Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Peter Bergman, Phil Proctor, M.G. Kelly, Jack Angel, Margolyn Curtis
Director: Richard Patterson
Genres: Comedy, Music Video & Concerts
J Men is the story of The Secret World War, a war of cultures as Rock & Roll smashes Shmaltzy music. This outrageous comedy was created by Firesign Theatre's Philip Proctor and Peter Bergman in the style of Woody Allen's ... more »
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75 Minutes Of Inspired Parody!!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Remember all those cliffhanger serials from the 1930's and 40's from RKO and Republic Studios, like "Shazam!", "Captain America", "Buck Rogers", "Atomic Man" and not to mention all those G-men episodes? In '79 they were all pared down and hilariously recut (with new dialogue and story) into the most hysterical - and most politically incorrect - movie I bet you've never seen. Courtesy of the hip comedy troupe known as Firesign Theatre. The instant cult status this movie achieved on late-night cable TV in the early 80's, paved the way for Steve Martin's modestly successful and more mainstream attempt at that kind of concept called "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid". But, Firesign's effort is more contraversial, subversive, outrageous and silly - and, moreover, far funnier.The plot, such as it is, is about the straight-as-an-arrow, but definitely un-hip, mixed bag of government agents and superheroes at war with the hip, but hilariously (and deliriously) power-mad, disguise-changing, rock-and-roll ruler of the Moon, and his minions, bent on dominating Earth - their secret weapon? - potentially deadly doses of rock music! And, if that's not enough, controlled substances which can turn Earth's citizens into slaves! It's up to the government to fight back the only way they know how - with muzak! This is not only a send-up of those Hollywood vehicles themselves, but also a second look at them using what one critic calls the "more drastically hip filter which we, at almost anytime since the relatively drug-crazed 70's at least, now can't help but see them through". It's sex, drugs and rock and roll vs. the establishment, like you've never quite seen it before, as the classic war is hysterically and slyly grafted onto the cliffhangers themselves. The result is purely outrageous camp! Definitely a good thing here. This flick is sheer provocative fun and has more quotable dialogue, per minute of run time, than almost any other movie I can think of. But, due to its obvious references to pot smoking and innuendo, this is certainly not for your kids. For that matter, it's not for your parents either! While it may push the envelope, some will see it all as a big (but ultimately harmless enough) joke and others will see it as one of the most flagrantly pro-marajuana comedies ever made(!) - a.k.a. "The Day The Earth Got Stoned". But try not to let that throw you too much - to its credit, it's gotta be the absolutely non-stop funniest look at that ever-increasingly taboo subject there is, and I'd like to imagine you're only cheating yourself if you miss it :-). This movie ran a handful of times on a show called "USA's Night Flight", but was yanked when the movie drew too much flak - even though, by that time, it had also become "Night Flight"'s most requested video. According to the back cover of the DVD, it remained so for that show's entire run of 8 years. If it ever made it to VHS shortly thereafter, it was a very limited run, and, as a result, this movie hasn't been widely seen. That it's now being released on video at all, after so many years, must mean that either PC is on the wane, or that some overworked, underpaid censor unwittingly let this one slip through. In any case, I suggest you snap this one up, before the so-called "powers-that-be" come to their senses (and before John Ashcroft launches his own "Operation Interrupt"! - see the movie). Insanely funny camp, with an underground edge. WAY recommended!!"
Chief, are you sure he's on OUR side?
Mark Shanks | Portland, OR | 05/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Argueably the funniest movie ever made. Bits and pieces of 40's serials spliced together with Machine Gun Kelley voicing the insanely comic villain "Lightning Bug" ("you dug? I mean dig?"). Where to begin? I had no idea Captain Marvel machine-gunned people in the back as they ran away, or threw guys off of rooftops. Captain America looks pretty absurd in his woolen long-johns and riding a motorcycle through the desert. And the names: "Jam Armhole", "Sleeve Coat", and "Juicy Withers", just for starters. It has the frantic energy and layered esoteric references and fabulous wordplay of the Firesign Theater boys, but Kelly really steals the movie with his wild threats and demented "Hahahahaha!!!!" I think you could easily watch this a dozen times and STILL not catch everything going on - the first 2-3 times you'll just be laughing too hard. Do yourself a favor, 4-ears, and pick this one up before the Supreme Court decides you don't have a right to be amused."
As funny as ever
reechie | Lebanon, PA USA | 12/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like most fans of this movie, I saw it several times in the 80's on the USA Network's "Night Flight" show, but somehow never had the foresight to tape it. When I found that it was to be released on DVD, I was delighted, but a little apprehensive. After all, it had been at least 15 years since I'd seen the film, and I was a bit afraid that it had lost it's humor in all that time.Well, my fears were unfounded, both my wife (who'd never seen the film) and I have watched the new DVD several times, and found it to still be laugh out loud hysterical. This is a very welcome release, well worth the wait, and as funny as you remember it."
Get thee to a punnery!
D. Hartley | Seattle, WA USA | 08/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's time to retire that fuzzy, 20-year-old beta-max tape you pirated off of "Night Flight" (remember when USA Network was actually a HIP cable channel?)- a true buried treasure has turned up on DVD! Woody Allen may have done it first ("What's Up, Tiger Lily?") and the writers behind "Mystery Science Theater 3000" may have run the concept into the ground, but Phil Proctor and Peter Bergman did it best with "J-Men Forever". The concept of taking footage of old, corny and/or low budget films and re-dubbing new dialog is certainly not a new idea, but in the hands of Firesign Theater veterans Proctor & Bergman, it becomes a comedic art form of the highest (er-so to speak...) order! The creators obviously had a sizable archive from the old Republic serials to dip into; unlike Woody Allen's "Lily" they were not restricted by the original ebb and flow of one individual film. As a result, "J-Men" benefits from a quick-cut style that keeps perfect time with the rapid-fire one-liners, double entendres and high-energy rock music soundtrack. Above all, there is the outstanding writing, which ranks up there with the Firesign Theater's best moments of inventive comedic anarchy. It is interesting to note that the film preceded (and undoubtedly inspired) Carl Reiner and Steve Martins's higher-profile, mainstream offering "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid" by a year or two. Fans of irreverent (but smart) comedy will not want to miss this one."