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— W.C.U.N — Pittsburgh!!

NOTHING BUT TROUBLE (1991) Dir. Dan Aykroyd. Written by Dan Aykroyd based on a Story by Peter Aykroyd. Starring: Chevy Chase, Demi Moore, John Candy, Dan Akroyd, Taylor Negron, Brian Doyle-Murray, Daniel Baldwin, Digital Underground and Tupac Shakur.

All they wanted was a little getaway. All they got was nothing but trouble.

People far more connected than I have tried to get Aykroyd to talk about this little loved dark comedy and all have been met with total shutdown from brother Elroy. As soon as the movie is mentioned he hangs up or redirects the conversation which is a shame because it's one of my favorite movies and I'm willing to bet there are others out there in that great dumpster fire of cult movies that would salivate over a bonus heavy re-release. There really is no better time than now in this year of Trump for a reassessment of the Valkenheiser's way of doing things. I mean he really hated bankers! In fact, in these strange times, I look back at the film and realize that by Christ they were the heroes! Perhaps, Aykroyd's distaste for the film is because of how savage the critics and audiences were at the time. This is after all his sole Directing credit and yet from a writing perspective it's better than Dragnet and Spies Like Us and let's be honest not everything can be The Blues Brothers or The Ghostbusters. Or perhaps it's because in one insert Aykroyd as the ancient Judge Alvin Valeknheiser has an actual dick for a nose, or perhaps it's because of how very strange and original the film is. I mean, really, a genius for bad taste like this takes some time to digest for the average audience. The story, as it is, concerns Chris Thorne (Chase) Financial advisor extraordinaire trying to get in Diane's (Moore) pants by driving her from NYC to Atlantic City for an investment seminar put on by her ex. Saddled with the brilliant Taylor Negron and Bertila Damas as "Brazillionaires" hungry for Thorne's attention and financial advise the crew get off the main highway for a shortcut. Soon the group is pulled over by Deputy Dennis (Candy) for running a stop sign, speeding and bribery whereupon they are taken for swift justice at the home of the Judge, the dick-nosed Aykroyd in fantastically disgusting old age makeup who lords over his cracker kingdom with an iron fist. The Rube Goldberg styled inner workings of the shambling house includes; trapdoors, secret doors, slides, piles of bones and the piece de resistance, Mr. BoneStripper, a rollercoaster ride from hell that feeds offending parties to a machine-teethed mouth that spits out bones after, of course, stripping them of all flesh and sinew. After the crew are held over for judgement the rest of the movie plays out as the foursome attempt escape in various ways with the Brazillionaires disappearing from the scene a little too early for my tastes, Demi Moore meeting two oversized grease babies (Aykroyd again) and Chase getting ensnared in a marriage proposal to the Valkenheiser daughter, Eldona (Candy in drag.) Add to that a surprise visit by Digital Underground with a very young Tupac in his first film role and you've got a recipe for one of the weirdest comedies of the 90's. While I can admit it's comedy doesn't always work and it's never a laugh riot, its set design, effects work and characters create a truly bizarre and detailed world that I can't help feeling could have easily transitioned into a horror film. If Aykroyd had just double-downed on the darkness of his vision and included a couple more murders and some gore we would have a bonafide Cult Classic on our hands. I mean, Dean Cundey (Halloween, The Thing, etc.) did shoot it. And with the ending as it is may I suggest it's about time we got a sequel, or at the very least that deluxe Blu-Ray!  

 

 

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