Clue: The Movie – Who is the murderer?
Before anybody ever thought Battleship could be a movie, there was Clue: The Movie in 1985. This is an over-the-top comedy I’ve seen a couple of times now and I was cringing each time, at the dry humor and at the bad acting. Middle-aged overweight comedians hop around for a while trying their damnedest to make us laugh and it’s pretty entertaining in spots. Unfortunately, the movie drags, and I was wishing Christopher Lloyd would hop in a DeLorean by the end.
Much like House on Haunted Hill, some guests arrive at a mansion and they’re all being blackmailed. Vincent Price doesn’t make an appearance unfortunately, but this movie doesn’t need any more familiar faces anyway. Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean, Martin Mull, and Lesley Ann Warren are all thrown in there together and it’s sorta interesting seeing all these famous faces in one place. For a while.
The first gag in this movie is when Tim Curry steps in dog crap. That’s the tone of this movie. It’s light-hearted and kinda silly. The performances are over-the-top and everyone, and I mean everyone, is kinda snobby, in an ’80s–Ronald–Reagan–rules–I–got–money–and–you–don’t’ kind of way. It’s amusing the first couple of times, but after a while, it gets old.
As the guests arrive, the dog crap gag carries on making everyone think they smell something, until the first good scene finally trudges in. The evening dinner is a funny scene. Sorta. Christopher Lloyd and Madeline Kahn slurp some soup like a choir and the maid serves dinner with a very bad French accent. Those are two jokes right there. At least the dog crap gag is replaced by the maid’s cleavage gag.
I will say that this movie isn’t your ha-ha, laugh out loud comedy, as it relies more on sarcasm, double-entendre and word play. That’s not to say sarcasm and word play can’t be funny. It just seems like every joke is a play on words and some of them are corny as all get out. I could swear Christopher Lloyd and Martin Mull were cringing at some of the dialogue.
Stupid Butler: Your first husband also disappeared.
Bitter Woman: That was his job. He was an illusionist.
Stupid Butler: But he never re-appeared!
Bitter Woman: He wasn’t a very good illusionist.
This movie has so much in common with House on Haunted Hill, it could be a remake. The only real difference is that there is a murder mystery, and nobody has to really stay in the house, although it is locked up by Tim Curry The Butler. Ironically enough, the house is named “Hill House”. I think one of the paintings looked like Vincent Price. He’s not dead in 1985, you guys.
Multiple endings paint everyone in the house as the murderer of Mr. Body. Miss Scarlet is the murderer first, then it’s Mrs. Peacock with the revolver. The last ending has everyone kill everybody else, and Tim Curry wraps them up with a nice little bow, because he’s really a FBI agent. A double-talking FBI agent who tells word jokes.
Mr. Dumb: What if the authorities find out what happened?
Mr. FBI: The FBI will take care of that.
Mr. Dumb: You mean—
Mr. FBI: My friend Mr. Hoover? I work for him, of course. How else could I have known everything about you all.
Confused Guy: Is the FBI in the habit of cleaning up multiple murder?
Mr. FBI: Yes, why do you think it’s run by a man called Hoover?
All in all, this is not a good movie. Fortunately, some of the jokes are funny, I just wish all of them weren’t plays on words or stupid riddles disguised as double-entendre. Christopher Lloyd tries his best, but the dialogue doesn’t help him out. Tim Curry is sweating by the end of this movie, because there’s so much explaining, so much dialogue, and so much word play, that it almost feels like I’ve listened to a novel being read to me. Still, this movie is something of an indulgence, because no matter how much I make fun of it, I still snicker when Martin Mull checks out the maid’s bouncy cleavage.