1 September 1999 | Chris-564
The short fat one gets slapped. That's it.
"Muertos De Risa" had such a lot going for it, it's hard to see exactly how director, cast and crew could make such a stupendously stupid film. Yet somehow, through colossal ignorance of what makes a decent movie, sheer bad luck or a complete lack of talent, Alex De Iglesia's supposed laughfest offers little more than a bewildered titter at the point of the thing.
The thing was, I went in with such high hopes. The poster looks good, I was in the mood for a knockabout screwball comedy, and I had been busy defending this type of movie to my Spanish friends (who clearly aren't too impressed with this genre - see "El Milagro De P.Tinto"), and I was looking forward to a nice seventies kitsch affair. But it just failed to deliver. The comedy was dire (alright, I might have missed a few Spanish language one-liners, but judging by the noises the Spanish audience were making, I doubt it). But really, what's going on? How on earth did this make it past greenlighting? It can't be entertainment, surely.
Nevertheless, before sitting down to write this review, I endeavoured to find some positive aspects of the film. And, to my surprise, there were one or two diamonds in the very, very rough. Firstly: the title sequence - lovely, stylised animation, nice attention to seventies detail. Secondly, the goat gave a sterling performance - I can honestly say I have never seen a goat play dead quite as realistically - fantastic! (In comparison). Finally, the comedy old mother is alright, I suppose. But animation, goats and mothers aside, there isn't a lot to look forward too, I'm afraid.
The thing is - it's all so bloomin' unnecessary. There is no need for all the naked women (no there isn't, to all those lecherous readers out there), there is no need to push the jokes quite as far as they try, because the jokes don't work on their own. There was just no point in making the film: a brief comedy sketch on "Saturday Night Live", fine - but a feature-length movie? Never. "Muertos De Risa" is crass, stupid, unnecessary and irritating (like most of the actors). I don't think I've ever hated a movie quite as much: which is good, I'm glad it's got my passion up. I might try to watch it with subtitles, just to see if I did miss something stupendous - and you will be the first to know if I did. But I really don't hold out much hope.
Alright - this is a personal opinion; you, of course, might love it. But my advice is this: if you're after screwball Spanish comedy, watch "El Milagro De P.Tinto", if you're after soft porn, watch anything by Russ Meyer, and if you're after an example of the best Spanish cinema has to offer, then try "Todo Sobre Mi Madre". If, however, you're after something to irritate the hell out of your friends and family, maybe this is the film for you. It certainly isn't for me.