L.08.5: Critical Review Assignment

Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide

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  • Article: “The Road to the Netherworld”

    Considered by a largely cult following to be one of the most undersung films of all time, Mike Funt’s The Road to the Netherworld definitely deserves honorable mention in pass4sure EC0-232 the category of dark comedy. The film is a comic retelling of The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, under the guise of a Hope and Crosby “Road” picture of the 1940’s.

    The film begins with Benny Stern and Flash Hollins having just shed their mortality, pass4sure 000-998 when the ship on which they are song and dance entertainers crashes into a rocky shoal during a storm. The two are find themselves wisecracking their way through the afterlife as they face trial upon tribulation on their journey to the hereafter. One comic highlight involves the pair huckstering their way past the god Re during a tap-dancing number with lyrics like “Off we’re gonna shuffle, shuffle off our mortal coil.” This is a parallel to the song given to sing to appease Re in the ancient text.

    The fast-paced, one-liner dialogue is a forte of Funt’s, and if there is nothing else to be said for this film, it is funny. However, if your looking for strong characters or a plot not chock full of holes and inconsistencies, this might not be the film for you. Although, if you are a fan of the Hope and Crosby films, you pass4sure MB2-867 know those things aren’t the strong suit pass4sure 1Z1-520 of this genre.

    Overall, very fun, and slightly educational.

    B+

    6 Thoughts on “L.08.5: Critical Review Assignment

    1. It’s just a crime that this film is so overlooked today. A forgotten gem.

    2. I always watch this movie with a strange guilty pleasure. Uma Thurman is intoxicating as the goddess Isis (a nice tribute to Dorothy Lamour), but surprise, surprise, she’s equaling convincing as her brother Osiris (Lamour could actually have pulled that one off, too, I think). Needless to say, thanks to some subtle CGI and Funt’s go for broke writing, I have never laughed so hard as during the incest scenes. It’s only topped by the “Re-Wrapping” number.

    3. from http://www.be-not-of-this-world.com/culture/film/road_to_hell.htm

      How would you like to go to Hell? Apparently Hollywood thinks you would find it a laugh riot, and so we find Road to the Netherworld polluting our theatres this weekend.

      Screenwriter Mike Funt, widely known to be an atheist even in godless Tinseltown, has given us the most anti-Christian movie to come out of the Wrong Coast since The Golden Compass. Using the pagan Egyptian Book of the Dead as its source material, this ill-conceived and unfunny road trip is no more than an excuse to mock the idea of eternal life in Christ, who thankfully is not asked to put in a “guest appearance.”

      Matthew McConaughey and Seth Rogen reprise their roles from previous Road movies as the mismatched (but ethically perfectly paired) Flash Hollins and Benny Stern; Uma Thurman is cast as both halves of the incestuous Eygptian deities Isis and Osiris. All three are smug in their portrayals of decadent sophisticates. (Thurman was raised as a Buddhist and has been quoted as saying she yearned for the “trappings” of church-going in her childhood, which shows that the Lord tries to reach even the most abandoned hearts.)

      The script is nothing but a string of smutty one-liners, underscored by as much flesh as is possible within the lax rating system, and that’s a lot. When McConaughey and Rogen make their entrance into the City of the Dead, they have to strip to go through what is supposed to be a parody of airport security procedures. Not only are we treated to McConaughey’s famous chest, but a great deal more besides of both men. They are forced into a crowded line of naked men, where the smutty innuendo reaches a crescendo with the apparent buggering of Rogen, whose justified panic and anger inexplicably switches to an expression of satisfied bliss. Parents beware!

      Equally repellent is the scene in which, through the blessings of CGI, we are treated to the spectacle of Uma Thurman having sex with herself.

      There is nothing funny about Hell, and there is nothing funny about this movie. Christians should avoid this movie and pray for the intervention of the Lord’s light in the lives of its stars, director, and screenwriter.

      Content:
      (HH, B, Ab, Pa, PC, LL, V, SS, N, AA, DD, M) Strong atheist worldview with immoral pagan content; 123 obscenities and one profanity; trivialized violence when a character is unscathed by what in life would be a fatal accident; sex by numerous characters, in one case incestuous, plus characters shown in bed together; suggested homosexual activity, plus eventual acceptance of same; upper and rear male nudity; suggestions of full-frontal male and female nudity; heavy drinking and drunkenness; smoking marijuana, plus ingestion of some otherworldly substance supposed to exceed all earthly drugs

    4. I guess you CAN’T please all of the people all of the time.

    5. (This is the second movie we’ve written for Funt. I think The Lichtenbergian Society needs end credit, if not a cut.)

    6. from the Internet Movie Database

      TRIVIA for Road to the Underworld

      Uma Thurman’s Isis costumes were modeled after Dorothy Lamour’s sarongs in Road to Singapore, itself a model for Mike Funt’s Road pictures.

      The scene in which Flash is confiding his regrets over his life to Benny was almost completely improvised by Matthew McConaughey. He has said in interviews that several of the items are real regrets of his.

      The Re-Wrapping scene took three days to shoot because the linens kept falling off the Mummy. Finally the crew smeared Brad Garrett’s body with corn syrup to make them stick.

      The dismemberment of Osiris sequence was deemed too scary in previews, so it was re-edited to lighten the tone.

      The sex scene between Isis and Osiris took longer to shoot than planned because Uma Thurman kept getting the giggles over making love to herself.

      Matthew McConaughey was willing to do the gilded resurrection scene completely nude, but the producers decided against it. He was quoted as saying, “If Mortensen can do it, I can sure as hell do it.”

      CAMEO [Mike Funt]: Can be seen three or four guys behind Flash and Benny in the airport security scene.

      The first set sketches by Grant Major had to be discarded, because he mistakenly thought the script was based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead instead of the Egyptian.

      The boomshot rising up over our first view of the City of the Dead mimics a similar shot in Raiders of the Lost Ark over the excavation site.

      Over 500 male extras were in the “airport security” scene. Most were volunteers who answered an ad in the LA Times.

      Matthew McConaughey, who is notoriously exhibitionist, had to tease Seth Rogen into taking his clothes off the first time they shot one of the nude scenes. Rogen retaliated by sneaking real marijuana into the prop joints in the pot-smoking scene.

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