THE BIG BUS (1976)
Article 3454 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-20-2010
Posting Date: 1-28-2011
Directed by James Frawley
Featuring Joseph Bologna, Stockard Channing, John Beck
What it is: Disaster movie spoof
A new nuclear-powered bus name Cyclops makes its maiden trip, but an unscrupulous oil lobby has plans to destroy it.
Had this movie been made five years later, I’d have accused it of trying to emulate the style and success of the Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker comedy classic, AIRPLANE!; it does come very close to capturing the style of that movie. However, since this predates that movie by several years, the influence (if any) must have gone in the opposite direction. However, the reasons this one never really became a comedy classic are rather clear; it doesn’t quite kick the comedic style into the stratosphere like the later movie did, and the movie runs out of gas while there’s still a goodly amount of running time to go. Still, there’s some good moments here; I particularly like the bar brawl and a gag involving a milk carton. I’m also partial to the gags involving the world’s most annoying pianist. It’s worst problem may be that it doesn’t know when to let some of its running gags expire; too many of them get repeated too often.