Uhf

1989, Movie, PG-13, 97 mins

Review

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The satire is strictly hit and miss and the plot is by the numbers in UHF, musical parodist "Weird Al" Yankovic's film debut. Yankovic plays George, a daydreaming misfit whose uncle (Stanley Brock) puts him in charge of U-62, a rundown UHF TV station. With the station facing bankruptcy, a despairing George walks out on hosting chores midway through a lame kiddie show, leaving dimwitted janitor Stanley Spadowski (Michael Richards) to finish the program. Of course, Stanley is an instant hit, and George transforms U-62 into a success by filling the station's schedule with moronic offerings. It isn't long, however, before evil crosstown rival R.J. Fletcher (Kevin McCarthy) endeavors to put George out of business. A telethon is staged to save the station, but Reynolds complicates matters by having U-62 superstar Stanley kidnaped. UHF's slob-outsiders-versus-uptight-establishment plot has become a B-movie comedy staple in films ranging from ANIMAL HOUSE to the "Police Academy" series. Coscripting with his manager, Jay Levey, who also directed, Yankovic fails to come up with anything new to freshen the stock storyline, and is content instead to let it serve as a creaky showcase for his forte, media parodies. But even the quality of these parodies is inconsistent, with the movie and music takeoffs being obvious and out of date. leave a comment

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