Friday, January 18, 2013

Eat and Run

Back when Video Stores were a thing, I remember browsing the shelves of VHS tapes looking for a good dumb movie to watch with my family. I’d see all kinds of titles I’d never heard of, but for some reason Eat and Run (1987) always stuck out to me. I never did see it until I randomly came across the whole movie posted on YouTube.  I don’t know if that was posted with the studio’s consent, but I finally got to see it.
A 400-pound humanoid alien, Murray Creature (R.L. Ryan), lands on earth wearing a plaid suit. He quickly discovers that he likes to eat Italian; Italian people, that is. Before long, 35 New Yorkers from Little Italy are missing. Incompetent detective Mickey McSorely  (Ron Silver) is the only one with a clue. He discovers their awful fate while trying to use the phone in a Pizza restaurant. He tries to get the police chief to believe his story, but of course he doesn’t, and McSorely is left with no alternative but to try and dispatch Murray by himself. But McSorely must hurry after he discovers that Murray’s next target is Judge Cheryl Cohen (Sharon Sharth), McSorely’s main squeeze.
I’d seriously be surprised if anyone remembers Eat and Run. It is a low budget B-movie sci-fi comedy. Typically, low budget movies make some money in the box office, make a little more money with the home video release, and then are completely forgotten about within a year or so of their theatrical release. I get the impression that Eat and Run was like that. I’ve never heard or seen anything about it outside of finding it in obscure corners of old video stores.
No one seems to talk about or remember the Scary Movie series and its various spin-offs like Epic Movie or Meet the Spartans. They are really bad B-movies that are generously referred to as comedies. Eat and Run, however actually was very funny. McSorely frequently narrates the story as it goes along, but we usually find out that the character actually is narrating events around him as if it was an old noir detective flick, much to the annoyance of anyone within earshot. McSorely questions a matronly gossip in Little Italy, who says she thinks the Norwegians are responsible for all the missing persons. So McSorely asks police headquarters to round up all the Norwegians in New York for questioning. When Judge Cohen is being held captive by Murray, the only person she can ask for help is a mime, who calls up McSorely and attempts to explain Cohen’s predicament through pantomime over the phone. There’s tons of slapstick silly nonsense throughout the movie which caused me much laughter.
Even the dialogue is witty for a B-movie comedy. There are a few scenes where characters use lots of similar-sounding words, and the conversation ends when one character tries to summarize the information in a lengthy tongue-twister. How these actors are able to do these scenes in one take without falling apart in peals of laughter is beyond me. I’ve never heard of these actors before but I must give them credit for their performance in scenes like these.
I started watching this movie not realizing it was rated R. But seeing this 1987 R-rated movie in 2013 was, in and of itself, funny. Apart from a handful of F-bombs, the content is no cruder or visually explicit than a PG-13 movie of today. That probably says something about society’s change in norms over the years, but I think it’s still a fun movie
Eat and Run was a wacky, silly, and stupid B-movie comedy that had me laughing throughout its entirety. Maybe that’s just because it caters to my weird sense of humor. Because of the profanity, I wouldn’t recommend Eat and Run if there is going to be impressionable young viewers watching it. But since the profanity is the worst I can say about it, I still recommend seeing Eat and Run if you’re not too put off by profanity. The problem is I don’t know how you’d see it other than the YouTube video I found. If you even own a VHS player, you’ll be hard pressed to find a video cassette copy, it’s not on DVD, and NetFlix doesn’t have it on Instant Play. I’ll put the YouTube link that I found below so you can watch it if you feel so inclined.

Watch Eat and Run on YouTube here:

Good B-movies are hard to come by. What’s a good B-movie that you have enjoyed? Comment below and tell me why!

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