UHF: 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, May 23rd, 2024  

UHF: 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray

Studio: Shout! Factory

Nov 17, 2014 Weird Al Yankovic Bookmark and Share

Despite his popularity as a musical comedian, “Weird Al” Yankovic’s off-kilter brand of humor was perhaps too silly and too weird (go figure) for the movie-going public. UHF—the 1989 starring vehicle for pop music parodist, co-written by the artist and directed by his longtime manager—the film had the horrible luck of being released into theaters in against blockbusters such as Batman, Ghostbusters II, Lethal Weapon 2 and When Harry Met Sally. Needless to say, UHF was doomed from the outset: it tanked at the box office, but picked up the sort of cult following it was destined for on VHS.

The film’s plot is loose, to say the least: an underachiever with an overactive imagination (Yankovic) is handed over the reins to a small-time UHF station. When the station’s quirky programming overtakes that of the local network affiliate in the ratings, a crooked TV executive attempts to have them shut down by any means possible. This thin storyline is there mostly to string together UHF’s abundant film, television, and music video parodies in the form of TV show clips, commercials, and dream sequences. The individual parts may be greater than the sum of the whole, but man, are those parts funny: UHF gave us Wheel of Fish, Gandhi II, and Spatula City—for all your spatula needs!—not to mention the best send-ups of Raiders of the Lost Ark and Rambo ever laid to film. The robust comedic ensemble includes a pre-Nanny Fran Drescher, a pre-Seinfeld Michael Richards, and a pre-insanity Victoria Jackson, plus Kevin McCarthy, John Paragon, Emo Philips, Billy Barty, and Gedde Watanabe.

Shout! Factory give UHF a proper deluxe treatment befitting the film’s quarter-centennial. The new Blu-ray includes an audio commentary, behind the scenes featurette, music videos, production stills, and a deleted scenes reel where Al—with hilariously over-the-top candor—breaks down just why each scene was removed. (Hint: they’re awful.) The film’s diehard cult should be thrilled by this anniversary presentation, while the uninitiated now have more reason than ever before to discover UHF’s wacked-out charms.


Author rating: 8/10

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