Regarded by some to be one of the worst and most offensive comedies of all-time (and it might be one of the flops that contributed to the collapse of Orion Pictures), this 1980 Steve Rash (“The Buddy Holly Story”) slapstick farce actually isn’t all that bad. Well, kinda. Yes, it has one of the worst premises in any movie I’ve seen, but that kinda makes it funny, in my view. I mean, they’re really trying to get away with this godawful premise for a movie...that’s gotta be something, right? Not brilliantly funny, I’ll grant you. 30s-style slapstick and farce rarely make me laugh- lots of brawling and dopey mistaken identity, meanwhile Chase gets absolutely nothing funny to say or do at all, Arkin gets only one good crack about an aerial view of the hotel, and Fisher disappears into the background. In fact it’s still a pretty dull affair for the most part, but c’mon, how can you not laugh at a hammy Billy Barty playing a Nazi midget spy in a hotel full of other midgets who are all playing munchkins in “The Wizard of Oz”? It’s insane. The screenplay is by Fred Bauer (producer of “The Buddy Holly Story”), Pat McCormick (a former “Tonight Show” writer who also has a role here), Harry Hurwitz (director of “The Comeback Trail”), Martin Smith, and Pat Bradley.
If it weren’t for the dull spots, I’d almost recommend seeing this for the one-of-a-kind, bad-movie-waiting-to-happen premise. As is, it’s not quite the stinker you’ve probably heard it to be.