movie film review | chris tookey
 
harsh reviews
An A to Z of the World's Deadliest Movie Reviews From Affleck
to Zeta Jones
SELECT VICTIMS BY INITIAL LETTER OF SURNAME
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 
Mel Brooks
Writer, Director, Actor, Blazing Saddles (1974)
I never imagined I'd think back longingly on Brooks's first film, The Producers - but it never sank to this. As a director, he doesn't have enough style to make the unfunny funny. In Blazing Saddles he makes the unfunny desperate.
(Pauline Kael, New Yorker)
An almost flawless triumph of bad taste, unredeemed by wit or style.
(Arthur Schlesinger Jr)
Director Brooks has given author Brooks, and us, possibly the worst movie of the year. Even worse, director Brooks has committed the absolutely unpardonable sin of making Zero Mostel appear obnoxious.
(Dan Bates, Film Quarterly)
I am sure Zero Mostel is a brilliant comedian. Everybody tells me so, and I recognize that what he does is done with unrivalled skill. My trouble is that he doesn't make me laugh... The Hitler-play, designed to show that the Fuhrer was a dear kind fellow, opens with a number (Spring-time for Hitler and Germany) performed by a chorus in a jack-booted musical-comedy version of Nazi uniform. And now I really don't laugh. The scene turns the stomachs of the audience on the screen, but only until they smell a take-off; it goes on turning mine.
(Dilys Powell, Sunday Times)
Except for two or three expert sequences, the direction of Mel Brooks is thoroughly vile and inept. Everyone in the film down to the least extra mugs with an extravagance not seen since the silent days. Zero Mostel rolls his eyes on the screen as if he were running a bowling alley in his skull.
(Andrew Sarris, Village Voice)
The star not only indulges himself gluttonously, but the director seems to be doubled up with laughter at how funny he is being through Mostel; and the film bloats into sogginess. The next time Mostel makes a film I hope it won't be with friends.
(Stanley Kauffmann, New Republic)
Worse than disappointing, it is frustrating to the point of physical distress. At elast, I find two hours of aborted laughter a strain on the system.
(Robert Hatch, Nation)
With every character so grotesque and most of the situations exploited with the subtlety of an all-in wrestler, it raised only a few chuckles from me.
(Ian Christie, Daily Express)
Over and over again promising ideas are killed off, either by over-exposure or bad timing.
(Tom Milne)
Writer, Director, Actor, Spaceballs (1987)
At its worst, it displays a colossal ego at work, and humour better left to home movies.
(Daily Variety)
Writer, Director, Actor, Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1996)
Mel Brooks’s spoof of the Dracula legend is so lacking in life that a stake through its heart would rank as mercy killing. It’s further proof of Brook’s demise as a comic talent. Anyone who does bother to watch is likely to find himself dead bored and loathing it.
(Chris Tookey, Daily Mail)
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