site.

She becomes his honey! :rimshot:

Little Billy (Nicky Belm) – Little Billy is what all parents worried their kids would become in the 80’s– an entrepreneur without a conscience. We start the movie with him deciding the fates of a bevy of prostitutes, and soon find him creating peep shows for elephants out in the woods. He’s a brat, but, oddly, probably the most sane of them all.
Weejun (David Strathairn) – Yes. Future Academy Award nominee David Strathairn. He plays an Indian (or at least a man who thinks he’s an Indian) who becomes friends with the family as they rough it in the wilderness. He has much to teach them, especially in the arena of bobcat wrestling.

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Ferocious Female Freedom Fighters (1982)

Ferocious Female Freedom Fighters


Directed by Jopi Burnama & Charles Kaufman


Ferocious Female Freedom Fighters (1982)

Well, this is fun.

“Have you ever heard that little voice inside you say that there’s more to life than slamming another woman to the mat with incredible force?”

We continue our journey through the depths of Troma’s catalog this week with Ferocious Female Freedom Fighters, which contains two reliably Troma staples:

  1. The movie’s cover is a beautiful, buxom woman who appears nowhere in the film.
  2. The movie rips off a better known source but sprinkles in a lot more self congratulation and jokes about bodily functions.

Here we have the minds behind the scenes ripping off Woody Allen’s What’s Up Tiger Lily? If you don’t know that movie, a simple summation should suffice: Allen took a Japanese spy film and dubbed new dialogue and sound effects over the action.

That’s a pretty great way to make a cheap movie. Charles Kaufman seized upon this and decided to do the same. Since Charles Kaufman is the man who wrote and directed When Natures Call and not the man who wrote and directed Sleeper, the results are less than stellar.

Litmus test time: here’s the film’s signature joke. “What is brown with holes in it?”

If your response was “Swiss shit”, congratulations, that’s right. Now tell the joke about a dozen more times and you’re basically reenacting a large portion of the film.

That violates copyright laws. You could go to jail. (But I won’t tell.)

Bambi (Eva Arnez) – This is the main character. She doesn’t want to fight. But she does.
Barney (Barry Prima)– A kung fu fighter who talks like Elvis and fights kung fu. These are deep characters, you see.

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