Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Here's a really fuh-KNEE moom that had me laughing harder'n the time that busfulla crippled orphans accidentally got run over by a steamroller. And to think that I didn't even know the blasted moom existed until I saw some stills from it in an old issue of HELP! but hey, better now than then because in this decidedly unfunny age I sure could use a whole lot more ZOTZ! and a whole lot less BIG BANG THEORY that's for sure!

The always guffaw-inducing Tom Poston stars as the prim 'n proper sauerkraut juice drinking college professor Jonathan Jones who discovers that his live-in niece (heh-heh!) has received a magic talisman from her overseas boypal that has some mighty pee-culiar powers if ah do say so myself! And boy do those powers smart, like when the possessor of the li'l medal points his finger at someone said object of point doubles up in pain, and when said person utters the word "zotz!" the action slows down to an unbearable crawl. And just say the word "zotz!" while pointing at someone and you could be up for a murder one rap!

Being an early-sixties film 'n all there's a whole lot of foreign intrigue (including a Soviet plane pilot who looks almost exactly like ol' Nikita the K himself!) as well as some top notch comedy performances from the likes of not only Poston and Backus but Fred Clark doing his usual middle aged crank act and Margaret Dumont who looks just as old here as she did when she was acting in those Marx Brothers films thirty years earlier. Heck, there's even a wild party scene where Poston lets a whole buncha lab mice loose that brings back more'n a few fond memories of the Three Stooges in ANTS IN THE PANTRY and hey, is it any coincidence that ZOTZ! was also a Columbia production???

The acting, plot and performance are perfect early-sixties fun and jamz, and the story is intriguing enough that you might want to have a catheter installed before viewing just so's you don't miss any of the intricate twists 'n turns found in the storyline. And another thing, I sure find it swell looking at ladies who dress nice and care about their appearance unlike the bowzers you see today who are so non-feminine to the point where I hold them personally responsible for the tragic spike in homofaguality (24% of the population if you believe your high school teenager) that's been seen in recent years!

Could ZOTZ! be the funniest feature-length comedy I've seen since TILLIE'S PUNCTURED ROMANCE? Well, considering how the Stooges had a few more years of features to go through maybe not, but this was one of the more enjoyable flickers I've seen in quite awhile. Brings back everything I adore about the early-sixties to my always turdler-affixed mind and not only that, but I didn't have to endure one spec of controversy or midclass Amerigan shaming at all. Guess that proves for certain that us suburban slobs were once part of the whole Grand Design to make this land of ours a better place to exist in, right?


rnigma said...

"Zotz!" was based on a novel by Walter Karig, a Naval captain who was technical adviser on "Victory at Sea"; he also provided some cute illustrations for the book.
A comics shop I used to frequent had one of the Zotz coins for sale, a giveaway at theaters showing the movie; alas, it was plastic, not metal.

Robert Cook said...

I was a 6 or 7 year old tyke in the mid-west when this movie came out, and I remember seeing the previews for it at a drive-in theater my parents and taken us to to some movie I probably wasn't much interested in, (I'm thinking it was DIAMOND HEAD). (They did indulge my brothers and me by taking us to the drive-in--a different one--to see KING KONG vs. GODZILLA, which can't have been much fun for them.)

I remember wanting to see ZOTS! so badly...and now 53 years later...I've still never seen it!