Remember those rainy Saturday afternoons when your best company was a creepy double feature on UHF television? Your local channel probably had a goofy old horror host who would pop out of a coffin, make a few painful little puns, and then introduce the movie. The host would pop in after commercials and drop a few more groaners before getting back into the flick. Remember those guys?
I do, and I hated them. Who wanted to watch some stupid mad scientist schtick when I was desperately waiting to see the second half of The Blob? Goofball filler material is what it was, and I'm not really too broken up that this concept has gone the way of the dodo. (Is Elvira still working this routine?)
Anyway, you can bet your last dollar that Hollywood make-up designer Todd Tucker remembers those afternoon ghouls, because here he comes with a 29-minute skit collection called Moldy's Madhouse. I'll try not to be too unkind, but I'll just let the material speak for itself:
Skit #1 -- A semi-amusing zombie story told with marionettes.
Skit #2 -- An interview with former kid actor Zack Ward (he was the bully in A Christmas Story) in which Moldy says rude things and then falls asleep.
Skit #3 -- A psychic hotline parody in which fart noises play a prevalent part.
Skit #4 -- Moldy visits a costume party and interviews Batman, Hamburgler, and Smurfette.
Skit #5 -- Moldy romances a zombie.
Skit #6 -- Cops, only with zombies instead of mulleted shirtless drunk guys.
Skit #7 -- A bodybuilding werewolf gets a lubed hamster wedged up his ass because he injected a syringe full of penis-lengthening green goo directly into his genitals.
Skit #8 -- Moldy interviews a model / heiress / vampiress.
Having sat through all 30 minutes of the Moldy's Madhouse experience -- AND having seen and appreciated the prosthetic makeup effects found in A Beautiful Mind and Hannibal, I can safely offer the opinion that Todd Tucker should stick to his day job. This "Moldy Pickles" character is probably a big hit at cocktail parties, but his level of humor is firmly on crotch level -- plus he seems to think there's nothing funnier in the world than his own tighty-whitey clad groin. I'd have to disagree there.
Moldy's Madhouse delivered one or two mild chuckles, several involuntary eyeball-rolls, and more than one audible groan on my part. It's like a mediocre episode of Saturday Night Live, spiced with a horror theme and boasting only one cast member.
Now that's scary.
Video: For something shot on the very cheap, the widescreen transfer isn't half bad.
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0, with rather unimpressive sound quality in the "in-studio" skits. The sound gets better on the pre-made material (the puppet show, the Cops parody).
Extras: There's a 4-minute behind-the-scenes featurette in which Tucker makes chuckles with a hand puppet before introducing a few outtakes and FX tests. Also included is a photo gallery, for some unknown reason.
Very broad, very schticky, and rarely very funny, Moldy's Madhouse looks like something a bunch of goofy FX technicians threw together to amuse themselves -- that somehow became available for public consumption. If the skit descriptions sound right up your alley, I'd say Rent It, only you won't have much luck finding a rental copy.
The truly curious can snag a copy at
the Moldy's Madhouse website.