User Reviews (26)

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  • natprice_uk15 January 2002
    I remember seeing this movie when I was a kid - I loved it and watched it at least 20 times from when I was 9 up to when I was 12, the video shop then changed hands to a big blockbuster type chain and they got rid of all the old movies whether popular or not.

    A fantastic spoof that combined so many of the horror films of the 70's and 80's, the alien chest scene with the small lawnmower is one of my favs of the film.

    If you like the spoof genre this is one of the best by far and a crime to miss
  • Parody of the first generation of US splatter pics works on about the level of a Mad Magazine parody, but one of the FUNNY ones. (You may have to be kind of old like me to remember those.)

    Some veteran hams give it a kick along. Julia Duffy, (who was the snooty chambermaid who never did any work in the "Newhart" TV series set in an inn in Vermont)has exactly the right aloof/just don't care/not all there presence for the heroine here. Andrew Dice Clay has a great bit as the Vinnie Barbarino parody "Tony Schlongini". His theme-song/entrance is a case of 'once fingerpopped, never forgotten'.

    Proudly unsophisticated comedy has the dual charm of complete conviction in its silly gags, and not pretending it's anything other than what it is. Very easy watch, with more than enough laughs to get you through.
  • My brother and I absolutely love this movie. So many quotable lines, so many wonderfully absurd sequences. We know certain sections of this picture verbatim and have even created a techno-track comprised of samples from the film.

    My fave character is the psychiatrist Joe Don Baker brings into Charles Napier's office, Dr.Dick. What a classic. "If you piss him!" "You've inflicted emotional wounds which may take years to heal!"

    Also Harry Palms, the school's "vice" principal "Look at him now....gentle as a lamb. And blank as a fart." and of course Joe Don Baker who is always a welcome presence to any picture. His rendition of Dick Harbinger, the cop who hasn't slept in 13 years, is simply sensational. "It's the 13th anniversary of the lawnmower killings. It's October 31st. 31 backwards is 13, it's Friday, it's Halloween, it's Prom Night. There's a crazy loose. I'm outta coffee."

    It's certainly not a movie for everyone (ie. those looking for sophisticated, high-brow fare or well-drawn characters) but if all you're after is a good laugh then WACKO will do the trick.

    It's not easy to find - I own a LaserDisc version which is pretty crummy quality and the VHS versions floating around have seen better days but you might occasionally run into this flick on TV late at night. I'll be one of the first to buy the DVD whenever it makes it's way to this shiny new format.

    It's amazing how many "stars" Greydon Clark was able to assemble for this absurdist extravaganza. Andrew Dice Clay is memorable as Tony Schlongini - "Everyone's talking' about him, people that know him just love him, so if you're feeling down, or if you're feeling blue, this dude will make you feel super-coooool"

    TONY SCHLONGINI - Owwwwwwwwww!
  • Joe Don Baker cracked me up in this comedy about an inept cop who is the only one convinced there is a Pumpkin-Headed Lawn Mower Killer on the loose. I first saw this movie in the earlier 1980's, but unfortunately, it looks like it's not available anymore. All I can say is that the images I saw then inflicted emotional scars that took years to heal.....
  • I think it's funny that someone actually thought this was an inspiration for "The Lawnmower Man," which was actually loosely based on a story published by Stephen King five years before "Wacko" was made.

    So...inspiration for "The Lawnmower Man"? No. Damn funny horror spoof? Yes. Check this out, along with "Student Bodies"...the only two good horror spoofs to date.
  • you got to see this film, watched it alot when i was little. heads in a vice, pumpkin head lawn mower killers and dead granma's enjoying the family meal. unfortunately i cant remember alot else, there was definately whipped cream bikini death, what a can remember is that this film is a total laugh & my mates & i loved it. WACKO! definatley.
  • mcauz18 May 2005
    Move over Star Wars, Wacko is the greatest movie of all time. This movie has it all … from lawnmowers to carrots you don't want to miss Wacko. If you do you are an idiot! Andrew Dice Clay gives a balanced, poignant performance as Tony Schlongini (hey lets all sing along: "Tony Schlongini I am respected everywhere ... Tony Schlongini ... you know how it goes). Jon Don Baker as Dick Harbinger could go down as the greatest hero since Jesus. While some movies are afraid to push the envelope of brilliance (I'm looking at you Godfather!!!) Wacko takes the horror genre to places not scene in Hollywood. Oh by the way I love black women.
  • jrallas10 April 2007
    I saw this movie in the mid to late 80's and laughed non-stop. My brothers and I still quote lines from it. It belongs up there with Caddy Shack, Animal House, etc, but never got the recognition it deserves. Andrew Dice Clay was a good addition, but definitely not the star of this movie. I think this might be the only comedy role Joe Don Baker (Detective Harbinger) ever did, but he was great. When he brings the psychologist into the Captain's office I thought I was gonna wet my pants. "If you p!ss him off, RUN!" I tracked down a copy of this movie on VHS and value it more than any of my DVDs. There are a few famous people sprinkled in there, but over all, you don't see much of these people, anymore. Still a great movie for quick laughs.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    It is the night of the Pumpkin Prom. Mary Graves plans on losing her virginity to Norman Bates. Thirteen years ago her sister was killed by the lawnmower murderer who has escaped from the asylum. Joe Don Baker is on the job.

    This 1982 film spoofs many of the classic films of the era and really loved the music from Hitchcock. The fun is in the details.

    No F-words, sex, or nudity.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Wacko" was clearly made by people with affection for the horror genre, and yet it is so intent on including as many references to other movies (and shows) as possible that it never develops enough momentum on its own; it's basically just a collage of unrelated jokes, some of which are repeated multiple times throughout the film. The funniest performer is George Kennedy, in the only envelope-pushing role: a pseudo-surgeon who likes to peep on his own teenage daughters! ** out of 4.
  • Watched it a thousand times as a teenager! Gotta buy it and hope that it is as good as I remember it back then.

    Though like most things revisited, I'll probably wish I hadnt, but Im quite sure I or you wont be disappointed and laugh your a$$es off. It is available to buy through Amazon.
  • "Wacko", "Student Bodies", "Pandemonium" and "Class Reunion" are all slasher parodies that were released in either 1981 or 1982. In other words, at a time when the trend of prototypical 80's high school slashers still had to boom beyond proportions, there were already FOUR movies spoofing the typical trademarks of such films like "Black Christmas", "When a Stranger Calls", "Friday the 13th" and particularly "Halloween". The main problem with these films is that, for every remotely fun gag or ingenious element of parody, there are an average of two dozen painfully misplaced, pathetic and even downright agitating bad jokes. I swear, some of the jokes in "Wacko" are so deplorable that you'll feel embarrassed for the actors and actresses that actually have to tell them with a straight face. Nevertheless this is a remarkable little film with a peculiar ensemble cast and a handful of perplexing (both good and bad) sequences. Thirteen years after she witnessed her sister getting slashed by the Lawnmower Killer – a traumatic mental experience which is bound to screw her up for life – Mary is preparing herself to go to the Halloween prom with her boyfriend, Norman Bates. The same morning, however, a loony who is believed to be the killer escapes from the nearby mental asylum. Fortunately for Mary, or perhaps not, obsessive copper Dick Harbinger never considered the case of the Lawnmower killings to be closed and shows up during the prom as well. The Lawnmower Killer wears a Halloween pumpkin over his/her head and he could pretty much be everyone, like Mary's father who's always mowing the lawn or her boyfriend who can't help producing the sound of a rusty lawnmower when sexually aroused. Writer/director Greydon Clark made a handful of remarkably eccentric and memorable horror flicks, like "Satan's Cheerleaders", "Without Warning" and the ridiculously atrocious "Uninvited". All three of them were actually funnier than "Wacko" even though this is supposed to be the goofy one. It's really weird that Clark managed to gather such a respectable cast. "Wacko" stars veterans like Joe Don Baker ("Walking Tall", "Welcome Home Soldier Boys"), Stella Stevens ("The Poseidon Adventure", "The Ballad of Cable Hogue") and George Kennedy! Now, George appeared in many inferior movies but I never thought he'd played the role of a perverted father who watches his own teenage daughters undress! Say it isn't so, George! There are also familiar 25+ year old's to play the roles of high-school teenagers, like Andrew Dice Clay (the one and only Ford Fairlane gives away a wondrous John Travolta spoof) and the unearthly ravishing E.G. Daily.
  • This is absolutely fab. Among the greatest cult movies ever, although it isnt rated like that - yet.

    Put your brains on the table and enjoy.

    Joe Don Baker - I salute you.
  • During the early 80s the slasher film had already become a genre ripe for parody. "Student Bodies" and "Pandemonium" are two more of the well-known examples. This one wasn't always terribly funny, in this viewers' humble opinion. It tried so hard to be funny, but didn't always hit the mark. Still, there's an agreeable amount of goofiness and enough good laughs to make it tolerable for an admittedly well-paced 87 minutes.

    Joe Don Baker is at his most slovenly as a dedicated police detective who's determined to prove that the dreaded Lawnmower Miller, who last terrorized his city 13 years earlier, is due to return. One of LMs' previous victims was the older sister of virginal Mary ('Newhart's' Julia Duffy), and since she witnessed it, she carries deep emotional scars that will haunt her for the rest of her life.

    Among the four credited writers are Dana Olsen ("The 'Burbs") and Jim Kouf ("Stakeout"), and in the directors' chair is prolific B filmmaker Greydon Clark. They take aim at a variety of horror films, from "Psycho" to "The Omen" to "The Island of Dr. Moreau" to the run of slasher pictures of the period. Oddball characters include Mary's brother Damien (Michael Lee Gogin), and the obligatory Red Herring Gardener / Creep (the great character actor Anthony James).

    Andrew "Dice" Clay makes his screen debut (without the "Dice" nickname), playing a somewhat Travolta-esque character, and he's reasonably amusing. But he's just one of a number of familiar faces that appear. George Kennedy plays Mary's dad, a voyeur who tries to explain away his creepiness with the repeated refrain of "just mowing the lawn". Stella Stevens, Scott McGinnis, Elizabeth Daily, Sonny Carl Davis, Jeff Altman, Charles Napier, Darby Hinton, and Jacqulin Cole (the directors' wife) are all present and accounted for. But it's Baker who comes off the best. A total slob, his is a character who REALLY can't live without his coffee. He even has a brief scene after the closing credits, if you wait for it.

    Overall, a fairly funny comedy, but "Student Bodies" is the best of this genre at the time, at least according to this viewer.

    Six out of 10.
  • This has to be one of the truly greatest comedic films ever made. Andrew Dice Clay turns out possibly the greatest performance ever in a comedy film. His portrayal of Tony Schlongini AKA "The Schlong", is priceless. One has to see this film to believe that anyone can act this superbly. Joe Don Baker is funny as the detective looking for the crazed Halloween killer. George Kennedy is marvelous, I love it when he "mows the Lawn". The music is pretty cool, I wonder if there is a soundtrack album. I must also add that the character of "Harry Palms" is also a scream. Where is the region 1 DVD? We have been waiting long enough.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    WACKO is an amazingly unfunny slasher spoof made by director Greydon Clark, he of the variable film quality. This one's set in a high school menaced by a figure known as the 'lawnmower killer', and everything is played out as high farce with lots of terrible overacting and general inanity. I did find the endless references to movies and movie characters to be somewhat endearing, what with characters including Dr Moreau and Norman Bates, and the use of the ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS theme music is cleverly done. Cast-wise, we get turns from a hammy George Kennedy, a typically voluptuous Stella Stevens, Charles Napier as a police chief yet again, and an annoying Joe Don Baker.
  • Quinoa198429 April 2000
    Greydon Clark's Wacko is a clever horror film (if not a little cheesy) with some veteran stars and some new ones. The veterans help bring the film to big potential and the rookie boost their careers. The veterans include George Kennedy, Stella Stevens and Joe Don Baker (the famous Don Baker). The rookies include Elizabeth Davis (later voice of Tommy on Rugrats), Anthony James, and the world famous Andrew Dice Clay, who appears as Tony Schlongini (first roll). This plus a creative story (that probably inspired the Lawnmower Man) make this a OK horror film (for It's time). B+
  • Innocent fun is how I describe "Wacko". The frantic pace involves a lot of misses, but the occasional hits are quite funny. George Kennedy steals the movie with his deadpan humor as an incompetent doctor. "I'm performing a hysterectomy on Mr. Cooper". Taking shots at several stereotyped horror movies, "Wacko" perhaps tries to cover too much ground, with too many characters. All this is quite forgivable when in the context of the spoof that it is. Andrew "Dice" Clay fans will most likely be disappointed in his muted performance. Other "B" movie faces pop up as wacky characters (pun intended). Everyone tries hard, and a rating of 6.0 is probably close to correct. - MERK
  • tomballantyne_212 October 2005
    Warning: Spoilers
    I was 4 when this came out and it is a vivid memory of both my brother and I. I have been going into HMV for years saying can you order a film called "the lawnmower killer." Now i know where i have been going wrong. Oh my God, what a film, "Daddy what are you doing??" "Just, err, mowing the lawn." "Sure Daddy, that's what you always say." And the guy who spat the pea soup out after his head rotated 360 degrees. Pure genius and the cop who sees a pool of blood and bends over and picks a sandwich from his pocket, dips into the blood, bites the sandwich, "erm... ketchup." Comedy Genius!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I also recall Damian at the dinner table and lots of cake being handed out. It was like everyone got a slab of cake and after it was handed out, Damian at the table pulled a fork out of his leg and ate with it and when he finished the cake, he stabbed the fork back into his leg. Great!! And Daddy took the chainsaw out and chopped off his missus's hair, which was an afro. These are all just memories from over 20 years ago so i think i am doing great.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A psycho called The Lawnmower Killer who wears a pumpkin over his head and kills folks with a you-know-what terrorizes a small town. It's up to dogged and disheveled detective Dick Harbinger (robustly played by Joe Don Baker) to stop him.

    Director Greydon Clark keeps the enjoyably inane story moving along at a brisk pace, maintains an amiable tongue-in-cheek tone throughout, and pokes merry madcap fun at everything from "Psycho" to "Halloween" to "The Exorcist." Moreover, it's acted with zest by an enthusiastic cast: George Kennedy as leering voyeur Mr. Doctor Graves (he loves to peep on his daughter), Stella Stevens as the ditsy Mrs. Doctor Graves, Julia Duffy as the sweet Mary, Anthony James as freaky gardener Zeke, Elizabeth Daily as the bubbly Bambi, Sonny Carl Davis as an annoying weirdo, David Drucker as a raving bald looney, Charles Napier as the huffy Chief O'Hara, and, in his film debut, Andrew Dice Clay as super cool dude Tony Schlongini. Sure, this flick is extremely dopey and the humor is anything but subtle, but it's often funny and has a certain zany spirit to it that's impossible to either resist or dislike. An absolute hoot.
  • Here's another one of these spoofs, early 80's, done by a director who quite intrigued me, with his other flicks, The Return, and the almost, invisibly known Hi Riders. Like Full Moon High, takes off the werewolf movies kind of, Here, they're sending up Halloween, and the movie is that insane and filled with lunacy, it pays off in it's absurdness. It's a film that had me laughing more on the inside, but you do praise it's cleverness, or inventiveness, where it just falls back into such inanity, featuring a few repeated lines, comedy related, you're aren't annoyed to hear, with some familiar young 80's actors, you don't see now. One young face, I won't mention, who did her share, was sad, in light of how talented she was. A messed up and taunted, Joe Don Baker, who has great screen presence as an actor, is fun and enjoyable to watch as the tortured, cop trying to track down the lawnmower killer, responsible for a murder, lucky 13 years ago (also a locker combination to a jock, obviously a sent up, Travolta type) where the film becomes a comedy thriller too. The movie plays homage to other films, but you have to admire it's ingenuity and praise it's ambitiousness, but it just wanes in it's stupidity, despite being very entertaining, none the less. Jeff Altman was memorably funny, and appealing, putting his hundred percent in as Harry Palms, while again, the great George Kennedy is wasted here, alongside the extra talented Stella Stevens, who like Barbra Eden was also told, she was wasting their time, in the chosen profession, but look who had the last laugh. Julia Duffy was really good as the hot daughter, while you won't forget little brother Damien, especially if happening to ponder in your oven. The other memorable highlight or the biggest one, is seeing the world's biggest Twinkie known to man, being devoured by a quartet, Joe Don Bakers family. Yes it is a bad movie, but it is not without interest, that's for sure.
  • "Wacko" is one of those films that audiences will either love or hate. It is dated, it is un-PC, it is crass and cruel all at the same time, but in the same sense it is a precursor to the now-popular "Scary Movie" franchise. For a PG rated film it pushes the envelope, it creates a world where one would have to have seen the film that they are spoofing, or be left in the dark. Unlike the "Scary Movie" films, "Wacko" leans away from the bathroom humor (albeit there is plenty there), but actually parodies cult films from Hitchcock, John Carpenter, De Palma, and so forth. Joe Don Baker is phenomenal. I am surprised that he didn't redefine this genre. His mannerisms, his insanity, and his surprisingly fresh take on his determined detective out to discover the truth is laugh-out-loud funny. Couple this with a fresh-faced Andrew Dice Clay jumping excitedly into the shoes of the local hipster/jock, be prepared for a wild ride. "Wacko" is fast past, absurd, and confusing all at the same time (i.e. see the talking elephant), but it isn't perfect. While two viewings continued to bring a chuckle to the room, any further viewing may be disastrous. There are some great repeatable lines, some great references, but these are coupled with some slow scenes and staged dialogue. There are moments where "Wacko" has no direction, and director Greydon Clark obviously has no idea where he is headed either. While this adds to the enjoyment of "Wacko", there was a moment where a secure storyline would have been a powerful alley to this laserdisc. Anything to keep us grounded while Clark took us around the corner, under the bridge, and into that darkened alleyway known as horror parodies.

    Overall, "Wacko" needs a DVD release. This is a film that could be watched on college campus', midnight Halloween night at your local independent theater, or with a group of friends with drinks. It is one of those 80s campy horror comedies that were afraid to take chances, and I respect "Wacko" for that. Obviously, it will not win awards, but I see that it make it into the "cult cannon" any day of the week. I would not suggest repeat viewings, but at least two for the detailed humor of Joe Don Baker and Andrew Dice Clay (in this film, merely known as Andrew Clay). The humor is sharp, the dialogue less friendly, and the in today's modern world, it would not be PG rated, but thanks to the 80s – it is mediocrity to its perfection.

    Grade: *** out of *****
  • If you thought Student Bodies or Pandemonium were bad, just hold onto your hats, because Wacko is more than willing to take one for the team and make those other two look like grade A masterworks.

    The cast is better than expected with the likes of George Kennedy, Stella Stevens, Andrew Dice Clay, and Julia Duffy, but they're forced to spit out such inane dialogue that you almost wish it had happened to people you don't know or don't like.

    If you're even considering watching this movie, don't waste your time. It's time you'll never get back.
  • I'm not against silly comedies. In fact, I rather enjoy them, but Wacko offers only a couple of chuckles throughout its 90 minute run time and that's just not acceptable for a film billed as a comedy. Comedy, much like the horror genre Wacko spoofs, is incredibly subjective and not all types of comedy will make everyone laugh. Wacko has a few decent gags that it beats into the ground like a dead horse.

    The first laugh comes in the opening prologue where George Kennedy climbs up a ladder to spy on a teenage girl who's changing for a night out. She catches him and says something along the lines of "daddy! Not again!". It's funny (in a slightly disturbing way) the first time, but this gag is repeated at least two or three more times throughout the film with his other daughter (Julia Duffy) and it gets old quickly.

    Wacko has the ability to take an ok joke and repeat it 50 times to the point where we just want to find the filmmakers and hammer them on the head. Maybe they only wrote 5 jokes and felt the need to repeat them to bulk up the run time.

    When the other early 80's slasher spoof, Student Bodies, is starting to look like a masterclass in comedy, you know you're in trouble. Skip it!
  • destroytheeorcs27 March 2003
    This is one of the 1st horror parodys I think that was made. Scary Movie ain't got nothing on it know what i mean? Anyway to be truthful only reason I checked it out since it's Andrew Dice Clay's 1st starring role. And he does a great job as Tony Shlongini. Anyway George Kennedy is also in it, and he does a good job as well. Some really funny original things are in this movie, and it's worth checking out.
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