History of the World Part 1: So good, something must be up. . . .

Good day all,

I have to open with a cautionary tale. I mentioned in one of the earlier reviews that I was concerned about Stockholm Syndrome setting in. Now I know that I have not given in the the lady’s psychological hooba-joob, but I’m worried that I’m getting paranoid instead. It makes sense that my mind is getting squishy (clinical term) and my madness comes with a friendly face. First the lady shows me the Aussie exploitation thing (awesome), followed up by a few of said Aussie exploitation movies (she wrote on Razorback, but we also saw Next of Kin, both terribly awesome) and now she comes home to the bunker (I’m pretty sure I’m underground) with History of the World Part 1; my grandma used to say if it’s too good to be true I already conned you (Grandma drank). It hasn ‘t turned owlie yet, but I think she’s planning some sort of Tet offensive in the psychological battle. I’ll keep you all posted, when I can get word out to you.

I’m glad that’s out of the way so we can talk about this beauty of a gem. I’m a little bit torn as I try to put my finger about what I love and hate about this movie. This film holds a special place in my heart as I saw this with one of my older cousins and had a great conversation with my mom about it; the look on her face explaining what a eunich was and why he got in trouble for getting an erection when they called in the slave girl to dance (I think I was 8 or 9).  On the other side of the scale is the fact that I feel pretty bad saying out loud, but, as a true fan and with all respect, Mel Brooks is not in my top order of comics (Gasp). Young Frankenstein, booyah, The Producers, anyone that creates “Springtime for Hitler” deserves props, and Blazing Sadles set the civil rights movement back 10 years in the most awesome way possible (respect to Mr. Chappelle), but all of his stuff has some downright bad moments. I feel like I’m pulling the plug on my Uncle Louie to say it, but his misses miss. Don’t get me wrong, all of Mr. Brook’s films (except the one with Kevin Costner and Dane Cook) have some brilliant comedy. I never realized how harshly spot-on the Spanish Inquisition is, and the lyrics to that song blew my mind. He sums up mass torture and genocide in a tune that had me dancing (until “she” yanked the chain). It’s better than most comedy you’ll ever see, but it doesn’t quite reach the peak of  the Marx’, Keaton (not Michael), Python and Farrel. Regardless, it was great to walk down memory lane with an old friend.

The other thing that always grabs me when I watch this movie again is how much of high school history was passed by referring back to this film. While you can’t directly quote the lighting of a giant joint to distract Roman soldiers to explain the excesses of the Roman Empire, but I honestly remember humming the French Revolution song during a high school exam to remember whether it was the 14th or the 16th Louis (for the record, they were all in-bred, just sayin’). I remember being excited that the Jewish race (race, faith? apologies to all my Hebros) would never be threatened and survive to colonize space. Here I am bad-mouthing old Mel and he helped me understand the subtle tapestry of history, though I recall losing marks from my history paper for explaining the dance Tourquemada did.

Before I forget the most important aspect of every film is the quality and clothedness of the ladies. As always, Mel Brooks tiptoes the line of suggestion and outright dirtiness perfectly. There are a ton of chicks running around in suggestive clothing from different eras that never totally gear down, which is not dirty, but then Mel gooses one and gives you a look dirtier than if she was standing there naked. It almost like he gets the dirty joke  out there without ever telling it, and somehow it’s dirtier. I have never been the king, but when he looks and says “it’s good to be tha king” I think “yeah, I’m down”; then I pause and remember that Louis, like, raped all of the servant women he wanted (see I learned that historical tidbit that from a Disney made Musketeer movie), and don’t think I would be able to be the king (I’m principled in my anti-rape conviction) and end up feeling dirtier. Tricky Mel.

Well, I think that’s my time all, as I have to go through my routine of checking all the exits for some thing to pry at and listening for clues to where she got me stashed. I’m a little worried that this run of good movies means she’s lost interest and is going to kill me, or if I should prepare for a run of horrible, artsy shit and she’s just being nice to drive the cruelty home later. One way I’m dead, the the other, maybe worse. Not to end on  a sad note go watch this flick, and Life of Brian too.

Until I find that bright side of life I keep hearing about, cheers,

The Hostage

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~ by stew37 on March 2, 2011.

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