The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977)

kentucky fried movie poster 1977 review
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

Some great spoofs, Catholic High School Girls in Trouble

Sketches that miss their mark

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Kentucky Fried Movie

Studio: United Film Distribution Company (UFDC)/Kentucky Fried Theater

Genre(s): Comedy

Release Date(s): August 10, 1977

MPAA Rating: R

kentucky fried movie catholic high school girls in trouble

The horror of Catholic High School Girls in Trouble!

From aspirin commercials, morning news, late night news, kung fu flicks, end-of-the-world disaster movies, courtroom dramas, blaxploitation, and Catholic high school porn, you can find anything on TV.  The world is open with a remote control…it is all coming at you and nothing is safe or sacred!

Directed by John Landis, The Kentucky Fried Movie is a sketch comedy movie.  The film was the first film of the team of David Zucker, Jerry Zucker, and Jim Abrahams and received positive reviews and a strong box-office return to low-budget.

The Kentucky Fried Movie was already a cult movie when I saw it.  My friends and I knew Airplane! and other comedies by the creators and watched the more adult take of their comedy when we could…and we of course loved it as teens.

kentucky fried movie fistful of yen

Feel the wrath of Dr. Klahn!

The movie (like many sketch movies) is hit-or-miss, but it is largely hit.  There are some great sketches and some so-so sketches.  The largely short sketches give way to the longer “A Fistful of Yen” which is essentially a take on Enter the Dragon…with some direct parodies.  While a lot of the sketches work as solo material, it helps to have some of the context of the sketches including things like Scot Free boardgame over the assassination of JFK which references specific events.  Some of the jokes are pretty pointed and will go over the heads of viewers.

The movie has some celebrities in the film mixed with other character actors and it also employed members of Second City and the Groundlings.  Bill Bixby, George Lazenby, Evan C. Kim, Donald Sutherland, Felix Silla, Tony Dow, and even effects specialist Rick Baker appear in the film.  While the acting is nothing great, it isn’t meant to be.

kentucky fried movie wonderful world of sex big jim slade

Big Jim Slade will satisfy the ladies!

The movie mostly plays with sight gags and parodies for the laughs.  While the movie has a lot of smart parodies, some of the simpler (but still smart) crude parodies like Catholic High School Girls in Trouble still score…and of course appeal to the young watchers at the time.

The Kentucky Fried Movie isn’t the most developed movie you’ll see and the style of parody used in it still was new and experimental.  The film is a must for fans of the genre, and it still has enough laughs (but will land better with older viewers now).  The movie has a spiritual successor in Amazon Women on the Moon in 1987 which had Landis as a director and a similar format.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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