Hidden Flick: Hidden Turkey

CB also features actress/Zeppelin fan/singer/siren/seductress/sushi saleswoman Ann Magnuson as a multi-limbed mythological being who guides young Guymawker, our ‘hero’, on his way with a bit of scrumpet. She’s also married to an Italian character actor/ giant who goes out to find this horrible scallywag. I’ve seen this thing three times (O.K. it was on in the house where I lived, and I might have walked…scratch that…RAN past the screen as it played, so the residue of its gawdawfulness would not touch my holier than thou heady cine skin), and I have no idea what’s going on. I wince, therefore I wonder.

Elliott begins his starring role as a student in some weird rich kid university with other neo-pupils who all look at least 30, and they are wearing 18th century British upper class wigs. That scene suddenly segues into David Letterman in his screen debut as a gruff, cigar-chomping wretch attempting to sell Elliott’s character a monkey while calling him by different female names on each attempt. You know—Dabblin’ Dave played himself.

Suddenly, Elliott is on a ship with modern day pirates, and he…wait for it…becomes their cabin boy, and resident rich-moron-out-of-his-element. Scratch that, part II. Andy Richter (the film highlight, which explains why Cabin Boy is an honorary turkey) plays a dopey deck hand, and his moronic scenes are wacky, somewhat funny, and require a wee bit of ahem…lowered standards to endure. Hey—takes ALL kinds in this little world.

And, as they say as one leaves the chair before that long two-mile trek back to the lodge, it is all downhill after that: characters die and are reborn ala Obi Won Kenobi, Brian Doyle-Murray (Shock! Horror!) scowls in his scenes, giant snow creatures are conjured up out of $45 special effects, a huge cupcake spews chewing tobacco on “our hero,” and Elliott suddenly turns into a romantic lead, completely destroying our sense of disbelief as if it hadn’t already been destroyed by Letterman and his stuffed monkey, and the fact that none of the ship scenes were filmed outdoors. Think Spielberg’s Hook, but less annoying, and no lame kids attempting to Stevenize Pan.

Indeed, for a 1994 film with a whopping $10 million budget (for fucking Chris Elliott?), the $2,453 it spent on the “sea scenes” looked like outtakes from a school play, or worse, bath time for the village idiots. But this is Thanksgiving, and we do need a turkey, even if it is one that can only be laughed about, instead of devoured amongst snooty friends.

Randy Ray

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6 Responses

  1. It’s about time you guys covered something worthwhile!

    Cabin Boy has ALWAYS been one of my favorite movies. Definitely one of thge funniest and most underrated comedies ever.

  2. When Richter says he needs to turn the boat 150,000 degrees to head to Hawaii, spins the wheel, randomly stops it, and says something like, “All right, we’re going to Hawaii,” I roared with laughter.

    Good to hear from ya, zappafrank. Hope the year has treated you well!

  3. Randy, nice to hear from you. I saw your name in some publication the other day, and was like, Sweet! That guys goin’ places!

    Anyways, thanks for bringing this great movie to every body’s attention.

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