- Movie Rating -

Up the Academy (1980)

| June 6, 1980

This movie is not funny.  There isn’t a gag that works.  Notta one.  It’s a complete washout.

Maybe it was too much to ask that a movie from MAD Magazine be worked into a functional comedy.  The magazine itself is often hit and miss, operating on parodies, scatological observations and juvenile humor to keep going.  Their movie, Up the Academy is none of these things.  Not that the magazine had gads of sophistication, but any one panel of any comic strip throughout the storied history of the publication makes for better humor than anything found in this movie.

The obvious inspiration here was Animal House, a movie that attached its name to National Lampoon.  So, it may have seemed like a logical step to attach Up the Academy to MAD Magazine.  The problem here is that the jokes don’t seem worked out.  They are basic concepts without any real follow through.

Take, for example, a scene involving one of the teachers played by Barbara Bach.  The movie takes place at a military school and the teacher is not only gorgeous but comes into a classroom full of pre-teen boys wearing an outfit that reveals her cleavage.  She shows them several weapons like a rifle, a hand grenade and a mortar, all at the level of her breasts.  The boys pass out from, I guess being oversexed.  But the joke is just one-note.  Yes, Bach is gorgeous but the scene has no punch.  Then one kid says “Shut up, some of us are trying to come.”  I mean . . . wow.

I don’t criticize the film for this line because I didn’t expect a movie from MAD Magazine to be a fountain of sophistication.  But I did, at least, expect it to be funny, and again, I didn’t laugh once in this insufferable 87-minute slog of obvious sex jokes, fart humor and hollow punchlines.  This movie is a struggle to sit through.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1980) View IMDB Filed in: Uncategorized