The 80’s were full of fun, campy comedies. Weird Science, The Money Pit… even Funny Farm had a certain charm. Unfortunately, for every Stripes there were as least six films like our feature presentation.
Walk Like a Man stars Howie Mandell, the 80’s version of Carrot Top. He’s an annoying hack, yet somehow he remained in the public spotlight. The film’s plot is a simple one; Bobo (Mandell) is a boy that was raised by wolves, and now he must learn to fit into society, or el…e his evil brother (Christopher Lloyd) will steal his inheritance. That’s pretty much it. This is a film that depends on a single joke for all of its laughs. You see, Mandell is a mad, but he acts like a dog. Apparently, that’s a concept that someone thought was so funny, that movie patrons would pay to watch it for an hour-and-a-half. I wasn’t laughing during the first part of the film, and I certainly wasn’t laughing by the end.
What’s more, the film is filled with all sorts of eighties cliché’s, from the Commodore 64 to Teddy Ruxpen. Once the film finally meandered its way into that other staple of comedies of this era, the shopping mall, I had lost the last of my interest. I finished watching the film (which includes a “touching” moment with stray neighborhood dogs, and the obligatory dramatic courtroom ending), but only because I had to review it.
Of all the great and funny movies out there from the eighties, there is no excuse why anyone would want to spend their time watching this one.
This may be a mono soundtrack, but it sounds much better than one might expect. Throughout much of the film, the audio is predictably tight and compressed. When the score kicks in, however, the compression opens up, with surprisingly powerful results. During these brief segments, the low end really shines, and it packs more punch than even some 5.1 tracks. It is a shame that the whole film wasn’t mastered in the same fashion. Sure, it wouldn’t have made the film any better, but at least it would have given the viewer a reason to keep watching.
Aside from the fact that this disc packs the ever-popular full screen version of the film, the picture is actually quite nice. Flesh tones are surprisingly accurate, while other colors seem to be a tad washed out. Black levels are surprisingly deep, and blemishes are virtually non-existent. This transfer is better than that of many films of this era.
Unfortunately, the original cameraman was not as skilled as the DVD producers are. This film is filled with clumsy camera work, including more than one hokey zoom. The whole film reeks of an 80’s comedy, without any of the payoff.
As is the case with many films that have slipped into relative obscurity, the only thing billed as an extra on this release is a theatrical trailer. Sometimes, that’s a good thing, and sometimes it’s bad. For this disc, I’m considering it a good thing. The less there is here, the better. Maybe it will encourage some thick-headed consumers to stay away.
Since I have began reviewing movies, I have discovered a ton of great films that for some reason have been forgotten by the general public. This is one of those discs that reminds me that some films are forgotten for a reason.
Special Features List
- Theatrical Trailer