Netflix January 2015_day.12 – High Anxiety (1977)

_I can empathize with anxiety. I’ve felt completely overcome with anxiety and fear plenty of times in my life. I’ve walked into buildings with intentions of asking for job applications, only to turn around and leave with nothing but a head full of sweat. The idea of striking up a conversation with a stranger has left me with headaches before. It’s rough out there, man.

Up today, we have the Mel Brooks comedy High Anxiety.


_This feels like a good time to point out that I’ve only ever watched one Hitchcock film. I saw Vertigo, I liked it, just…never got around to watching anything else of his. So, seeing how this movie starts with the text “Dedicated to Alfred Hitchcock, the master of suspense” and is a parody of his works in the same way Spaceballs sent up the Star Wars movies, I’m actually curious how much I’ll get in this movie and if it works on its own without having a deep knowledge of the works being parodied.

_So the movie is pretty funny..but the one thing I can’t help but notice is that this is Mel Brooks first time in front of the camera, he plays the lea role, and is clearly the weakest link as far as ability goes. He got much better in his future movies, but he’s a bit wooden in this. I mean, he’s not Sofia Coppola in Godfather 3 bad, he just noticeably can’t match the people around him.

Oh wait, he’s actually really good in this scene. Where’s in in disguise. As a really Jewish guy. You would think he was actually Jewish!

_So watching this movie makes me think of other Mel Brooks movies, or movies like Airplane, Naked Gun…what happened to the parody genre? Did every writer and director that knows parody movies have to work even if you haven’t seen the work being parodied stop working? A lot of the funniest bits in this movie didn’t hinge on parodies of Hitchcock movies, but were funny bits that would’ve worked on their own. The parody movies of the last decade or so hinge totally on referencing the source material. The parody feels like a genre ripe for a good comeback.

_Last thought: Madeline Kahn is amazing in everything~ <3 I can’t really think of anybody with her particular skill set working in Hollywood right now.


_Stop by tomorrow, when we’ll receive some good old burglary instructions from Audrey Hepburn in How to Steal a Million. See ya~

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