4 Embarrassing Early Movies Starring Comedy Giants
No one is born into the world of comedy as a fully-formed bona fide star, hence why no Saturday Night Live cast members are literal babies. (Despite sometimes acting like them.) Since the road to movie stardom is often paved with embarrassing VHS tapes, we’d like to take a look back at some of the instances when future comedy legends cut their teeth by appearing in cinematic turd burgers, like how…
Adam Sandler Battled Panamanian Assassins in ‘Going Overboard’
Prior to his beating the crap out of Bob Barker days, a pre-SNL Sandler starred in 1989’s Going Overboard, about an aspiring stand-up comedian who works as a cruise ship server. He gets a shot at his dream because the ship in question has its own mobile Laugh Factory (although he’s heckled off-stage by a grizzled Billy Bob Thornton).
Weirdly, the movie begins with Panamanian dictator General Manuel Noriega (played by Rocky’s Burt Young) watching a copy of the film. Midway through the movie, “Noriega” becomes enraged and sends two of his thugs to magically invade the movie and murder an Australian beauty queen he doesn’t like. At one point, Sandler breaks the fourth wall and informs the audience that they’re watching a “no budget flick” — he wasn’t joking; the movie was reportedly made in less than a week and written in just three days, all to capitalize on the producer’s sudden access to a luxury boat full of beauty pageant contestants.
Before ‘Ace Ventura,’ Jim Carrey Made a Vampire Sex Comedy
Nearly a decade before Ace Ventura: Pet Detective made him a superstar, Carrey played a horny teenager in the vampire sex comedy Once Bitten. The movie begins with Carrey’s character attempting to pressure his girlfriend into having sex — when she says she isn’t ready, he abandons her in a goddamn parking lot.
Carrey is soon targeted by a sexy vampire in search of virgin blood. In the end, he’s only saved once his girlfriend decides to give up and get it on with this lowlife while inside a literal coffin because this screenplay was apparently scribbled in a horny teen boy’s Trapper Keeper. And people think that The Cable Guy was Carrey’s most messed-up movie.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus Played a Wood Nymph in the Original ‘Troll’
The great Louis-Dreyfus made her screen debut in 1986’s Troll, which, confusingly, has nothing to do with the infamous Troll 2. The low-budget fantasy concerns a guy named Harry Potter (no relation) who lives in an apartment building that’s being transformed by the titular creature into some kind of fairy-tale-esque dimension.
Louis-Dreyfus plays a neighbor who makes the mistake of allowing the Troll to invade her home and transform her into some kind of… magical woodland nymph? Presumably, it made more sense back in the 1980s when cocaine was in the drinking water. Interestingly, Louis-Dreyfus’ character’s boyfriend is played by Brad Hall, her real-life husband; the couple married just a year after Troll came out (which we’re guessing wasn’t mentioned in their engagement announcement).
Eugene Levy and Andrea Martin Fought Beautiful Flesheaters in ‘Cannibal Girls’
Long before the days of Schitt’s Creek and/or any portly Mediterranean wedding ceremonies, soon-to-be SCTV cast members Levy and Martin starred in a little movie called Cannibal Girls. Don’t let the title fool you; it’s not amazing.
The schlocky 1973 Canadian horror-comedy, about a trio of bloodthirsty Canuck vixens, was one of the first films made by future Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman. Not shockingly, it was apparently shot without a script in just nine days with the hope that it would one day allow Reitman to make a “real movie.” Although, to be fair, it is worth watching for Levy’s awe-inspiring ’70s stache.
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