Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: "Weird Al" Yankovic, David Bowe, Fran Drescher, Victoria Jackson, Michael Richards, Stanley Brock, Sue Ane Langdon, Anthony Geary, Billy Barty, Trinidad Silva, Gedde Watanabe, Vance Colvig Jr., Kevin McCarthy, David Proval, John Paragon, Belinda Bauer, Dr. Demento, Emo Philips, The Kipper Kids
Written by: Al Yankovic, Jay Levey
Directed by: Jay Levey
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 97
Date: 07/21/1989
IMDB

UHF (1989)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Mop Guns

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

With this quickie cinematic comedy, "Weird Al" Yankovic tried to cash in on the popularity of his hit parody songs, perhaps never realizing that his career would stretch on for an incredible forty years (and that, as a result, this film would become a cult classic). UHF (1989) features Al as George Newman, whose daydreaming (allowing for more parodies and comedy bits) usually gets him fired from various jobs. When his gambler uncle wins the deed to a failing UHF station, George and his pal Bob (David Bowe) take it over. The fragmented story offers things like a secretary (Fran Drescher) wanting to become a reporter (a terrific, timely subplot), a goofy janitor (Michael Richards, arguably the actual star) successfully taking over a kids' show and becoming popular, George trying to reconcile with his girlfriend (Victoria Jackson), and an evil network head (Kevin McCarthy) trying to shut them down. They must do a fundraiser to pay off George's uncle's gambling debts, and there are plenty of asides, like a Dire Straits-influenced version of the "Beverly Hillbillies" theme song and riffs on Rambo and Indiana Jones. Yankovic himself isn't much of an actor, and chooses to either react to things silently, or ratchet things up to ten and scream. But the loose, goofy nature of the devil-may-care movie, as well as its fun cast and its DIY-attitude-versus-corporate-stooges theme, make it a must-see for all Al fans.

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