Sunday, April 30, 2017

Night Patrol

An unfunny comedy is the worst type of film, and NIGHT PATROL is the worst of that type of film. Tasteless, idiotic, foul, and witless, this R-rated abomination spins gags about urination, defecation, sperm banks, dope, homosexuality, blackface, rape, and “The Dyke Van Dick Show” that are so bad, even 12-year-olds will be offended. When you see a sign announcing a cockfight, you know you’re about to see two naked guys in an alley pounding their torsos together. Thank your lucky stars it’s only 85 minutes long.

Convicted of writing the screenplay are star Murray Langston, better known as THE GONG SHOW’s Unknown Comic (he wore a paper bag over his head and told deliberately awful jokes); William A. Levey, director of the execrable BLACKENSTEIN; pornographer Bill Osco (the X-rated ALICE IN WONDERLAND); and Jackie Kong, Osco’s wife who also produced NIGHT PATROL with Osco and directed it. To her credit, Kong is one of a handful of Asian-American women to direct mainstream Hollywood features. That she was so bad at directing (THE BEING and BLOOD DINER are other Kong films) perhaps shouldn’t be held against her, but then again, she directed NIGHT PATROL.

The ostensible plot finds bumbling patrolman Melvin White (Langston) struggling to balance working the night shift and breaking into show business with his Unknown Comic standup act. Linda Blair (SAVAGE STREETS) grabs top billing as Melvin’s romantic interest Sue Perman (groan), GONG SHOW panelist Jaye P. Morgan is Melvin’s new agent, Pat Paulsen (THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR) is Melvin’s womanizing new partner, Jack Riley (THE BOB NEWHART SHOW) is Melvin’s shrink, and Billy Barty (UNDER THE RAINBOW) craps his dignity right down the bowl playing Melvin’s flatulent boss.

NIGHT PATROL’s strangest obsession is dubbing characters with incongruent voices, such as Pat Morita’s rape victim with a little girl’s voice. Oddly, Langston is dubbed by a different actor when wearing the Unknown Comic bag. The clumsy post-production shenanigans (some actors’ names are misspelled in the credits) and the (tame) bloopers that play at the end lead one to wonder if NIGHT PATROL was originally an Unknown Comic movie that was retooled as an ensemble piece that would rip off POLICE ACADEMY. It’s weird that anyone believed Langston and Paulsen posing as black pimps would be funnier.

1 comment:

Grant said...

I'm sorry to hear that description of it. Any movie that has Jack Riley playing a psychologist as opposed to a psychologist's patient should have a lot of promise.