TUNNEL VISION (1976)
Article 4088 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Neal Israel and Bradley R. Swirnoff
Featuring Phil Proctor, Howard Hesseman and Beans Morocco
What it is: Television satire
A congressional investigation on the damaging effects of TV programming results in a condensed viewing of one day on the schedule of the new network, Tunnel Vision.
The fantastic content of this movie is that it takes place in the future, after the first uncensored free TV network has been on the air for several months. Now, I can understand what the appeal might have been at the time for movies to lampoon television; after all, they could get away with outrageousness that TV itself couldn’t touch at the time. TV was an easy target. But just because your target is easy doesn’t mean that you should settle for lazy writing and lame jokes, and unless you find the use of sex, crudity, nudity, drug references, and racial slurs automatically funny, you’re going to be waiting a long time for any laughs to come along in this one. This is not to say that those subjects are automatically unfunny; it’s saying that it takes more than the simple use of them to conjure up laughs, and this movie miserably fails in getting laughs. Furthermore, time has not been kind to this one; given the crudeness of some of the TV shows nowadays, much of the edge of this one has been lost with the passage of time. Yes, it does have several actors who went on to be stars, like John Candy, Chevy Chase, Howard Hesseman, Larraine Newman, etc., but then, the cast is so big that I would have been more surprised if none of them had become famous. All in all, I found this one pretty pathetic.