Written by Hombre Divertido
In 1980 the Zucker Brothers (Jerry and David) and Jim Abrahams would bring their Airplane to the big screen in a spoof of the classic disaster films of the seventies, and the genre has yet to come in for a landing, yet few have flown as high as this talented trio.
Two years later our team of three would attempt to bring their brand of comedy to the small screen with Police Squad, which would spoof the classic cop shows of the sixties and seventies. Leslie Nielsen played bungling detective Frank Drebin who fumbled his way though gag after gag in this thirty-minute sit-com. Though the comedy was certainly as creative as that found in Airplane, the show lasted a mere six episodes.
Even though the sit-com had been a failure, six years later our three comedic minds would once again delve into the files of Police Squad and bring the interesting case of The Naked Gun to the big screen. Drebin would again attempt to solve cases and prevent crimes surrounded by an equally inept police force and criminals portrayed by an all-star cast. The comedy was extremely creative and even exceeded Airplane in its depth of story.
Paramount released The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad as part of the I Love the 80’s collection which would appear to include a total of 67 (Why not 80?) different films. Taking advantage of the popular show on VH-1 to market a collection of films from the decade of the eighties would certainly appear to be a good marketing plan, but may serve to irritate fans. It’s certainly not unreasonable for fans to expect that a new release of such films would include additional material often entitled “Bonus” or “Special Features.” Not so in this case. The new release contains no new material. There is a commentary, which is informative and humorous, and the original theatrical trailer, but these were included in previous releases. The packaging does list Widescreen Version enhanced for 16:9 TV’s, Dolby Digital English 5.1 Surround, French Mono, and English Subtitles as Special Features, but that is a bit generous.
To be completely accurate, the new release does include a CD entitled Music from the 80’s, which includes four, yes four, songs from the decade. “Lips Like Sugar” by Echo & The Bunnymen, “Chains of Love” by Erasure, “Need You Tonight” by INXS, and “Take On Me” by a-ha. Now this would be a great way to encourage people to buy the new releases in hopes of building their music collection, unfortunately all releases in the “I Love the 80’s” DVD collection include the same four songs.
Recommendation: The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad is an innovative, and creative endeavor that is brilliant in its execution, though some simply may not appreciate that type of humor. Rated PG-13 for some content, it is generally a fun film for the majority of the family.
The new release is generally disappointing in its lack of new material. Where are the cast interviews, outtakes, deleted scenes, etc? Hopefully we can expect more from a 25th anniversary release.