FOOD FIGHT! – Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of National Lampoon – film review

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DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD: THE STORY OF NATIONAL LAMPOON    

director: Douglas Tirola   

premieres October 17th   

The Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank Street, Ottawa   

Animal House, the Vacation movies, Saturday Night Live … all the glory resides on screens big and small, yet the germ of subversive, frat boy comedy under the National Lampoon banner belongs in print. And it takes a documentary film to hammer that point home.

Aside from a bevy of great early performances by the Lemmings comedy troupe (many would go on to SNL), and the Lampoon Comedy Hour radio bits (ditto), the rightful focus here is on the subversive comedic rag that morphed from the Harvard Lampoon back in 1970, to become the adult version of MAD magazine. Started and run by two ridiculously prolific smart asses Doug Kenney and Henry Beard, the monthly satire lowered acerbic taste levels to new found depths.

Buy this magazine or we’ll shoot this dog. Check.

Hitler alive and on tropical vacation. Check.

If Ted Kennedy drove a Volkswagon he’d have been president. Check.

Taboo? What’s that?

All great stuff here, and way too much for just one doc, so Tirola smartly zips through the obligatory John Belushi clips and focuses on mad genius creator Doug Kenney, whose story is crazier than anything he created in fiction. A Doug Kenney documentary (who?) would have bombed, so kudos for pulling a fast one.

Absolutely riveting.

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