- Movie Rating -

It Came from Hollywood (1982)

| October 29, 1982

I was alarmed, concerned even, when it became clear to me that there are more Grade-Z, bilge-bucket movies in the world than films that have quality.  Good movies are in short supply.  I got that feeling during It Came from Hollywood, a cute compilation/comedy sketch tribute to all those crappy, bottom-of-the-barrel movies of yesteryear, the kinds made as a distraction while you gorge on snacks or make out at the drive-in.  Seen together in bits and pieces, these movies are kind of fun.  Quality isn’t Job One here, just getting the job done. 

The movie is a loving journey through the worst bits from the lamest, most incompetent movies of the 50s and 60s, those drive-in classics like Atomic Rules, The Slime People, From Hell It Came, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, Zombies of the Stratosphere, The Evil Brain from Outer Space, Prince of Space, Curse of the Faceless Man, Attack of the Puppet People and the movie often hailed as the worst movie ever made, Ed Wood’s Plan 9 from Outer Space.  This is the kind of stuff where you might call up someone and invite them to the drive-in and they would ask “What’s playing” and your only reasonable response would be “Who cares?”

The clips are organized into chapters “Gorillas”, “Aliens”, “Giants and Tiny People”, “Musical Memories”, “Coming Attractions”, “Troubled Teenagers” and “Technical Triumphs”.  There is even a salute to Ed Wood, the king of bad movies who never films a take he didn’t like.  But my favorite is “Musical Memories”, an all-too brief journey into the bizarre world of bad movie musicals, the best of which is a woman seated behind a piano with her hands unseen who is either bad at faking playing music or fumbling around for a contact lens.

In between, the movie is hosted by Gilda Radner, Dan Ackroyd, John Candy and Cheech and Chong.  They are there to set up the compilations and very often to do an accompanying comedy sketch.  The result is rather clumsy.  The sketches are stupid compared to the actual footage of bad movies, the commentary is distracting and the set-ups are unnecessary.  The result is kind of like those sketches on SNL that you instantly forget.  But you give the actors points for trying.

It Came From Hollywood is cute.  The only real value is to introduce you to some bad movies that you might want to check out later.  I know I’ll be on the movie in which the man is asked if he’s has noticed anything unusual, he says no and then this wife reminds him of an event just the previous day in which he drove his boat into a radiation cloud.  I think you’d remember a thing like that.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1982) View IMDB Filed in: Comedy, Documentary