4.8/10
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26 user 22 critic

Wacko (1982)

PG | | Comedy, Horror | 7 January 1983 (USA)
Cops try to track down the infamous "Lawnmower Killer".

Director:

Greydon Clark
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Don Baker ... Dick Harbinger
Stella Stevens ... Mrs. Doctor Graves
George Kennedy ... Mr. Doctor Graves
Julia Duffy ... Mary Graves
Scott McGinnis ... Norman Bates
Elizabeth Daily ... Bambi
Michele Tobin Michele Tobin ... Rosie
Andrew Dice Clay ... Tony Schlongini (as Andrew Clay)
Anthony James ... Zeke
Sonny Carl Davis ... Weirdo (as Sonny Davis)
David Drucker David Drucker ... The Looney
Jeff Altman ... Harry Palms
Victor Brandt Victor Brandt ... Dr. Moreau
Wil Albert Wil Albert ... Dr. Denton
Charles Napier ... Chief O'Hara
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Storyline

Cops try to track down the infamous "Lawnmower Killer".

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The wacky comedy See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Horror

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 January 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Last Horror Show See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$600,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

O.S.M. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The high school used in this film only allowed shooting to be done after all classes were completed. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lawnmower killer: Death to all teenagers who fuck.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Dick Harbinger appears one more time after the closing credits are over. See more »

Connections

References Don't Answer the Phone! (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Blackmail
Music & Lyrics by Rick Neigher and Chris Cote (as Chris Coté)
Performed by Avalon
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Hitchcock vs. De Palma -- The questions are answered...
16 November 2008 | by film-criticSee all my reviews

"Wacko" is one of those films that audiences will either love or hate. It is dated, it is un-PC, it is crass and cruel all at the same time, but in the same sense it is a precursor to the now-popular "Scary Movie" franchise. For a PG rated film it pushes the envelope, it creates a world where one would have to have seen the film that they are spoofing, or be left in the dark. Unlike the "Scary Movie" films, "Wacko" leans away from the bathroom humor (albeit there is plenty there), but actually parodies cult films from Hitchcock, John Carpenter, De Palma, and so forth. Joe Don Baker is phenomenal. I am surprised that he didn't redefine this genre. His mannerisms, his insanity, and his surprisingly fresh take on his determined detective out to discover the truth is laugh-out-loud funny. Couple this with a fresh-faced Andrew Dice Clay jumping excitedly into the shoes of the local hipster/jock, be prepared for a wild ride. "Wacko" is fast past, absurd, and confusing all at the same time (i.e. see the talking elephant), but it isn't perfect. While two viewings continued to bring a chuckle to the room, any further viewing may be disastrous. There are some great repeatable lines, some great references, but these are coupled with some slow scenes and staged dialogue. There are moments where "Wacko" has no direction, and director Greydon Clark obviously has no idea where he is headed either. While this adds to the enjoyment of "Wacko", there was a moment where a secure storyline would have been a powerful alley to this laserdisc. Anything to keep us grounded while Clark took us around the corner, under the bridge, and into that darkened alleyway known as horror parodies.

Overall, "Wacko" needs a DVD release. This is a film that could be watched on college campus', midnight Halloween night at your local independent theater, or with a group of friends with drinks. It is one of those 80s campy horror comedies that were afraid to take chances, and I respect "Wacko" for that. Obviously, it will not win awards, but I see that it make it into the "cult cannon" any day of the week. I would not suggest repeat viewings, but at least two for the detailed humor of Joe Don Baker and Andrew Dice Clay (in this film, merely known as Andrew Clay). The humor is sharp, the dialogue less friendly, and the in today's modern world, it would not be PG rated, but thanks to the 80s – it is mediocrity to its perfection.

Grade: *** out of *****


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