Welcome back to another installment of It Came from the Bargain Bin. One of the more entertaining aspects of doing this particular review segment is the opportunity to review movies that I had watched as a much younger movie fan. We are all aware of the fact that there are certain movies that we really enjoyed at a younger age but unfortunately, it was a different time and tastes change and some movies just do not stand the test of time. That saying, even the movies that are not quite what they seemed to be way back when are still amusing, yet for very different reasons. This week’s selection falls into that category, much like many picks from The Bin. When I viewed this certain movie as a youth I found it humorous and, to be honest, my attraction to the movie was probably, no definitely, due to the risqué subject matter. You gentleman out there have to admit that in the early days of cable movie channels we , as young boys, were intrigued by the prospects of viewing an adult natured film. This week’s Bin flick is one of those movies that was in heavy circulation on the movie channels which gave us the chance to get a peak at something against our parents’ wishes. Finally, this week’s pick from The Bin is the 1983 comedy………….
Starring: Dan Aykroyd, Howard Hesseman, and Donna Dixon
Written By: Bruce Jay Friedman and Carl Gottleib
Director: Michael Pressman
Reviewed by: Joe Sikes
Clifford Skridlow (Dan Aykroyd) teaches a Comparative Literature class at Monroe College in Chicago. Clifford is very content with his cozy life of lecturing college students and carefully scheduled extracurricular activities such as speed-walking and occasionally maybe a movie and a dinner at a nice restaurant. After being spotted by a local Chicago pimp by the name of “Smooth Walker” (Howard Hesseman) and his beautiful “employees” Clifford’s life is in for a major change.
Smooth Walker is in a great deal of trouble with his boss “MOM” (Kate Murtagh) who is looking for the $80, 000 that she has coming from Smooth, but there is just one problem……Mr. Walker doesn’t have the cash. To avoid being done-in by MOM and her thugs Smooth has to come up with a plan. While at a restaurant with his girls Smooth devises a scheme that will deliver him from MOM’s clutches and make Clifford Skridlow a new man…….literally. Smooth creates a fictional pimp who hails from Detroit that has been muscling him out of business and this is the reason for the steep debt he is in to MOM. Of course somebody has to play this pimp known as “Dr. Detroit” and after a night of drugs, booze, women, and limousines, Clifford agrees to become Smooths business partner. Clifford is still unaware of the line of work Smooth and his ladies are involved in but he is intrigued by the lifestyle that he has experienced.
After the night of debauchery Clifford assumes that the insanity is in the past but what Clifford does not know is that the insanity has just begun.
Doctor Detroit is yet another movie that embraces culture clashes in a comedic way. When I originally viewed this movie as a youth I probably found this hysterical but today it comes across as cliché. I have never found Dan Aykroyd to be very funny and that goes for his role in Doctor Detroit as well. The dance sequence at “The Players Ball” was not half as entertaining as the Teen Wolf dance but James Brown performing on stage helps the not so funny scene. Due to being a comedy that really just isn’t very funny and an incredibly predictable plot I give Doctor Detroit 1 and ½ pimps. The half a pimp is for the ending that mildly portrays the Clifford Skridlow/Doctor Detroit character as a street superhero. Apparently there was supposed to be a sequel entitled Doctor Detroit 2 : The Wrath of Mom which is a somewhat humorous spin off of the Star Trek Wrath of Kahn movie title but do not hold your breath for the long unanticipated sequel. See you next week with another from The Bin.