Movie Madness (1982) Poster


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Yep, it's that bad
mullermike9 August 2005
Wow. I read about this movie and it sounded so awful that I had to see it, and my gosh, I can smell it in St Louis. Where do I start? National Lampoons was trying to follow up 5 years later on the success of Animal House, but they completely missed the mark. I'll go chronologically with these short flicks.

Short Film #1

Poor Peter Riegert (Boon from Animal House). Apparently, he wasn't working back then, so the boys at National Lampoons probably called and said "hey, we're making a c**ppy movie, wanna be in it?" Peter was like "well, I'm not doing much these days, why not?" He was a great side character in Animal House, but he couldn't carry this sorry short flop for 5 minutes.

POSSIBLE SPOILER The premise is funny enough, with Jason Cooper (Riegert) telling his wife to leave him, she needs to find herself. It's too weird that they're actually in a happy marriage. So he chases her off, there she goes, and Cooper is in charge of the kids. This, off course, leads to him burning the house down, losing several of the kids, and sleeping with an assortment of New York bimbos (including an ever so young Diane Lane). Then the wife comes back, wants the kids, and the film ends with a coin flip that'll decide the fate of the children. The idea was actually somewhat clever, but the director stunk. The characters all seem like they're falling asleep, they HAD to be doped up. Sorry Boon, your legacy was tarnished with this flop.

Short Film #2


Enter Dominique Corsaire. Pretty girl, recently finished college, not sure what to do with her life. So she becomes a slut, starts sleeping around with some mega rich guys, takes their money when they die, and she doesn't stop until she beds the most powerful man in the world, Fred Willard (Ooops, I mean the president of the United States). Once again, it could have been funny, and though I was happy that Corsaire (Ann Dusenberry in real life) wasn't afraid to bare all, her acting was horrible. What a waste of time.

Short Film #3

I can't believe I made it this far. Here's the rookie cop Brent Falcone (Robby Benson) with veteran Stan Nagurski (Richard Widmark). Falcone is young, naive, thinks he can really help people, though he becomes cynical after being shot several thousand times. Nagurski, really, has just given up caring. He watches muggings, assaults, you name it, and never intervenes. He figures the world is lawless and he'll probably get sued if he does anything. Even Christopher Lloyd (at the end of Taxi's run) gets in on the action, getting the police called on him, committing a crime, but having his lawyer there to protect him. God bless America!!

Once again, could have been funny, the performances were intentionally campy, but goodness, no energy whatsoever. Henry Jaglom and Bob Giraldi should be ashamed of having their names on this schlock. I think the writing wasn't bad, the ideas were there, but the execution was pulled off as well as the rescue attempt in the Iranian hostage crisis. If I had been a part of this film, I would want my name removed, it's horrible. Then again, that's why I watched it.

The only good thing about this garbage is that Dr John did the film score (repeating "Going to the Movies" over and over again) and the film isn't much longer than an hour and a half. Show this one in film classes with the heading "what you should NEVER do in film-making." This script should have been left on the shelf because yep, it's that bad.
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Highly disturbing
OrangieTooDope3 April 2019
Nothing about this movie is funny and it makes no sense. The only reason to watch this is to see the girl from the Tonight Show get topless.
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Grand7 August 2004
I chuckled a few times during this movie. I laughed out loud during the notarizing of the margarine company handover (pun intended).

There are three segments in this movie. The first one is supposed to be a spoof of "woman 'grows up' and launches career" movies. The Tampax® box was the funniest thing in this segment. Most of the cast members aren't listed here on IMDb. They are the lucky ones. Few other people will be able to connect this thing to the ruin of their acting careers.

The second segment is a spoof of "sharkish woman sleeps her way to the top and seizes control of huge industry" movies. Robert Culp has several funny moments, all physical humor, including the aforementioned handover. After his character dies the segment sinks lower and lower as Dominique Corsaire rises higher and higher. By the time she becomes First Lady I wanted to rip the cable out of the TV and watch "snow." I switched to Pakistani music videos instead. I don't understand Urdu, or whatever language the videos were in. It was still better than listening to the dialogue in this painfully dull "story."

Then came "Municipalians" with the *big* stars, half of them on screen for less than a minute: Elisha Cook, Jr., Christopher Lloyd, Rhea Perlman, Henny Youngman, Julie Kavner, Richard Widmark and ... *Robby Benson.* It's supposed to be a spoof of "young cop teams with hardened, substance abusing older cop who needs retirement *badly*" movies. The horizontal flash bar on the police car is very impressive. It was interesting seeing old RTD buses, and a Shell gas station sign, and an American Savings sign -- none of them are around anymore. Nagurski's "Never stop anywhere you might have to get out the car" made me smile momentarily. Then they discuss how boring the young cop is. A lot. Back and forth about how boring he is. That was as boring as this description of how boring it is. Nagurski's Law Number Four, "Never go into a music store that's been cut into with an acetylene torch," made me think that the music store is a real business at the actual location the dispatcher gave. Thinking about that was more interesting than the set-up for the gag which followed. Young Falcone (Benson) gets shot. A lot. He becomes a hardened cop like Nagurski. The segment keeps going. On and on. And on. It won't stop. It rolls relentlessly onward no matter how many times you wish he'd just *die* already so this thing will end. It doesn't. It goes on and on and on.... Then a "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" episode which I've seen four times already comes on. Thank God! This abysmal movie ended while I went to get the mail.
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Deservedly an unknown movie
world_of_weird29 November 2005
National Lampoon was once a funny magazine. Whether you liked the stoner hippie days of the late sixties or the smug and sassy coke-head days of the seventies (when the comedy was fortified with plenty of naked babes) depends very much on your date of birth, but everyone agrees that by the early eighties, middle age had killed off whichever remaining sparks of anarchic humour that the drugs hadn't, and offerings like this film and the increasingly terrible spin-off records shot further holes in the hull. Outside of a nicely illustrated title sequence, there's absolutely nothing to recommend this singularly depressing stinkbug. If you make it through the baffling opening segment, 'Growing Myself', hoping things will get better, tough luck - they don't. Whoever thought the idea of a woman being brutally raped with a stick of butter was comedy gold deserved to have his head handed back to him on a platter of dog mess. If there's ever a global shortage of guitar picks, the negatives of this rambling, incoherent ragbag of crummy ideas and dire performances may well serve some purpose.
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Extremely poor, even by Lampoon's usual standards. All copies should be ritualistically burned.
MovieAddict201626 September 2004
Facts about National Lampoon Goes to the Movies, a.k.a. National Lampoon's Movie Madness:

1. The movie is poor, even by Lampoon's typical standards. 2. It's not funny. 3. No one goes to see a movie.

So, after I finished watching it, I began wondering why on earth it's called 'National Lampoon Goes to the Movies,' and why it was ever conceived, much less actually made. It would be like calling Austin Powers 'An American Guy Goes to the Movies.' How lame. He isn't American, and he doesn't go to movies. None of the characters in Lampoon's so-called 'satire' are funny, and none go see movies, which causes a bit of a problem. I had hoped it would be something in the vein of Mystery Science Theater 3000, but it isn't.

This was National Lampoon's first film after Animal House, although you couldn't tell it from the quality of film. Poorly developed, rough and amateurish by any standard, it induces headaches – not a good sign for an 89-minute movie that seems double the length.

I've noticed a pattern. Really bad movies are typically renamed – and this little disaster falls under that category. It has two separate titles -- probably to help try and promote it to people too stupid to remember how bad a panning it received from home video critics in 1982/83. 'Hmm, Movie Madness – I've never heard of this movie before! Let's rent it!' And then, the realization: 'Hey, wait a minute, this is just National Lampoon Goes to the Movies!'

It was shelved by MGM/UA, never to be released into theaters or DVD; it occasionally pops up on television a few times per decade, which is just about the only place you'll manage to find it.

It's split up into three stories – a parody of self-enlargement videos, butter and corporate ruthlessness, and police brutality/cop-buddy films (I guess). The first segment stars Peter Riegert (Animal House) as a frustrated guy who divorces his wife and does some other stuff. I'm not sure what because it was so boring my mind started to drift. Until the sex scene popped up.

Part II is about an exotic dancer raped by a stick of butter (don't ask) who decides to become Queen of the Margarine so she can cut off the supply of dairy products. Ouch! This contains the only funny line in the movie: 'Only I can make love with my son!' If you think that doesn't sound very funny, you're right – it's not. And just imagine – it's the highlight of this film!

Part III is about a cop who chases down a serial killer (Christopher Lloyd) only to lose his nerve and shoot the guy. It does contain one funny scene but it's extremely over-acted – only Lloyd really exhibits any humor, playing his character dry and compassionate, yet strangely surreal. The part where he's choking his victim and the meek cop stands by watching it all unfold, at least, evoked a chuckle or two.

It's a shame to watch such a cast of semi-famous names resort to low standards. The writers of each segment clearly believe that they're being very ironic and clever by spoofing so-called stereotypes – the fault being that the movie becomes one huge contradiction, favoring the standard T & A instead of plot; crude humor instead of witty dialogue; desperate performances instead of inspired ones. It's easy to see that none of the actors were enthralled with the material, muttering their lines, often so embarrassed they can seldom make eye contact with the camera.

The movie isn't funny, as I said before. I laughed once, at only one line, and even then it was a halfhearted one. Two chuckles, a smile, and a very weak laugh. Compared to Movie Madness, a number of other decent comedies seem like regular laugh tracks.

I like National Lampoon's Vacation series (or, at least three of four installments), and their classic Animal House, but their recent slew of direct-to-video bombs such as Golf Punks (with that great comic genius Tom Arnold) provide a good example of why their magazine went out of print more than a decade ago. It gets really old, really fast.

Sad to see a new film, called Gold Diggers, is being released with their 'stamp of approval.' It's like condemning a film before it even hits theaters – maybe they should start not advertising their name all over the place…

Distributor: 'This movie is bad. It gets the National Lampoon stamp of approval. That'll teach you not to make something so awful next time.'

Forget the death penalty. Just stick a bunch of criminals in a room and make them watch this over and over every day for a month.

It's so bad that I can't even begin to explain its putrid vileness. I give up.
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This movie is not as bad as others say
arcticcarrot4 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I was not expecting much from this film, maybe a few laughs. I was happily surprised. It's a bit of stream-of-consciousness. The writers allowed their characters to go off wherever they wanted to go, which is refreshing. Even if it meant having a young daughter go off on a fire truck and never be seen again. The middle story, about the margarine is actually quite funny. Yes, there are some over-used gags, like using the theme to Jaws. But really, the movie does have its own feel, its own way, and I enjoyed most of it. The cop story goes on a bit long, but Christopher Lloyd is funny, and there is a very stupid line that made me laugh; it was something like, "When I woke up I looked around for my dog to smack it, because I like to smack my dog when I wake up, and he got upset and went into the bathroom and filled my syringe with Ajax." Anyway, I laughed out loud quite a few times. Relax, enjoy the film for what it is. And enjoy the cameos.
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This movie is dreadful.
atrentphillips2 January 2005
I just saw this Movie on a local TV Station (TV8's "Big Chuck and Little John" in Cleveland, Ohio) I had never heard of this movie and decided to watch it.

I know of no thesaurus that can even come close to aiding me in describing how bad this movie really is. The script is awful. The acting, well other than one of two exceptions, is pointless since there is nothing in this material that merits any real effort.

It looks like a bunch of little ideas, leftover from various writing sessions, that where thrown into a blender. It's not just funny. The "parody" aspect is strained at best. Some references where almost out of date (even for the time of it's release). No wonder I had never heard of it, it's really bad, worse than anything Saturday Night Live, MAD TV or even In Living color put out in their worst days.

If you see it on TV, it is a great example of how NOT to make a movie. Whatever you do DON'T WASTE A CENT.

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The worst movie ever made
eldorado@vcoms.net23 November 2002
"National Lampoon Goes to the Movies" is the worst movie ever made, surpassing even the witless "Plan 9 from Outer Space." At least that movie was just inept; the Lampoon film, on the other hand, is both inept and mean. Once upon a time, movies used to respect their audiences' intelligence. This one, however, holds a fetid, rotting carcass up to our faces -- and then tries to rub our noses in it.

Another reviewer on this site wrote that the only good parts of the movie are the nude scenes; and I agree, Misses Ganzel and Dusenberry do flash a bit of flesh, and very nice flesh it is. But the directors seem not to realize that even T&A needs a good story to surround it. There's none of that here.

Perversely, the film makers save the worst for last. The third of the three segments is the ugliest of the trio. In this vignette, Robby Benson plays an eager-beaver young police officer reporting for duty on his first day on the job. He is paired with a weary, cynical oldtimer played by Richard Widmark. For just a moment, we are given hope that this film will end triumphantly. Surely, we think, the youngster's spunky attitude will rub off on the cynic and change him for the better.

Forlorn hope! Instead, the cynic wins the day -- and the youngster's spark is doused forever. "National Lampoon Goes to the Movies" and heads right for the toilet, asking us to follow it down the drain. Nominally, this is a comedy. But where's the humor?
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not all THAT bad
jhotemw2 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Hey, this was a parody, and I thought it was pretty funny in parts. It was arranged in order from weakest to best episodes.

I didn't care for the first episode at all. It just seemed pointless, and the parody elements were over the top. I guess I missed the redeeming feature of Teresa Ganzel's T&A scene because I saw the movie on TV, where they censor anything good.

The second episode about the corporate climbing rags-to-riches story was better, but I really didn't get into it until just about the end, where the First Lady relinquishes her marriage and position to Dominique. that's when it struck me that this whole story was just a parody of a feminist's wet dream. Then I thought the story was pretty funny, but fairly predictable and linear.

The third episode I thought was great! I loved the parody of every serious cop coming-of-age flick ever done, and I liked Robby Benson's acting. Yes, I said that. I thought his smarmy, sensitive young cop fresh out of the academy was just sickening enough to avoid being over the top, and then I absolutely loved the way he suddenly became a rude, burned-out, unkempt, obnoxious cop. It was a great juxtaposition and I gained respect for Benson right there.

The plot of the third episode was tight, and it even had a twist at the end after the burned-out Falcone kicks Nagursky out of the car to attend to a dangerous domestic dispute, and then Falcone ends up getting shot (again), even though he stayed in the car this time!

Actually, I saw the end of this movie several years ago and I remembered the little closing shot of Benson doing some Buster-Keaton-like prat-falls down the road as the iris fade closes in. I was impressed by his physical acting (if that was indeed Benson and not a stunt double).
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Not Funny.
OldeSkool7 July 2002
This film was suppose to be the follow-up to ANIMAL HOUSE. But it sat on the shelf for a while and finally went straight to cable. As a longtime fan of National Lampoon magazine I was eager to see the film (the shelf period should have warned me). And when I finally did see it I was very disappointed. Aside for a few moments of gratuitous nudity, this film has nothing going for it at all. The 3 segments just lie there with no other purpose than to say "ha ,ha, ha isn't this funny". How they managed to get veteran actors Robert Culp and Richard Widmark to appear in this junk is beyond me. Lampoon has gone on to make other films. Some good ones (VACATION, CHRISTMAS VACATION) and some stinkers (CLASS REUNION, THE DON"S ANALYST, DAD'S WEEKEND OFF) but this film has to be the worst from a franchise that was once at the cutting edge of contemporary humor.
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Even by the low, low standards of the National Lampoon stable – this is rubbish.
bob the moo6 May 2002
A spoof on the movies, that looks at a growing movie, a revenge type movie and a buddy cop movie. Usually I open a review with a plot summary – with this film it would be pointless to try and summarise the plot in a meaningful way….the writers certainly couldn't do it!

Instead of a plot or a story we have three sketches that are only notable for how unfunny they manage to be. None of them manage to get beyond their original lazy setup, often they aren't even jokes – instead we are just given the situation and expected to find it funny. I never laughed once – not even a smile…..and I was in the mood for a silly spoof! The titles reveal what to expect – a childish, crude, rude and stupid focus.

The cast contains some `names' – Robert Culp, Christopher Lloyd, Rhea Perlman, Richard Widmark and a few others, but none do well. All of hamstrung by rubbish dialogue. It's almost sad to think that they made this film, thinking audiences would be roaring with laughter!

Overall this is absolute trash, it didn't get a cinema release and to me is the definition of pointless. Even by the low, low standards of the National Lampoon stable – this is rubbish.
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Generally stupid and dull
Tito-87 May 1999
This barely watchable film was a bit of an ordeal to sit through. None of the segments are good, but at least the first one was mildly amusing, and the middle one was somewhat imaginative. The final one was just plain brutal, and after sitting through two weak comedic shorts, the third one was truly painful to watch. Even by the low standards of a National Lampoon movie, this one seemed especially boring and joyless.
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Movie Badness
cultfilmfreaksdotcom7 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
One of the strangest comedies ever made, and unfunniest. Trailing NATIONAL LAMPOON'S ANIMAL HOUSE by five years, you'd expect the boys to try for… something. But this movie lacks madness and couldn't be more sterile and uninteresting.

Consisting of three tales, the first has ANIMAL HOUSE alumni Peter Riegert going through an early midlife crisis. He dumps his wife, quits his job and raises his children by himself: while dating a fourteen year old (Diane Lane) and not caring about anything… especially humor.

The second is the most bizarre: SUCCESS WANTERS has JAWS 2 ingénue Ann Dunesburry as a beautiful college grad who becomes a stripper – she's raped by horny businessmen using, of all things, margarine and then marries a margarine Mogul and soon becomes a monopolizing widow. Then she's the first lady of the U.S. President and the real first lady's lover. Sounds more enticing than it really is, but Dunesburry looks great as usual.

Then we have the last and worst story – although an indie film icon Henry Jaglom directs it (Bob Giraldi helms the first two). In MUNICIPALIANS a starry eyed Robby Benson plays a rookie cop who, unlike his gruff and lazy veteran partner Richard Widmark, wants to take the job seriously. He gets shot and beaten and just about everything else in the Wile E. Coyote tradition and… What does it matter? What does any of it matter? But like a train wreck, you might wanna take a peak. (And the magazine's cartoon artwork between the stories are actually pretty cool.)

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The $1.88 I spent on this movie is $1.88 I wasted
heidikh2626 November 2011
Despite the actors who starred in this movie, there was no hope, including Christopher Lloyd who is a big name and is a very talented man. It started out pretty slow, and my husband asked me when was the movie supposed to get funny! We continued and managed to watch the first story. The second story started and we decided to turn it off after about five minutes.

My husband and I thought we were taking advantage of a Black Friday sale at a bargain store chain and decided to add some more movies to our collection. So, we bought this DVD for $1.88, but that was still $1.88 too much!!!
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Depressingly Bad
Scott_Mercer16 November 2008
I'll keep the review of this program as short as possible. Skip it. Low budget, not funny, lousy script. Acting not quite as bad as the writing, but still bad. That's all you need to know, but I will continue for the sake of writing more than necessary.

This is a film with three segments, each one parodying some other type of movie. A MUCH funnier film with this same exact idea is "Movie Movie," with George C. Scott. Very obscure, but worth searching out. MM parodied films of the 1930's, and did it with elegance, precision and dry wit.

This movie did not. It parodies three types of films, supposedly from the late 70's, early 80's era, only it is parodying films I've (almost) never heard of. The first is, I guess, a parody of "Kramer Vs. Kramer," in a way. Peter Reigert does his best with a dirt poor script. The second is a parody, of, I don't know what...a Danielle Steele novel? I mean, you might see a story like this on Lifetime TV, but in a movie theater? I mean, I remember the 70's, I was there. This is a soap-opera type parody about a fetching young woman who sleeps her way to power. These type of things usually parody themselves, so I don't see how this was even necessary.

We are on somewhat easier ground with the third segment, "The Municipalians," which parodies cop movies. I noted elements of "The New Centurians" and some "Dirty Harry", both of which were almost 10 years old when the film was created. Yeah, nice and current. Robby Benson plays the idealistic young rookie (over-the-top wimpy) while Richard Widmark plays the grizzled veteran cop who drinks whiskey while sitting in the police car (OH! Stop! My sides! He's actually drinking booze in the Police car! How irreverent!) Note that this was the first film after "Animal House" to have the "National Lampoon" name attached. Wow. To go in five years from that classic flick to this pile of dung is nothing short of shocking. I could go on for hours about the sad decline that caused one of the most cutting-edge and original voices in American humor (that would be National Lampoon, the original magazine for about its first 10 years or so) to sell out and begin a long, slow slide into a world of crap, where now the magazine is long gone and it only exists as a brand name to slap on low-budget "comedy" films for a fee. Yet another reason why capitalism (and cocaine) sucks so bad.

Anyway, this movie is a serious time suck. Don't waste your 90 minutes. I want mine back. On the positive side, Fred Willard's in it!
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One for Dusenberry and Widmark fans!
JohnHowardReid18 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I can well appreciate who so many people don't like this film. First time I saw it, the first episode made no sense at all to me as I didn't understand what was being parodied, although I must admit that any movie with Candy Clark will certainly get my vote. Up to that time, however, I'd never seen a personal growth film or advertisement. Now I really enjoy this segment. I've always loved the spoof of the Greek tycoon. In this one, however, it's the lovely Ann Dusenberry on whom the camera really shines. (I was surprised to discover that she has made so few movies to date, preferring TV by a very wide margin.) However, my favorite of the three episodes is most definitely the third. Going right against his usual trademark, Richard Widmark is absolutely priceless as the do-nothing cop.
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Was I suppose to be laughing?
lost-in-limbo1 May 2007
You can call this one a flop, and that's a very big one too! Quality isn't associated with the words National Lampoon, but at least the Vacation and Animal House entries were fun, but this offering has got to be their most inane feature to date that I've watched. Ugh! The three piece story crazily attempts to parody the clichés and stereotypes that flooded Hollywood genre films, which turns out to be completely unfunny and boorish dross.

"Growing Yourself." - Jason a corporate lawyer decides to quit his job and split up with his wife so they both can grow and do what they always wanted to do. That's life, as Jason sees it and he takes over looking after the children, but his decision to follow this path might not be the right one.

Talk about leaden, boring and stiff. There only real interest is the small performance of the lovely Diane Lane. The satirical element here seems to be pointing out something than actually just delivering it. The silly humour is strained, flat and particularly senseless. Peter Riegert's keeps it very deadpan in the lead role and Teresa Ganzel bubbles along in her role.

"Success Wanters" - After just finishing collage Dominique Corsair gets a job as a stripper and is rape with some butter by the Dairy Company Presidents. For payback she becomes interested in the margarine industry and virtually works her way to the 'very" top.

Probably the best one of the three, but the competition wasn't too great. The gags seem to want go more subtle with its sexual and power orientated tone, but still they do feel more tacky and forced. The idea had something promising and inventive to build on, but the languid pacing begins to wear thin by the end and disastrous dialogue don't do it any favours at all. The humour tries, but more often doesn't come off, despite the hunger. The seductively Ann Dusenberry is pretty cold and manipulative throughout (well after the painful ordeal) and likes to gracefully bare it all quite a bit. Even the skimpy stripper outfit seems to get full workout for the opening half of the story. Popping up in amusing minor cameos ranged from Dick Millar, Mary Woronov, Olympia Dukakis, Fred Willard, Robert Culp and a favourite turn by Joe Spinell.

"Municipalians" - A serial killer who leaves copies of his driver's licence behind after each murder, is being tracked down by an enthusiastically naive rookie cop and his old grizzled partner. However the young cop learns that being tough is the only way to go, when the pair encounter one situation after another.

Stupid! Oh yeah. Sure if you're going to spoof something extremely over-the-top, make sure laughter will stream off it. Obviously they forgot that! Even at its 30 minutes running, boy does it drag! Robby Benson's gratingly mock performance got rather overbearing with a wearied Richard Widmark doing very little as his partner. Christopher Lloyd underplays the role of serial killer, but his creepily wry and sympathetic performance works well and pretty much shows up the other leads. Elisha Cook Jr., Rhea Perlman and Harry Reems appear. When the jokes come, they truly feel out of sync and get rather stale with its repetitiveness of making fun of these cop clichés.

In all, the idiotic material laced with its skits comes across as disposable, and the unbearable script is basically inept and witless. Only one or two few gags make it out each segment, but really there's too many cheap stinkers or plain misses which stick in your head. This is because it virtually becomes what it's trying to poke fun at and this basically shows in each story. It loses sight. The performances range from hot to cold, but who can't deny the embarrassment that's felt on most of their faces. Director Bob Giraldi's first taste is a vapid one for "Growing Yourself" , but "Success Wanters" showed some minor flourishes of mild effectiveness. Henry Jaglom does a labouredly jaded job on "Municipalians" . Rick Meyerowitz's vividly crass drawings that opens the film, are neatly devised and go on to set the style and mood.

This low-brow comedy flunks it by overplaying it, with the main interested being derived by the familiar cameos. But really, is it worth going through this putridly lame and restless get-up, just to spot them. Well, that's up to you.
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Regrettably bad
hmservant27 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
"Stupid" is the word that kept coming to mind as I watched this travesty masquerading as a movie. Humor is subjective, so pertaining to that I will only state that I did not find this film funny at all. It wasn't that I found it offensive, simply unfunny.

This is a comedy anthology, consisting of three separate segments featuring all different actors. In the first story, "Growing Yourself," Peter Riegert plays a man who has everything: a well- paying job, a beautiful wife and a brood of decent children. He wants to grow as a person, so he tells his wife to leave him. Sound plausible? I didn't think so either. The ending is even worse, with the parents flipping a coin to see which parent gets to keep one of the couple's remaining two children. The best thing about this segment is Teresa Ganzel, a blast from Johnny Carson's "The Tonight Show" past.

The second story is only slightly better, with Ann Dusenberry going to extreme lengths to exact revenge on the butter industry (don't ask) executives who wronged her. There were a couple jokes about having margarine in her veins or in her blood, which were the only remotely humorous things about this one.

The last segment features Robby Benson (remember him?) as an overly optimistic police officer in a precinct full of jaded, apathetic veteran officers. I give Mr. Benson credit for at least trying to carry this bad idea to fruition, but everyone else simply phones it in.

Unless you are dying to see Teresa Ganzel or Ann Dusenberry topless, or if you are genuinely a glutton for punishment, there is really no reason to watch this.
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Make it stop. Please God, make it stop!!!!
REnninga13 June 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Richard Widmark, Diane Lane, Peter Riegert, Robert Culp, Olympia Dukakis, Christopher Lloyd, Henny Youngman, Rhea Perlman, ... all SHOULD NOT HAVE appeared in this movie! Watching an anthology film of these accomplished entertainers reading from the Hollywood telephone directory would be a vastly more enjoyable way for the viewer to spend 89 minutes, than attempting to sit through this awful waste of time and talent.

We have all experienced movies which compel us to just finish watching the film we have started, because surely there must be a payoff. We think "I'll just hang in there because, hey, it can't get any worse, right?" Well, this film will elicit such a feeling by about 30-minutes in; if not well before that. The viewer should be forewarned: Oh, it DOES get worse. It gets MUCH worse! In fact, of the three film shorts comprising this anthology movie, the final segment is almost unwatchable. Which seems a cynical and intentionally sadistic decision by the film's directors and editor to deal-out lingering punishment to those viewers who stick with it to the bitter end!

If one needed to build an argument for irrevocably destroying all record of a work of "art", this film would be exhibit number 1 of that argument. All copies of this movie, both electronic and physical media should be destroyed. And all of those associated with its creation should be provided humanitarian hypnotherapy, so that they too can erase all memory of their involvement in its creation, and end the terrible recurrent nightmares which undoubtedly haunt their lives.

In addition to leaving an indelible black mark of shame on the résumés of these, and a couple of dozen other actors/comedians who made the terrible career mistakes of appearing in it, this 1982 fiasco also ignominiously taints the National Lampoon franchise which produced such classics as 'Animal House' and 'Christmas Vacation'.

*** SPOILER ALERT *** Two things will be universal for those who make the serious error in judgment of sitting down to watch 'National Lampoon's Movie Madness':

1) You will be left with nagging regret for what you could otherwise have done with the hour and a half of your life that you wasted; and

2) By the time the third anthology segment begins -- a police story built around a running gag about a Rookie Cop who is shot, daily -- you will want someone to shoot YOU, or shoot yourself just to make it stop. Please, God, make it stop!!!

A couple of parting thoughts:

Richard Widmark lived another 10-years after the release of this film: Testaments to both his personal humility (for not spending those remaining years of his life as a recluse); and to his belief in the power of forgiveness (he didn't have his agent whacked!)

IMDb, you really do need to give reviewers the option of rating a movie "0 of 10". Being required to give this movie a "1" rating, in order to post a review, has made me feel like I need to shower.
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vacousin7 August 2004
Dreadful! This is the kind of movie you wonder how the cameras ever started rolling. Aside from anyone getting a paycheck, you can't imagine why it was ever completed. It must have been in the can for months while they figured what to do. No point in ever watching except for seeing again that a great cast can do nothing with a terrible, terrible script. You wouldn't laugh on a dare watching this. I agree with the previous contributor who stated his is much worse than "Plan 9." The fact is big Hollywood films like this that don't try are much worse than the small no dollar indies that are making an effort. This is why even an Ed Wood is better than trash like this film or say "Endless Love." Perhaps the unfunniest comedy ever made. As Widmark says at one point, "Kid, you can really be boring."
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so stupid it was funny. how the writers thought that the movie is high class humor is absurd.
singerh@knology.net24 September 2002
Good movie to watch when there is nothing else to watch. There are a few funny lines. The highlight of the movie is the appearance of Elisha Cook. A real change from Wilmer in the Maltese falcon. Being three skits of about 20 minutes each, it is ideal to watch it when you are micro waving a tv dinner
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Oh So Unfunny
Michael_Elliott29 August 2009
National Lampoon's Movie Madness (1982)

1/2 (out of 4)

Extremely bad and embarrassing comedy is perhaps one of the worst that the decade had to offer. This film has three different spoof's of popular movie genres but none of them are funny. The first has Peter Riegert (NATIONAL LAMPOON'S ANIMAL HOUSE) playing a lawyer who asks his wife to leave him so that he can go through some personal growth. The second story deals with a woman who was gang raped with a stick of butter so she sets out to bring them down by making margarine the item to use. The third film has a stupid rookie cop (Robby Benson) tries to track down a serial killer (Christopher Lloyd) who likes to leave a copy of his driver license on the body of his victims. All three stories are incredibly bad but if I had to pick the best one I'd go with the first. It at least has Riegert and his certain style of comedy getting a few laughs and we also have some rather strange nudity. The second film seems to be spoofing TV shows like "Dallas" but it doesn't get any laughs. The third film is just downright annoying because it keeps going and going and never appears to know what it's trying to do. The major fault of this disaster has to be pointed at the screenplay, which just isn't funny. Non of the spoofs are that far out there and one could argue that none of these items needed to be spoofed because their own films did a good job at that. Did we really need this cop comedy when there was something like POLICE ACADEMY out there? The performances are all fair to bad but acting isn't what people come to a film like this for. The second and third films are without any laughs and what's really scary is that there was a fourth film spoofing disaster movies that was cut before the movie was released. With these three shorts being so bad you can't help but wonder how bad the fourth one was for the studio to decide that was the one to leave on the cutting room floor.
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The Stench is Ungodly
jnick-robinson13 June 2011
I wish there was a way to give a movie a negative number on the IMDb scale. This thing started bad and built to a crescendo of bad so immense Robby Benson has deservedly never been heard from again. I can't believe that NL would attach their name to this but after seeing some "Making of..." features about Animal House and Caddyshack I can only conclude that there were drugs involved. Lots and lots of drugs. Originally written with four parts, I can only imagine in my worst nightmares how bad the fourth part must have been to have wound up on the cutting room floor.

It isn't just bad acting and writing, it is a symphony of really bad ideas, thrown into a blender of unfunny gags, double-entendre that didn't work, obscure humor that seems like a spoof of a spoof. Well, two negatives definitely don't make a positive other than, I am positive I would rather have my doctor use a rusty implement during my next colonoscomy than to have to sit through this again. Don't think of this as a review as much as a a dire warning of impending doom if you choose to watch this thing.
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I'll review each one seperately
ericstevenson9 June 2018
"Growing Yourself" is a segment that features a guy leaving his wife to raise his kids on his own. What fascinates me about this is that the movie is just so boring. I think this may in fact be the most boring comedy I've ever seen. That probably does make it one of the worst. I can't even tell if there were supposed to be jokes in this. I was almost asking for a laughtrack.

"Success Wanters" features a woman who starts off as a stripper and then becomes rich by marrying into the margarine industry. She eventually marries the President. What is this supposed to be satirizing? Apparently, this is a parody of soap operas. I have no clue what this even has to do with anything as the plot is so random. The jokes are all forced and garner no laughs.

"Municipalities" has Christopher Lloyd, easily the most recognizable actor here. This segment is seemingly a parody of cop movies as it features a guy tracking down a serial killer. I guess I haven't seen that many cop movies. This was still pointless, with unlikeable characters and the same unfunny jokes over and over. I guess this was the first truly awful spoof movie. National Lampoon had fallen even back in 1982. *
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Allegedly satirical
bkoganbing4 July 2015
That National Lampoon put their name to this mess speaks volumes about those folks. National Lampoon's Movie Madness is one witless and unfunny film with most of the cast looking around wondering how they got into this mess and will their paychecks clear? Bad agents I assume.

Three genres of film are dealt with in three short films that are allegedly satirical. The first is a soap opera with husband and wife Peter Riegert and Candy Clark seeking to explore different dimensions of themselves. Woody Allen does this a whole lot better and this shows that you can't spoof a spoof.

The second stars Ann Dusenberry and it's a takeoff on those rise in business films that Bette Davis and Barbara Stanwyck did so well. Dusenberry was a stag party dancer who was disgraced by some dairy industry executives and she vows to bring them all down with, wait for it, margarine. It seems slightly above the other two in quality.

Finally there's one pained looking Richard Widmark breaking in a new partner, the ultimate in idealistic rookies in Robby Benson. Widmark looked like he was about to pass a kidney stone and Benson either has no flair for satire/comedy or he got lousy direction. Nothing remotely funny in this police story.

Skip this one by.
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