It’s Saturday afternoon. You’re hungover from the rotation of cheap beer and Bankers vodka shots the night before. The roommates went to get Arbys to settle the stomachs for round two tonight. That leaves the most important job of the day up to you. Finding that gem of a movie to day drink the…day away. Well look no further my good man. Let me introduce you to the funniest movie that never made you laugh.
It was a similar situation I found myself in during sophomore year, finals week ’09. My buddy “Feels” (college is the last time it’s acceptable to have friends with douchey nicknames) and I happened upon a movie called “Loaded Weapon 1”. Unbeknownst to us, it would change our lives forever.
National Lampoons Loaded Weapon 1 was released in 1993 as a spoof comedy. “Spaceballs” did Star Wars, “Young Frankenstein” did Frankenstein, and Loaded Weapon 1 was our glorious mock Lethal Weapon. It had a story they probably stole straight from any cop movie from the 80s. An LA detective is killed for having a microfilm on how to make cocaine cookies. Two odd couple style cops team up to find the killer. Playing the Mel Gibson role is Emilio Estevez as Jack Colt. I’m not exaggerating when I say this is the best role of Emilio’s career. I’m in my twenties, I grew up with the Mighty Ducks. I don’t make these claims lightly. He is unstoppable in this film. If I had to give out Olympic medals for the best all time spoof actors it would go something like this:
Gold Medal – Leslie Nielsen
Silver Medal – Gene Wilder
Bronze Medal – Emilio Estevez
His sole performance in this film vaulted him past Mel Brooks and Anna Faris. The level of commitment he has to every line of dialogue is astounding. It truly reminded me of Leslie Nielsen. Perhaps there’s an alternate universe where Emilio’s career didn’t die after D3 in ’96. It was definitely in the cards for him to own the spoof world for the next 10-15 years akin to Nielsen. Honestly, who was dominating that market? You had virtually no one during the late nineties. Anna Faris and the Wayans brothers put out some respectable material in the early part of the new decade. Instead we were left with “Date Movie” and the chunks of puke that came after (Is “chunks of puke” a saying? I’m attempting to make it one). Allow me to hop off his dick real quick so I can also praise his co-star.
The great Samuel L. Jackson takes the reigns as Wes Luger (lolz at their last names). Not surprisingly (at least not now) Jackson is laugh out loud funny throughout the full 90 minutes. Who back in 1993 knew how funny this guy was? I glanced at IMDB and could only find a small role in “Coming to America”.
Honestly, I’m surprised he didn’t stick to a career solely in comedy. A little flick called “Pulp Fiction” might have had something to do with that. There are a couple key scenes where Jackson has some one at gunpoint. Both might be the funniest scenes in the film. His dedication to physical comedy brings tears to my eyes. If this were Madden his stats would look something like this:
Physical Comedy – 97
One Liners – 94
Balding Haircut – 99
Agility – 63
He’s an all time great and I’m grateful for all the iconic performances he’s given us, but man do I wish he’d of taken more comedic roles. Together with Emilio, they form my favorite comedy duo ever. I’ve watched this film more times than I care to admit and not once do these two become bland. I guarantee you’ll never see them on any of the Buzzfeed lists, but these two deserve respect.
Normally I would stop there. Estevez and Jackson DO make this a classic spoof comedy. What puts “Loaded Weapon 1” into untouchable territory is the massive amount of comedic talent in the film other than the two leads. From the villains to the smallest of cameos, this movie doesn’t disappoint. Let’s break ’em down!
Jon Lovitz –
Lovitz plays the “Joe Pesci in Lethal Weapon” role. He’s the loud mouthed (more whiney) guy that helps out our two heroes. Or tries to help them out. He usually gets shot at or taken hostage without either Estevez or Jackson caring much. Probably not as funny as his character in “Rat Race” but it’s a delight to watch his misfortunes seemingly never end.
William Shatner – And here we have the main baddie in our comical cop story. Shatner plays a hilarious version of the Colonel from the Rambo trilogy. Now that I think of it, he’s probably not much different than the Priceline Negotiator but, it’s still gold. Another actor who you wouldn’t think could pull off comedy back then. He’s masterful with the dialogue he’s given throughout, never blinking at how cheesy each line is. I can’t stress how important that is in spoof movies. He’s dedicated for every minute on screen. General Mortars you are one of a kind.
Tim Curry – Tim Curry plays the right hand man to Shatners evil genius. As you can see from the picture, he has no qualms about going under cover. There are few voices more recognizable than Curry’s, but he puts a whole new twist on his golden pipes for this role. The way he emphasizes the “w” in “weapon” gets me every time. Watch “Loaded Weapon 1” for Tim Curry if anything. Pure brilliance.
Whoopi – She doesn’t have many scenes (two or three), but she does have my favorite scene in the film. In the beginning of the movie, Tim Currys character visits Whoopi to get information out of her. Spoiler alert: she doesn’t survive the questioning. But the sequence between the two is comedic gold. It makes me miss pre-View Whoopi Goldberg. I mean come on…she went scene for scene with Swayze in “Ghost”!!! The lady can do it all. I look forward to her brief appearance every time I watch this.
I’d also like to list Phil Hartman, Dennis Leary, Cory Feldman, Kathy Ireland, Denise Richards, F Murray Abraham, Scotty from Star Trek, the two dudes from CHIPS, the principal from Breakfast Club, the TMNT, and Charlie fucking Sheen. Too much gold.
So now you’re wondering, why the hell haven’t I heard of it? It can’t be that great. It’s clearly not successful. So what happened? The sad answer….I don’t know. For one, I was only five when this baby came out. Unfortunately I didn’t have the income to support it. Originally it was set to have a sequel. They even signed a deal for one before the first was released ( the tagline was “Oh come ON, you knew it was coming!”) but the poor performance squashed that. My theory? Look at what else came out in the spoof market in 1993. This and…THIS.
Look. I understand I maaaay be exaggerating with how good it is. If it was as good as I made it out to be you’d have heard of it by now. All I’m saying is that you’d be hard pressed to find a better movie to watch while recovering from the night before. And that’s not the hangover talking.