1973 / Director. John Landis.
Before THE THREE AMIGOS, TRADING PLACES and AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, John Landis made SCHLOCK. It was his debut film and put him on course to Hollywood's cult royalty. The film is a low budget comedy, which parodies earlier creature features. A homicidal ape-like creature terrorises a Californian town, killing everything in it's path... and leaving a trail of bananas. Soon enough it falls in love with a blind woman and shows it's romantic side. The film references a whole heap of movies with 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY and KING KONG being the obvious ones. Landis himself adorned the ape costume and gave himself his one and only starring role. SCHLOCK is not a great film by any means but its a great snap-shot of a master finding his mojo. Landis experimented with his humour and wasn't self-conscious about missing the mark. Many of the gags fall flat but a whole lot of them also hit the spot. With a flimsy budget Landis made the most of every location and whatever recourses he could get his hands on... the ape costume was created by the legendary Rick Baker and for it's time, was quite affective. If you're a John Landis fan (and who isn't) then SCHLOCK is a film you should see. It's comical instincts were further explored in his next film THE KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE and its short running time make it a very easy watch. It's a good fun movie that marks the start of an impressive and legendary career.