Comedies have the habit of going one of two directions: gaining a cult following and becoming immortalized or quickly vanishing into obscurity. This list is about bringing back the ones on the brink of being forgotten, because they truly shouldn’t.
10.) National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon 1 (1993)
This movie may be by the infamous National Lampoon, but from the era when they were losing steam. Literally, the best they’ve done since is Van Wilder. In Loaded Weapon, an all-star cast does a buddy cop parody starring Emilio Estevez and Samuel L. Jackson. Others in the cast are Denise Richards, William Shatner, Tim Curry, Denis Leary, John Lovitz and about a dozen others doing fun cameos. It’s Airplane on a 90’s high.
9.) Fearless Vampire Killers (1967)
Before making some of the most revered horrors and dramas of the 70’s through the 90’s, such as Rosemary’s Baby and The Pianist, Roman Polanski took a strong stab at comedy. Staring himself and Sharon Tate, Fearless Vampire Killers follows a professor’s assistant’s quest to save his crush from a clan of vampires. Polanksi bumbles about, but in a wonderfully choreographed fashion. It’s oddly artistic for its slapstick nature.
8.) Almost Heroes (1998)
This one has understandably lower reviews, being “that movie Chris Farley made without David Spade that got released posthumously.” It’s not so much the movie is bad, but it was a relative departure from his past roles, being set 1800’s and inexplicably co-starring Matthew Perry. Despite the odd dynamic and mission: to outpace Louis and Clark, it’s especially quotable in a Napolean Dynamite sort of way.
7.) Hudson Hawk (1991)
Bruce Willis is a singing bandit after Da Vinci art, which somehow is fuel for a world domination scheme involving alchemy. Also included are Danny Aiello and Andie MacDowell, the latter of which keeps making dolphin noises. This movie was a financial failure, making only $17 million of its $70 million budget. Whether or not you enjoy Hudson Hawk will be based largely on if you can accept the world it creates. It didn’t fare well for Die Hard fans looking for a fix.
6.) Osmosis Jones (2001)
Chris Rock, Laurence Fishburne, David Hype Piece, William Shatner and Kid Rock all live inside Bill f**king Murray. It all makes sense under the context they’re part of his immune system, excluding Fishburne, who is a virus. It has a PG for “Bodily Humor,” which makes it sound like a booger or puss. I hate mentioning those things, but some of the gags are just disgusting…to the extent they had to cut sperm cell scenes. Bill Murray’s talking sperm cells. Dwell on that for a minute.
5.) Siblings (2004)
Good luck finding this comedy, which is blacker than coffee mixed with oil. Other than a small Sarah Polley role, no one is in it one is likely to recognize. The premise involves some kids who kill their verbally abusive stepparents and go on a journey to dispose of the evidence. Despite few characters being sympathic, and there being incestuous undertones, this comedy provides enough likability to make you awkwardly chuckle until the end.
4.) Duplex (2003)
Ben Stiller has many comedies most have likely heard of but never seen, such as Along Came Polly, Keeping the Faith, Envy, Starsky and Hutch and Duplex. Out of the list, Duplex is a special beast, because it depicts Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore in especially dark roles. Behind this strangeness is Danny Devito, who pits the couple against an ornery “115-year-old” woman who lives as a tenant who comes with their home. She destroys their lives and we see the couple go through the grinder until they become violent. It’s painfully dark at times, but memorable above all.
3.) The Ref (1994)
While barely cutting even in the box office, this one did a stellar job putting two strong persona’s head-to-head: Denis Leary and Kevin Spacey. When one holds the other hostage over Christmas, the two, and Judy Davis, bash heads. It’s a pure war of mouthiness and douchery, which forms the strangest case of Stockholm Syndrome the world has ever seen. Oddly, no matter how dark the humor gets, there’s always a joy to it, sort of like a comedy roast with extra yams.
2.) Kuffs (1992)
Christian Slater had a string of great leading roles in the 80’s and 90’s. Kuffs came out at a time it should’ve been a bigger deal, just four years after the release of Heathers, two years after Pump Up the Volume and one year before True Romance. It could’ve been the movie wasn’t marketed well or released widely enough. It also could've been the gimmicky name or that co-star Milla Jovovich wasn’t too well known at the time. Whatever the reason, Kuffs, which stars Slater as a ne’er do well seeking to become a cop after his brother’s murder, didn’t sell well. The thing is the movie isn’t much like expected. It isn’t as dark or vulgar as his other roles at the time, but takes a staggeringly dramatic, albeit funny, footing one wouldn’t expect.
1.) Where the Buffalo Roam (1980)
This is the Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas before Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. While released to largely negative reviews and drifting toward obscurity, a certain fanbase formed around the film and the unique persona of Hunter S. Thompson. If seeing it for the cult status alone isn’t enough, know Bill Murray and Peter Boyle fill the relative shoes Depp and Del Toro did later. The character concept alone is worth at least putting in the DVD, which we should be thankful can be found online.