As a longtime admirer of John Landis‘s Schlock (or at least of certain inspired portions), it’s comforting to announce that Arrow is releasing a 4K restoration Bluray of this low-budget 1973 monster comedy, on 10.16.18.
I’ve never understood why Landis, who directed, wrote and played the lead role, continues to refer to Schlock as “bad and appropriately named.” It was cheaply made — shot in only 12 days for $60K — but three or four scenes in this dopey little film are a lot funnier than The Blues Brothers and only slightly less funny than National Lampoon’s Animal House. If you’re stoned.
Schlock is more than a genre spoof — it’s a combination of stoner humor and social satire in the vein of the old, occasionally surrealist Ernie Kovacs show of the late ’50s and early ’60s. The below video clip (go to 3:11) contains a scene in which Schlock tears apart an orange beater in a parking lot, and it’s pure Laurel & Hardy.
The form-fitting ape suit, obviously inspired by the “Dawn of Man” apes in 2001: A Space Odyssey, was designed by Rick Baker. Baker had almost no money to work with, and yet he did a pretty good job. And Landis’s performance is a lot of fun.
I don’t know why it took so long for a Bluray to appear, but I wonder if the March 2017 death of original rights holder Jack Harris had something to do with it.