The movies of National Lampoon haven’t always had the best track record. On on the good side, we have Christmas Vacation, Van Wilder or European Vacation (Chevy Chase is gold after all). On the bad side we have movies like Senior Trip, Dorm Daze, or Dorm Daze 2 (Wretchedness has sequels?) But every once in a while, you can take a bad movie and suddenly realize that you are holding something that is worse than any National Lampoon movie to date (I don’t care what anybody says but Loaded Weapon wasn’t half bad). A movie so bad, that even Jonathan Winters or Diedrich Bader could not save it.
Richie (played by Thomas Ian Nicholas) doesn’t have the greatest luck in love. His best friend, Sherman (played by Andrew Katos) wants to bed as many chicks as possible regardless of the fallout that might occur. They hatch an idea that involves taking discarded casting call pictures and actually having their own casting call to find their perfect soulmate (or in Sherman’s case, just a hot chick or several). However, they have to impersonate having a real film in place before they get any real girls to fall to their claim. They also need an office and resources. They decide to include their friend Glenn (played by Diedrich Bader) who has the office space and resources to make it happen.
While “on-set”, the three guys each find the girl of their dreams (or one-night stands). Glenn wants Laurel (played by Nicole Eggert), Sherman tags Nikita (played by Chelsea Handler), and Richie finds Marina (played by Jenny Mollen). The problem is since they are making an unreal movie, how do they tell these girls that they are part of a fake production and not hurt their feelings? So they take it deeper by producing a script (subtitles of a Spanish film) and find themselves with each step, in a big mess. The problem is Richie really has fell for Marina and she has reciprocated those feelings. The race is on to keep the three guys out of legal trouble and keeps the hearts of two lovers from being destroyed.
Sounds nice huh? I mean outside of the fact that this is a 100% ridiculous plot line, it could have some nice comedy and perhaps a love story to steady the cockles of your heart. No. Not even close. What you get instead is a movie that somebody should have been shot for. I’m throughly convinced the National Lampoon license costs roughly $1.95 to buy (to cover the handy airline vomit bag) and no quality control at any point. The acting is atrocious with the exception of Glenn (because of Diedrich Bader) who isn’t given enough range to save the movie. Jonathan Winters looks completely lost in his cameo role as a studio tour guide. I swear if this is his last role, there will be hell to pay. The rest of them, I’m not even sure given a good script could have produced a quality movie. On top of that, most recent National Lampoon movies have a place for sexiness. Not here. Sure there are plenty of pretty girls and in interesting situations. However, the “sexiness” really doesn’t go anywhere and even if it did; we would still fall asleep.
The film is presented in 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen. This movie was out in 2006, but I swear the production value was 1980’s in scope complete with VHS tape reels and hand cam pictures. Oh wait, it is supposed to be that way. Anyhow, this might be a recent movie but the video quality doesn’t do the movie any favors. It seems like very little time was spent in the production room and editing was performed at an absolute minimum.
The audio fares little better with mixes in both Dolby Digital 5.1 & 2.0 in English. Dialog is very nice and clear & surrounds are used on occasion. However, with the movie staying 99% of the time in the center channel, it is hard to expand and pull anything from that. At least Jonathan Winter’s voice is crystal and a pleasure to listen to. Subtitles are provided in English and Spanish
- Automatic Trailers: Witless Protection, Danny Roane: First Time Director, Surf School, National Lampoon’s Dorm Daze 2, National Lampoon’s Van Wilder (Gone Wilder Version) & Good Luck Chuck.
Somebody needs to call in Chevy Chase to resurrect the fallen National Lampoon name. Perhaps he can take the Griswold’s to Hoboken, NJ or something. Cattle Call features one good actor (and one good cameo by another) and a list of others trying their best to make sense of something that has none at all. The script has no direction and more important little to no laughs. If you even try to get past the lack of script, the lack of direction, the lack of a plot, there isn’t much here to keep your interest. The dvd looks thrown together with inadequate video, mediocre audio and no extras to be found. Even the cover looks like it was photoshopped in about the time it takes me to make a breakfast sandwich. (I like big butts and I can not lie) So with that, I bid this film a sweet adieu and a warning to the rest of you. Stay away from this film, protect the children and save the seals. Not recommended.
- DvdVerdict.com “Unfunny, unsexy and unbelievable, Cattle Call is all fat and gristle.”
- Ign.com – “Cattle Call is the worst of the worst, bottom-of-the-barrel, slap-in-the-face movie that the shamed company has released.”