The Stupids (1996) – Review

2 Stars

The Stupids is an aptly titled oddity that becomes even stranger when you realize that it was helmed by lauded comedic director John Landis. I’ve seen many bad films, but The Stupids is an entirely different entity altogether. This is was obviously greenlit in the hopes of cashing in on the Dumb & Dumber crowd. Even with Jim Carrey in the lead role The Stupids would have bombed. However, it would have been a notorious misfires instead of a stoner’s gem deserving of cult classic status.

Stanley Stupid (Tom Arnold) lives up to his name: He thinks the post office is sending him mail from a villain named “Sender” and is convinced his trash is stolen every night. He decides to pose as a tree to find out what’s happening to his garbage and ends up at a meeting of global arms smugglers. Joan (Jessica Lundy), Stanley’s wife, and their children, Buster (Bug Hall) and Petunia (Alex McKenna), go off in search of Stanley, who continually outwits a trained assassin.

There aren’t many laughs throughout the film, but the manic energy and unpredictable story never left me feeling bored. Instead, I grew fonder of the picture as it went on due to the mounting outlandish plot developments. The Stupids isn’t the kind of movie that can be recommended or defended. It simply is exactly what it sets out to be. On those terms, Landis and his cast, writers, costumes, and production designers have all hit the satirical bullseye. They’ve delivered a film that is more compelling two decades later because of its irreverent tone and scattershot ideas than audiences were ready for during the Carrey dominated comedies of the mid-nineties.

Director: John Landis
Stars: Tom Arnold, Jessica Lundy, Bug Hall

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