Not as bad as you would believe
Jim M. | Springfield MA | 03/12/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When UP THE ACADEMY was released in theatres, it was called MAD MAGAZINE PRESENTS UP THE ACADEMY. After the success National Lampoon had with ANIMAL HOUSE, they wanted to try getting involved in film production.
The film, written by two writers of THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW and other sitcoms and directed by Robert Downey Sr is actually at times quite funny. Mainly because of the performance of Ron Leibman as the head of a military academy. He honestly gives one of the funniest comic performances of all time. Every line he has works because of the delivery. Unfortunately, Leibman was so embarassed by the film, he had his name taken off before its release. Tom Poston and Ralph Macchio also appear. The film also has an excellent soundtrack.
After its theatrical run, MAD became embarassed of it (even ran a parody of it in their magazine, essentially disowning it) and paid Warner Brothers to have all references to MAD taken out of the film. Alfred E. Neuman (or, a guy in a big, rather scary Neuman mask) appeared in a few scenes and those scenes were cut out.
For the VHS, while all the artwork was changed (Alfred E. Neumann originally appeared on the poster), no MAD references appeared on the box, the film actually still included the MAD references. Warner had to refund the money to MAD. I'm not sure if later copies of the VHS were changed, but the first batch accidentally carried the MAD scenes.
For years, the TV prints were free of MAD references. Comedy Central used to show it almost weekly with all the MAD scenes cut out. But in the past few years, it has been showing on TNT and other channels with not only the opening and closing credits letterboxed (it was a widescreen, Panavision film), but with all the MAD references intact.
I don't know if because of the controversy it has a chance of ever getting a DVD release. But, I for one would love to see Warner release it on DVD, fully letterboxed with maybe a documentary on why MAD and Leibman wanted to disown it."
"SAY IT AGAIN!"
Highlander | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania United States | 10/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie was a howl!Whenever I encountered any diffaculty in my 6 years in the R.O.T.C/National Guard I would always think back to this flick for comic relief.Major Von Liceman was hilarious!This movie had a great soundtrack too,and was way ahead of its time."
Shades Below | Tacoma, WA U.S.A. | 11/21/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of those obscure but hilarious movies from the 1980's that was only seen on late-night cable, or in very badly edited form on the USA Network, with "Student Bodies" or "Jekyll And Hyde Together Again". I remember wanting to see this on video, as I noticed that Ralph "The Karate Kid" Macchio was one of the guys on the box (and I was only ten!). Watching it, this was one of the funniest movies I had ever seen, and though it's pure corn, it's still an unsung piece of treasure from that era.
By the way, the 1987 video reissue is the original cut of the film, with the "MAD" Magazine and Alfred E. Neuman references still intact (they were excised in certain prints of the film). One other weird thing is that Ron Liebman wanted his name taken off the film, but the movie isn't THAT bad! Also, one interesting quirk is that at the end of the movie, the credits scroll down the creen, instead of up (the only other I can think of that does this is "Repo Man").
For the guy who wanted to know whatever became of Stacey Nelkin, she's lately been doing cartoon voice-overs and stuff like that. Her being in some very bad movies after this one (notably "Halloween III", "Going Ape" and "Yellowbeard") surely didn't do much for her career, which was a shame, as she was a major hottie in this one. I especially like when she's wearing that haremoutfit, but the part where she takes off her top is really nice (hotcha!).
So, if you want something that's hilarious, bawdy, offensive and just pure cheesy early 80's fun, get this!"
thegurq | Salina, Kansas | 03/20/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This was a great peice of work that kept me laughing and quoteing lines for days. I also have to say that it was filmed in and around my home town. The gas station attendent, Chester, is the sheriff in my home town. Great work Ken!"