Friday, June 25, 2010

The Groove Tube (1974)

Director: Ken Shapiro

Starring: Ken Shapiro, Richard Belzer & Chevy Chase

More Info: IMDB

Tagline: What turns the apes on? What makes a cop dance in the street? What has the night tonic done for her? Who chases her through the woods? What can Butz Beer do for you? Why are they eating grass?

Plot: The Groove Tube mocks TV Land and its trappings by spoofing kids' shows -- from a marijuana-smoking Koko the Clown who resides in Make Believe Land, to Safety Sam, the penis with a plan who gleefully informs the audience of the perils of casual sex.

My Rating: 3.5/10

Would I watch it again? I swear on Chevy Chase's long, dead career I wouldn't!

#18 on Dusk to Dawn Drive-In Trash-o-Rama Show Vol. 1 (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT)

True story. I bought a beautiful 60" Sony HDTV four years ago. The day I bought it a friend of mine & former band mate was in town on business for a couple of days and was going to stop by for a visit. Great, 'cause I'll need him to help me place it on the cabinet. Done. I asked him what movie he wanted to watch on this monster and he asked if I had THE GROOVE TUBE. I did but I hadn't watched it yet. So why not? THE FUCK? It's a lousy print and it was filmed in 1:33! I should have slapped in something else, but then what the hell, right? It's only an hour and 15 minutes and soon I'll stick in something that'll really show off the TV. I was going to get around to watching it anyway plus he's a guest in my house.

That trailer, above, is a lying sack of shit!

I remember liking it OK at the time. Something's happened since then 'cause this is just not funny. I'm giving it a 3.5. 3 for each time I did laugh (once every 25 minutes is not a good ratio) and .5 for the copious amounts of nudity (which helped by the way.)

It's basically a string of sketches, the likes of which you would have seen Monty Python do but they would have found a way to make them funny. If super silly is your game then this might be for you. I like super silly but only when IT'S FUCKING FUNNY!

Take for example, the bit with Koko the clown. It starts out like it's the Bozo Show or something, taking FOREVER to get to the actual reason why this sketch is funny. He finally tells the children to kick everyone over the age of 10 out of the room. He waits a few seconds then he goes to his desk, takes off his fake nose, speaks in his regular, bummed-out sounding voice, lights up a doobie and talks about the requests the kids have sent in for him to read a specific page of out erotic literature like, Tropic of Cancer. That's funny but jesus-fucking-christ did it take way too long to get to the punchline. And he still goes on far too long after he's gone back to the Koko voice to close the show. Geez.

That's the biggest issue I had - the bits were way too long and either weren't funny or had worn out their welcome by the time the punchline was thrown making it largely ineffective. The sex Olympics? Funny. But the joke was over shortly after it started.

The last few minutes are the best part (and not only because the end was near) with Chevy Chase singing, Four Leaf Clover, with a guy slapping his head for the rhythm without Chase being distracted at all. THAT was funny!

Then there's this guy...

talking about the dangers of VD and other STDs. It might not take long to figure out the puppet's head is a dick and balls. It was so absurd it was hilarious.

I'm sure the people who made this were having a great time and thought what they were doing was funny. Maybe if I had smoked a lot of grass I would have thought that, too, but what a waste of reefer that would have been.

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