Friday, March 15, 2013

Murder Can Hurt You

This was  a fun TV-movie for anyone who grew up watching the niche detectives of the seventies. It was simultaneously a knowing lampoon of all those shows as well as itself a rip-off of the theatrical hit, MURDER BY DEATH which featured parodies of movie detectives.

Directed by a man with sitcom chops, we get here a lot of sitcom actors and a few surprises, all laughing it up almost MAD magazine style in sometimes dead-on versions of the now classic TV heroes.

TAXI's Tony Danza is "Lambretta," a take on Robert Blake's BARETTA.
ROCKY co-star Burt Young is perfect as the rumpled COLUMBO doppelgänger, "Palumbo."
STARSKY & HUTCH become "Studsky & Hatch" as played by M*A*S*H's Jamie Farr and Kopykat John Byner.
Telly's KOJAK is sent up by that other bald TV favorite, THE LOVE BOAT's Gavin MacLeod.
HEE HAW singer Buck Owens is the Western marshal "MacSkye" as opposed to Dennis Weaver's McCLOUD.
BATMAN'S King Tut, Victor Buono, wheels in as Raymond Burr's Chief IRONSIDE with GOOD TIMES star Jimmie "JJ" Walker as his "pusher."
And finally, HAWAIIAN EYE veteran Connie Stevens replaces Angie Dickinson's Sgt. Pepper as "Salty."

Other TV familiar faces appearing include Richard Deacon from THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW, HAPPY DAYS' Roz Kelly, Gunilla Hutton from PETTICOAT JUNCTION and HEE HAW, Marty Allen, Liz Torres and Mason Adams and the whole silly mess is narrated by GET SMART's Don Adams.

MURDER CAN HURT YOU doesn't seem to turn up very often these days but I did catch it again just a couple of years back and found myself laughing at all of its in-jokes and just plain silliness.

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