Saturday, August 18, 2018

So I watched "Slapstick of Another Kind" (1982) and I almost don't regret it



What a strange adaptation this must be. The original book, written by Kurt Vonnegut, was apparently nothing like this movie, and, was more about isolation, loneliness, and deeper emotions than this weird mess of a film. In general though, even though I enjoyed it for being a mess, I still don't know what this movie was about. Like, at all. 



So, the Chinese government has perfected shrinking technology so that they could remain a sustained nation, even though they're highly overpopulated. The US, falling behind on its own natural resources, succumbs to using literal chicken shit as a form of fuel. Meanwhile, aliens bestow twin babies with advanced intellects to a vain but extremely rich celebrity couple. These alien babies grow up to be very ugly, slightly incestuous, and super-intelligent. I believe they were supposed to help the people of our planet reach the "next stage" in our evolution, but that doesn't come to pass.

I guess the movie is about the ugly alien space babies, and them being separated because of all of the officials misunderstanding who they are, and what they are capable of. And I guess it's also about their parents just being the worst possible people, who are definitely not deserving of their children, but there's no take away from the overall experience of watching this film. The ending makes it seem like it was all a story about acceptance, but, that's underwhelming, and not earned. It's a real shame too because I loved the bonkers and depressing world constructed in this movie, and I wish the movie was either better, or a lot goofier. 

Another thing about this movie is the amount of amazing talent involved in it. It's really astonishing because with so many talented and funny people involved, this should've been a classic. Pat Morita plays a Chinese government agent shrunk down to the size of an action figure, and he flies around in a tiny UFO! That alone should have been a highlight, but somehow it wasn't! 

This movie was a missed opportunity, in so many ways, and I should restate what I said earlier; this isn't an adaptation, but it's based off a book. They took a lot of artistic license with this movie, and it didn't pay off at all. I guess watch it for the novelty, but you really don't have to. 


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