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  1. #1
    Fighting Injustice on CBR SUPERECWFAN1's Avatar
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    Default The Weird , Strange , Confusing direction of Meatballs.

    On Facebook in a throwback lounge group they showed that 39 years ago "Meatballs" the film opened. If no one remembers the 1st Meatballs was a huge colossal comedy hit and established Bill Murray as a film actor. He had just departed Saturday Night Live and the film was his 1st starring role. The movie also launched the career of Ivan Reitman as a director who would go on to direct Stripes (1981) , Ghostbusters (1984) , Twins (1988) and a few others.





    Anyhow the film would go on to earn $43+ million on a $1.2-1.6 million budget. It also made the studio Paramount eager to do a sequel to this big comedy hit that they had found. But the main people behind the 1st one didn't want no part in a sequel and for a few years the studio kicked around ideas to do a sequel to Meatballs. With no Bill Murray and no Ivan Reitman ....what could they use as a lure to get people to theaters ?


    Would you believe.... Aliens ?




    Meatballs Part II

    This film had no real connection at all to the 1st film and just took place at a summer camp essentially. Also it cast actors like Paul Reubans , Richard Mulligan , John ohn Larroquette and Jason Hervey in roles. It focused on the battle of 2 camps Sasquatch and Patton. And the prospective owners who do battle for control over a lake there . Plus the arrival of new teenage campers there. Plus in a weird as hell plot , it has ....an alien arrive.

    Yes an alien like ET is sent to a summer camp on Earth by its parents and the boys in camp keep it hid all summer as part of the plot. It made no sense and its release in 1984 seems more like Tri-Star Pictures (which had seemingly taken over the franchise from Paramount) wanted to cash in on the whole ET craze then. So they released this film.

    As a young kid I actually remember watching this 1st and enjoying the whole Mulligan/Camp interaction. Hamilton Camp was really good in this and his scenes as an over the top Colonel were funny. But even as a kid I questioned what the hell an alien was doing in this summer coming of age comedy film. Then I saw the 1st one and it really was a head scratcher.

    Meatballs II did $5.4 million once released which was a drastic nose dive from 5 years earlier and the $43+ million the 1st film did back in 1979. But then the next one decided to go in a whole other direction.





    Meatballs III : Summer Job was released 2 years later by The Movie Store which seemed like Tri-Star handed it off to another company to make a film. This one decided to skip the whole aliens concept at summer camp. It also skipped the whole summer camp idea as well. So this one would take place at a Marina during the summer and they even decided to tie it into the 1st film by focusing on the character of Rudy Gerner. Who now was 18 year old.

    Also unlike the last film that was PG , this film was now Rated R and they decided that instead of aliens being used as a plot ...this film would focus on a dead porn star who to get into Heaven has to get Rudy laid. I mean literally that was the plot of this one. Also the main cast was paired down as I suppose the budget was limited as well. But this one had a cast of Patrick Dempsey , Shannon Tweed and Sally Kellerman . Caroline Rhea had her 1st big break as an extra in this film.

    In watching this one years ago the film seemed like an attempt by the studio to cash in on the teen sex comedies of the 1980's like Porky's and the whole aspect of characters taking advice from dead characters. A number of films had this premise then as well. So it seemed like a bizarre move there plus no summer camp featured made you wonder why it was called Meatballs ?

    This film only did $2.1 million overall and here was where Meatballs as a franchise was supposed to end. But...in 1992 it was dusted off again.






    Originally this film was not supposed to be called Meatballs. No the film was supposed to be called Happy Campers and during production they tailored it to be part of the Meatballs type of film. Returning to reality after the last 2 films , this one didn't feature aliens or dead porn stars. No , this one returned to reality and featured a group of high school kids at a water ski camp who , I think wanted to become pro water ski players maybe.

    The 4th Meatballs film starred Corey Fieldman as the studio seemed intent on cashing on what was left of Fieldman's teen star power in 1991/1992. It also starred the actress Sarah Douglas who played Ursla in Superman II. The late Jack Nance played a role in this one. The movie never got a theater release.

    Meatballs IV stayed with the R rating and well as a kid I remember seeing it on HBO or Showtime. The film is barely remembered beyond being a Corey film basically.



    OVERALL : The entire weirdness of how the Meatball film series went is one that you gotta look back on. A coming of age comedy that exploded in popularity in 1979 and then over the course of 3 films in 13 years that went on to focus on aliens , dead porn stars and now a Corey ...it was one of those weird turns. Finally the 4th Meatballs put the franchise outta its misery and they haven't made another one in nearly 30 years.

    It also seems like Paramount is intent on rebooting Meatballs as a franchise again and have been in talks to try and restart things again with it. Whether they can we will see. But one has to wonder if they will let the series if it does return go as weird , insane as things got back in 1980's.
    "The story so far: As usual, Ginger and I are engaged in our quest to find out what the hell is going on and save humanity from my nemesis, some bastard who is presumably responsible." - Sir Digby Chicken Caesar.

  2. #2
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    I don't believe I've seen the movie, but if you liked it you might want to listen to this episode of I Was There, Too

    http://www.earwolf.com/episode/meatb...h-russ-banham/

  3. #3
    the devil's reject choptop's Avatar
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    There's more than one meatballs movie......why?

  4. #4
    Fighting Injustice on CBR SUPERECWFAN1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by choptop View Post
    There's more than one meatballs movie......why?
    Because the studio at the time felt they could make money off the "name" and all. No idea that it was one of those , once in a lifetime flicks that hit big.
    "The story so far: As usual, Ginger and I are engaged in our quest to find out what the hell is going on and save humanity from my nemesis, some bastard who is presumably responsible." - Sir Digby Chicken Caesar.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by choptop View Post
    There's more than one meatballs movie......why?
    I imagine it's much the same reason there was like a billion "National Lampoons" college sex comedies on the shelves a few years back.
    Name recognition and low standards for movies with titty?

  6. #6
    Mighty Member Gaastra's Avatar
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    Meatballs 2 aired on hbo all the time in the 80s plus they had a edited version for tv. They had a pg-13 edited version for meatballs 3 also for tv.

    Yeah meatballs and the 80s trolls series are really strange with it's follow ups. House also with it's four films.(first is a scary movie with a little comedy but was r rated. Second is a kids movie comedy, 3rd is a full scary movie, Last one brings back the guy from the first one but is more scary also!)


    Then there's police academy. First movie is a R rated comedy with nudity to a kids series by movie 7!

    Last edited by Gaastra; 07-09-2018 at 07:02 AM.

  7. #7
    Swollen Member GOLGO 13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SUPERECWFAN1 View Post
    this film would focus on a dead porn star who to get into Heaven has to get Rudy laid
    Well, when you say it like that...

  8. #8
    Astonishing Member Zero Hunter's Avatar
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    I remember how just ridiculous Meatballs II was because something that stupid is hard to forget, but I had totally forgotten how stupid Meatballs III was.

  9. #9
    New and Improved hulahulk's Avatar
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    HAHAHA! I forgot John Larroquette was in it. I almost called him Dan Fielding.
    Original join date: sometime in 2002

  10. #10
    Fighting Injustice on CBR SUPERECWFAN1's Avatar
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    Meatballs II did have Hamilton Camp who really did awesome in it.


    "The story so far: As usual, Ginger and I are engaged in our quest to find out what the hell is going on and save humanity from my nemesis, some bastard who is presumably responsible." - Sir Digby Chicken Caesar.

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