THE STUPIDS

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Language        
Violence        
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Release Date: August 30, 1996

Starring: Tom Arnold, Jessica Lundy, Bug Hall, Alex McKenna, Mark Metcalf , & Christopher Lee

Genre: Comedy

Audience:

Rating: PG

Runtime: 95 minutes

Distributor: New Line Cinema

Director: John Landis

Executive Producer:

Producer: Leslie Belzberg

Writer: Brent Forrester

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Content:

(Ab, L, VV, Ab, M) Anti-moral satire which mocks family values; 2 profanities & 5 vulgarities; moderate violence including 5 fiery explosions, man gets shocked by electric wires, space aliens attempt to kill family, & 3 murders; and, immoral US military leaders selling weaponry & attempt to murder family, family mistakes janitor for God, imaginary villain portrayed as Satan & paranoid and delusional conspiracy theories

Summary:

THE STUPIDS are a paranoid suburban family who find themselves in the midst of a secret government arms deal. They are pursued by hit men and space aliens. This is a bizarre satire that targets conspiracy theorists, suburban families and moral values. Although a thread of sweetness runs through it, its mean-spiritedness makes it a flop.

Review:

THE STUPIDS, Stanley and Joan, live in a suburban nightmare. One morning they discover their garbage is stolen once a week by mysterious thieves. Always looking for justice, Stanley decides to investigate the matter with a late-night stake-out. As city sanitation men roll up and "steal" his garbage, Stanley jumps into a pair of roller blades and tails the truck. They end up at a garbage dump, a place that Stanley sees as a massive secret hide out for garbage criminals. Back at home, young Buster Stupid discovers that Mom and Dad are not to be found. Sister Petunia claims that their parents must have been kidnapped. They rush to the police to report the incident, but can find no assistance. The tykes take matters into their own hands and are led through a maze of outrageous paths to recover their mom and dad.

The performance by Tom Arnold is so over-the-top that all humor is squeezed out of the character. In scenes where Stanley is laid back and comfortable, even likable, laughs abound, but throughout most of the movie Arnold is a two-dimensional, sick cartoon character going from peril to peril as he attempts to administrate justice. At first glance, the filmmakers are taking obvious jabs at conspiracy theorists, but underneath they are targeting conservative "family values." The family dresses with a style straight from the fifties, they live in a peaceful suburban community, and no curse or immoral act comes from their mouth, but they still are delusional. Even common moral religious belief is lampooned. This makes THE STUPIDS, stupid viewing.

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