Movie Title : National Lampoonâ€™s Class Reunion
Starring Gerrit Graham, Michael Lerner, Blackie Dammett, Fred McCarren, Stephen Furst, Mews Small, Miriam Flynn, Chuck Berry
Directed By Michael Miller
What is it? Written by none other than John Hughes, Iâ€™m guessing that this was mostly an attempt to cash in on the success of 1978â€™s â€œAnimal Houseâ€, but instead of Boobs, Beer & Blutarsky â€“ we wind up on a dark & stormy night with the reunion of Lizzie Borden Highâ€™s class of 1972 â€“ and a maniac slasher with extremely hairy legs that wears a paper bag on his headâ€¦ and a school girl outfit â€“ classy.
It turns out that on the eve of Graduation back in â€™72, most of the popular guys & gals in high school played a prank on fellow classmate Walter Baylor that had a ratherâ€¦.. disturbing outcome, and heâ€™s seeking revenge. Led by former student body president Bob Spinnaker (Gerrit Graham) & the man no-one can seem to remember, Gary Nash (Fred McCarren), the remaining students have to find a way to stick together and keep from getting bumped off long enough to find a way out of the locked tight school â€“ oh, and weâ€™re of course treated to Chuck Berry performing â€œMy Ding-a-Lingâ€.
Whatâ€™s wrong with it? : It really depends on what your definition of â€œwrongâ€ actually is. If by wrong, you mean a horrible film that should not be able to entertain you in the least â€“ then yeah, â€œClass Reunionâ€ is all kinds of wrong.
Whether itâ€™s the terrible acting by almost the entire minor supporting cast, the incredibly low production costs, the major cheese-factor of the entire thing, or the mind-boggingly horrible ending, â€œClass Reunionâ€ is definitely nowhere near the league of â€œAnimal Houseâ€ or the film that National Lampoon next released, the Chevy Chase starrer, â€œVacationâ€ â€“ and it showed in being shunned by Audiences & Critics alike.
Whatâ€™s right about it? Almost all of the above.
Stephen Furst is definitely a large part of it for me â€“ his work as Hubert Downs is a big turnaround from Flounder in â€œAnimal Houseâ€, and he steals the picture, delivering lines like â€œHey Walter, listen – you’re making a big deal out of nothing. You’re not unique you know. Everyone in class had sex with your sisterâ€ & â€œWalter if you come on down, I promise if we’re ever in the shower together again, I won’t snap your nuts with my towelâ€. Even his run in with the blind & mostly deaf Iris Augen (Mews Small) still brings me an immense feeling of â€œwrongnessâ€ when I see it.
A lot of the major cast actually put in some very funny performances, Gerrit Graham (playing the typical preppy guy down to a tee), Barry Diamond and Art Evans as Chip & Carl, Michael Lerner doing his best â€œDr. Loomisâ€ as Walterâ€™s psychiatrist, and of course, Blackie Dammett (AKA John Kiedis â€“ father of Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman, Anthony Kiedis) as the deranged yet somehow lovable Walter Baylor.
Why is it so bad itâ€™s good? For whatever reason it is, Iâ€™ve always found â€œClass Reunionâ€ to be extremely funny â€“ but Iâ€™m at a loss to explain exactly why. I mean, for a comedy, this flick gives â€œThe Naked Gunâ€ a run for its money in my book in terms of pure over-the-top hacky jokes. Itâ€™s one of those films where if you put it on, try not to think about it too hard, and take it for the parody that it is, youâ€™ll have a great time with it.
- ADAM WEEKS