Greetings from the world of Every ’70s Movie with a brief housekeeping update. The lengthy title list that runs down the right side of this blog’s layout was recently updated, fixing a nettlesome issue that began a few years back when the listing functionality started behaving unpredictably. Hundreds of titles have been added to the list, so for those of you who enjoy checking the list to see what’s missing—or scanning the list for titles you’d like to investigate—the list should now include every movie that’s been reviewed on the blog. If you happen to encounter any broken links or discover a title that’s been reviewed on the site but is somehow missing from the title list, please let me know and I’ll try to address the issue ASAP. (Some general streamlining of the blog layout was also completed as part of the same updating process, though only the most obsessive of readers is likely to notice the changes.) Anyway, that’s it for the update, so now it’s back to our regularly scheduled programming—as has been the case since regular daily posting ended, watch for occasional new posts as previously unavailable titles cross my path and as time becomes available for me to write about them. Meantime, keep on keepin’ on!
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
In the years before and after Saturday Night Live’s debut, a number of low-budget movies either anticipated or mimicked the show’s format of comedy sketches satirizing mainstream media as well as society at large. Among the least of these endeavors is American Tickler, one of several raunchy comedies that Chuck Vincent directed while moonlighting from his day job as a pornographer. As always, the fact that Vincent demonstrates nominal skill makes watching American Tickler frustrating, because one senses that he could have occasionally rendered passable entertainment if he didn’t pander so shamelessly to the lowest common denominator. In any event, American Tickler combines a trivial recurring story with a whole bunch of throwaway gags. The recurring story involves several groups of people chasing after a treasure chest, and this element of the movie is exactly is forgettable as it sounds. Some of the sketches are truly vulgar, such as the one about New York being terrorized by a giant monster called “King Dong,” which is thankfully never shown. Equally dopey sketches include “The Happy Cooker,” about the erotic culinary adventures of one “Xaviera Collander,” and a PSA for “The National Pervert Foundation.” As did other comedy pieces of the same vintage, American Tickler also tries to make light of senseless murder, hence the bit in which a pre-SNL Joe Piscopo provides color commentary for a contest involving crazed snipers. Probably the best American Tickler has to offer is the game-show parody in which contestants wager the lives of their loved ones against mystery prizes, because at least that bit says something, however trite, about greed. There’s nothing special here, but as junk sketch comedy goes, the most watchable bits in American Tickler are roughly equivalent to the worst stuff SNL ever aired, so set your expectations appropriately.
American Tickler: LAME