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National Lampoon's Stoned Age - comedy DVD review
NATIONAL LAMPOON'S STONED AGE Unrated by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 1 star
Actors: Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Patricia Neal, Buddy Ebsen, Martin Balsam
Directors: Blake Edwards   Studio: Paramount
DVD release: 13 January 2009   Runtime: 114 minutes
(1 disc)
Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD features: Audio (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround - English; Dolby Digital Mono - English, French, Spanish), Subtitles (English, French, Spanish), A Golightly Gathering, Henry Mancini: More Than Music, Mr. Yunioshi: An Asian Perspective, The Making of a Classic, It's So Audrey: A Style Icon, Behind the Gates: The Tour, Brilliance in a Blue Box, Audrey's Letter to Tiffany, Original theatrical trailer, Galleries (Production, The Movie, Publicity)

My gosh, this was horrible.

What would you get if you combined a character with the whininess, condescension and neurosis of Woody Allen, put him in an Animal House/Old School-style comedy, sprinkled in some leftoverVH-1 celebrities and placed the whole thing in a caveman setting? An absolute mess? You guessed right!

The plot: Ishbo, the "Woody Allen-ish" caveman (director Adam Rifkin), who according to the liner notes "yearns for more out of life than sticks, stones and raw meat," is consistently thwarted in his efforts to advance his tribe through his inventions such as pants, a bicycle and a sun visor. He constantly exasperates his parents and older brother. Will Ishbo successfully advance his tribe out of their primordial ways, as well as win the love of his dream girl, Fardart (poor Ali Larter)?

The name of Ali Larter's character should give you a strong idea of the level of humor here. The movie opens with a parody of the famous bone-clubbing scene from 2001, though instead of the bone sailing into space and evolving into a spaceship, it falls back and (heh-heh) hits Ishbo in the head (Note: I don't know how many people who would actually watch Stoned Age would even get the 2001 parody).

It all goes downhill from there. There's burping, farting and mastodon shit jokes galore, as well as a snake in the pants, a tribe of lesbian cannibals with pubic areas that make it look like they have Macy Gray in a headlock, a giant bong, a naked 90-year-old man who carries around his own turds and, last but not least, sex with a monkey.

What is amazing is that, as stupid as this film gets, I would think that I'd laugh at least once. I don't believe I did, not once. Seriously, I've seen more laugh-out-loud moments in an episode of 24.

What is also amazing is how depressed the movie made me. Ishbo is extremely grating on the nerves yet is constantly reminded by everyone and everything that he is a loser. This never changes. I've never seen a supposed sex comedy be this nihilistic.

It's inevitable that bad comedies will feature a rash of cameos, which always struck me as an act of desperation. For instance, Ron Jeremy is in the movie, though I can't recall him doing or saying anything. The purpose of him being there? So that viewers like me will point to the screen and go "Heh-heh! Ron Jeremy! Heh-heh!" Other cameos include a game David Carradine, Talia Shire (who gets second billing, but is onscreen maybe 30 seconds), Gary Busey as a (surprise!) nutcase and, worst of all, Tom Arnold (you know a film has hit rock bottom if it is reduced to offering Tom Arnold a cameo).

Needless to say, this movie is a mess and avoid it at all costs. If you need to see the lovely Miss Larter in skimpy attire, please save her the embarrassment and buy a copy of Maxim instead. If I ever see the words "Directed by Adam Rifkin" again, I will run out of the theater screaming.

Note: many of the extras refer to the film as "Homo Erectus," its title during its mercifully brief theatrical run. The reasons for the name change are explained in the commentary track.

There are a ton of extras (maybe to make up for the movie), including an Easter Egg:
  1. Two videos for the "Cavemen in Love" theme song (rated and unrated)
  2. "Old Fool" rap (for those who couldn't get enough of the naked 90-year-old)
  3. Premieres of the film: "Empty Theater" and "Full Theater" version
  4. "Gay-vemen" (Get it? Wink wink.)
  5. The original title sequence
  6. The expected deleted scenes and bloopers (even the bloopers aren't funny!!)
  7. A Q&A with the director (no, he doesn't apologize)
  8. A virtual comic book (actually the neatest feature on the DVD)
  9. Maxim and Penthouse photo shoots with the lesbian cannibal girls (for those desperate for T&A, just go here and don't suffer through the movie)
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reviewed by Trent Daniel
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