Sunday, May 7, 2017

USA UP ALL NIGHT: Under the Rainbow

-Reviewed by Skunkape-

Crooning, preferably in a Gilbert Gottfried voice : "Somewhere, under the rainbow." 
That's right I said under! 
Directed by Steve Rash 1981

This film is a so called comedy about casting the Munchkins for the Wizard of Oz. It stars funny man Chevy Chase and Princess Leia herself Carrie Fisher. Actually, who are we kidding?  The real stars are the little people who made this film possible. It has the legendary Billy Barty as a Nazi vs. Cork Hubbert, who is sort of the Dorothy of this flick. Speaking of  "Legend"ary, both actors would reunite in 1985 for the Ridley Scott fantasy film; Barty as Screwball and Hubbert as Brown Tom. There's also Tony "Bad Santa" Cox and Phil "Troll" Fondacaro! Jerry Maren an orginal member of the Lollipop Guild is a hotel guest, he even boasts parts in such classics like Little Cigars and Terror in Tiny Town. It's even got Ralphus from Bloodsucking Freaks, believe me if I ever spot him there will be an update with a screenshot.

Barty                                      Hubbert

The convoluted story begins when Rollo Sweet (Hubbert) falls off a roof trying to fix an antenna. He's knocked out, could the rest of the film just be a dream?! Cut to Otto Kriegling (Barty) receiving instructions from Hitler, his assignment, pick up a top secret map from a Japanese man in a white suit. The pick up will be made at the Hotel Rainbow. Sounds easy right? Nope, unfortunately a bus carrying the Japanese Amateur Film Society crashes right near the hotel and everybody on it is wearing a white suit. That's only the first of the many extra ordinary problems that Otto will have to go through to try and obtain this map.

"This is what I asked the Wizard for!
"and you were there, and you." Cut it out the movie just started!

Inglorious Munchkins 

Chevy Chase plays a G-Man protecting a Duke who believes that someone is trying to assassinate him, and someone is, you can probably guess where they made their reservations. Carrie Fisher is the special casting agent in charge of the munchkins, she books rooms for over 150 little people, who of course are all staying at the Hotel Rainbow.

"We need Peter Dinklage and Warwick Davis!"

"I say we all sneak into Carrie Fisher's Dressing Room."

The idea of this movie is nothing short of genius but just can't find it's groove. Never the less, entertaining start to finish. Most of the jokes fall flat but every now and then something will cause a genuine laugh. Billy Barty is terrific, I was horrified to find out he won a Razzie for Male, most annoying fake accent. Really?

"They like me they really like me, oh wait, no they don't."

The movie often relies on you to laugh at little people just because their little, but other times it gives these actors a chance to show their comedic skills. In one scene, drunk munchkins catapult the hotel manager Adam Arkin off the balcony and on to a chandelier. He yells back at them "You deserve to be short!"

HELP, There's no place like home, no place like home.

A lot of the humor revolves around death. The Assassin (Robert Donner) who's after the Duke accidentally keeps killing his dog, Strudel. The dog gets replaced each time with a look a like so his wife never finds out. The writer must have really hated Toto or something! When he's not killing canines, his botched attempts wind up knocking off the amateur Japanese photographers. Since dead Japanese people aren't good publicity for the hotel, the management just hides them in a meat locker. A meat locker that Carrie Fisher gets stuck in only wearing her bra and underwear. (oh, now you'll watch it)
And on top of all this, little people partying their asses off, even a few get cray cray in their flying monkey costumes!

Jabba the Hutt's second choice for her slave outfit.

The hotel now serves Japanese cuisine.

Now that's method acting!

You'll be quite surprised how many familiar faces you'll see watching this. Poltergeist's Zelda Rubinstein even shows up! It's strange that this movie seemed to stay off the radar for so long. It was on HBO all the time when I was youngster and I loved watching it. There is one dog death scene that freaked me the hell out from my youth, Chase throws a ball that goes over the balcony and we hear the haunting squeak of the dog toy while the 4th Strudel falls to his death. (Erok/Crank Edit note, the actor who plays The Duke was Joseph Maher from the annoying dog episode of Seinfeld and was Molloch in the Charles Bronson classic The Evil That Men Do)

Playing fetch with Fletch!

"Carol Ann stay away from the light and head toward the yellow brick road!"

"Mrs. Louisa Moritz, you're needed on the set of Last American Virgin."

"Twink Caplan, how bout a date at Breadables?" 

This episode aired on January 29th 1989 and was followed by The Equalizer 2000.
My final thought is, you should definitely stay Up All Night for this one! If your looking for a double feature try watching "Tip Toes" with Matthew McConaughey right after! You won't have to ask the Wonderful Wizard of Oz for a brain to enjoy either one.

Thanks for reading and don't forget to follow me on Twitter!


  1. I can't believe I've never heard of this movie, as a kid and teen I loved stuff like this... I'm going to have to give it a watch! Thanks for sharing your review! ^_^ I enjoyed it!

    1. Thanks for your comment Tara! Hope you enjoy the movie.


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