Thursday, May 25, 2017

Rabbit Test (1978)

How bad is it? Unfunny comedy.
Should you see it? Maybe for the cast.

This was Joan Rivers' only directorial effort and she's to blame for this film not working. Billy Crystal plays the first pregnant man (later, Schwarzenegger in "Junior" did it better), but other than some crude jokes, the possibilities of that premise aren't really explored. The film is very rapid jokes, about on the pace of "Airplane," which it predates, but almost none land due to poor timing. There's a huge cast of people who can be funny: Roddy McDowell (in drag!), Doris Roberts, Imogene Coca, Alex Roco, Richard Deacon, Alice Ghostly, George Gobel, Fannie Flagg, Norman Fell, Paul Lunde, Sheree North, Jimmie Walker, Billy Barty (in blackface!), Rosey Grier, Joan Rivers herself and her daughter Melissa Rivers, Charles Pierce, Valerie Curtin, Ron Rifkin, Michael Keaton, Peter Marshall, Charlotte Rae and Larry Gelman; they are almost all present for one scene, usually of less than a minute. The jokes are largely politically incorrect, various ethnicities get mocked and the film ends with a parody of the Nativity, trying to ensure that everyone that can be offended will be.

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