Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Black Sheep (1996)

DAY 328 - 11/24/09 - Movie #328

BEFORE: This is the David Spade/Chris Farley political comedy - not the 2006 horror film about virus-infected killer sheep (I swear) that has the same name...

THE PLOT: A gubernatorial candidate hires an assistant whose only job is to make sure the candidate's incompetent brother doesn't ruin the election.

AFTER: This actually has very little to do with politics - Farley plays the screw-up brother of a candidate (Tim Matheson) running for governor of Washington state, and Spade is assigned to keep him out of the public eye. This is little more than a story device to get them out to a remote cabin in the woods, where they can be frightened by snakes, bats and raccoons, smack their heads into low tree branches, and other forms of low slapstick humor.

The inspiration seems to come from the "Three Stooges" school of comedy, but I sort of wonder if Spade and Farley could have evolved into a modern-day Abbott and Costello, if Farley had lived a little longer, and they started to aim a little bit higher.

Gary Busey does some interesting supporting work as a crazy Vietnam vet/survivalist - also featuring fellow SNL veteran Christine Ebersole as the incumbent governor, and Bruce McGill (Matheson's co-star from "Animal House").

RATING: 5 out of 10 land mines (fairly good for a film that resorts to slapstick at every possible opportunity)

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