Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Honeypot Christian Cagigal clued me into this one.

I love movies from this era, but Hellzapoppin is something way beyond stupid puns and slapstick. I mean, it's that, but it's also Stanley Elkin put onscreen some thirty years before he exploited metafiction. This 1941 movie self-referenced itself so much that South Park seems a pale imitation in terms of making fun of making fun of pop culture. Just watch the opening few minutes:

The rest of the movie just collapses upon itself and has less to do with storyline than a pointed statement that dumb people will line up to watch anything. If, like me, you just like stupid comedy jokes this movie is hilarious. But if you think we live in an idiot world where we're sucking on the tit of the entertainment industry to keep us distracted from what those in power don't want us to see you'll really find it funny--and of course more sad than you can bear. You weren't allowed to say this outright back when this was filmed but Hellzapoppin absolutely gets this point across in subtle, at-the-time subversive ways and points out that society will watch goddamn anything at the expense of thinking, some fifty years before American Idol.

You can find this on Amazon. Buy it, laugh your ass off and learn we really haven't come that far.

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