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Kentucky Fried Movie A Fistful of Yen 01

The Kentucky Fried Movie: a series of spoof movie trailers, commercials, films and news sketches – set out like you’re watching TV. Sometimes going in to a film completely cold is a great thing because when the opening line is a newsreader informing you that “The popcorn you’re eating has been pissed in. Film at 11.” it grabs you by the cojones and tells you everything you need to know about the film. Despite an unorthodox format, it allows the film the freedom to deliver a range of brilliant genre parodies: Women in Prison, Blaxploitation, Disaster Movies, Sex Ed, Russ Meyer, and a 30-minute mini-film “A Fistful of Yen”, which perfectly mocks everything about 70s Kung Fu films, specifically Enter the Dragon – everything is 100%, from the editing and SFX down to the cheesy synths. Written by the Zucker brothers, this has their trademark ‘joke joke joke joke joke’ style, so that even when some miss the mark, the next laugh isn’t far off. The only downside is that because there’s so much going on over so many sketches and ideas, you don’t always get enough time with the funniest characters: Wally and Beave in court were hands-down my favourite. While some comedies are era-specific, relying on the culture and news stories of their time – this film was made in 1977 and is easily one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen. Kentucky Fried Movie is the film that kick-started the careers of the Zucker brothers and John Landis – so if you like their comedies, there’s absolutely no doubt that you’ll love this.

Score: 9/10

Kentucky Fried Movie A Fistful of Yen 02

Kentucky Fried Movie Courtroom

Maria Full of Grace: (and Cocaine) follows the story of a typical Colombian chick with big hair that’s trying to make a fast buck as a drug mule: naughty, naughty!  With the tagline ‘Based on 1,000 true stories’ I thought this was going to be a no-holds-barred affair like ‘Lilya-4-Ever’, however this misses a trick by keeping it safe, glossing over the potentially nasty bits. Several parts of the story were plain rubbish (U.S. Customs / Last scene) and the American Dream aspect was too much: it almost glorifies smuggling as a way of getting into the ‘States, and infinitely better prospects. Two of the lead women look so alike that it’s quite confusing when they share the screen. What isn’t confusing is how good Maria is, played by Catalina Sandino Moreno, and unquestionably the best thing about this as she effortlessly takes us through the good and bad times. It’s a powerful story, but could have benefited from being a lot rawer.

Score: 5.5/10