Visual White Noise Theater: Your “Nothing But Trouble” (1991)

So taking the usual horror plot of city slickers getting lost in the sticks and being captured and tormented by inbred, mutant, red necks a la “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, “The Hills Have Eyes”, “Deliverance etc. Writer/director Dan Aykroyd turns the usual horror plot on its head throwing in a huge dash of cartoonish absurdity, dark humor and incomprehensible insanity. This movie stink bombed theaters back in the day but you know me, I don’t give a shit what audiences thought or think about a piece of white noise, I leave that up to myself. Digging this piece of coal out of the ground I found a diamond and I am most definitely gonna look at this diamond more than once. “Nothing But Trouble”, that title made it easy for “sticks up their asses” critics to make fun of the movie. To me watching this was no trouble at all.

Chevy Chase plays Chris Thorne who decides to drive his neighbor, a lawyer Diane Lightson, played by a hotter than hell Demi Moore to visit one of her clients who is stealing money from her in Atlantic City. Chris’ clients, a Brazilian heir and heiress brother and sister, Fausto and Renalda Squiriniszu played by character actors Taylor Negro and Bertila Damas respectively tag along. On the way to Atlantic City, Fausto and Renalda want to stop off somewhere to have picnic which Chris doesn’t want to do, they hound him into pulling off somewhere with trees, they end up in the rural New Jersey turnpike town of Valkenvania and Chris drives past the speed limit unknowingly and he tries to out run the cop car that has jets on its back but has to give up when another cop, Miss Purdah, played by another character actor, Valri Bromfield, is on the road blocking it with her car and a sharp shooter rifle. They are ultimately taken in by Officer Dennis Valkenheiser played by the awesome John Candy and they are brought before a 106 year old judge, Alvin J.P. Valkenheiser, played by Dan Aykroyd, in disgusting make up, when he finds out Chris has something to do with finances Alvin hates bankers and investors he drops Chris and his crew through a holding cell to be tried the next day. They overhear another group of people who got speeding and they were also caught with drugs, the druggies are sentenced to go through the “Bonestripper” roller coaster where their stripped of their flesh. The group knows they need to get the hell out of there.

“Nothing But Trouble”s art design and sets are jaw dropping, a bizarre collection of junk, scrap metal, manikins, retro toys, retro magazines and other knick knacks give the feel of a junkyard carnival. In fact, I’d say the whole aesthetic of the movie is what gives it its extra punch. It is in no way scary, but it will have you on the edge of your seat and you will get laughs. This won’t have you peeing your pants in fear or make your teeth chatter, this is the type of harmless dark comedy that 1944’s “Arsenic and Old Lace” perfected so well. Its goofy and screwball brought to the early 1990’s with a dash of classic Warner Brother’s Cartoon humor.

Both John Candy and Dan Aykroyd do double duty playing different characters. Not only does John play Dennis, he also plays Dennis’ sister Eldona who wants to marry Chris and the Judge, in exchange for Chris’ life, insists on this. John Candy in drag equals hilarity. Dan not only plays the judge, he also plays his mutant inbred grandson, Bobo whose twin brother is Lil’ Debbull played by John Davieikis, Diane falls into their inept and childish clutches, these two characters wouldn’t be out of place in an old Bugs Bunny cartoon, even the voices. The classic Hip Hop (not a fan but cool nonetheless) group Digital Underground make an appearance, complete with a young Tu Pac. Digital Underground gets pulled over for speeding but let go by the judge because he digs their music but he makes them stay to play the wedding music for Chris and Eldona’s forced wedding. This movie is early 1990’s to the fucking core.

This script came from an idea from Dan’s brother Peter who was pulled over for speeding in a podunk town in New Jersey, Peter felt like he was in a kangaroo court, got fined fifty bucks but was invited for tea by the Justice of the Peace after his trial, he was at the dude’s house for four hours! Not to mention Dan and Pete took their producer buddy Robert Weiss to a screening of “Hellraiser” to take his mind off of a rib injury he just had, they heard the audience laughing at the movie and got the idea that audiences wanted to be scared and laugh at the same time. Boom! “Nothing But Trouble” sprang into existence. The movie was originally titled “Valkenvania” but the studio changed it to a line in the movie “Nothing But Trouble”.  The movie went over five million plus bucks budget wise, but that didn’t help it any, it only grossed 8.4 million at the box office while the budget was 40 million over all, back in the day it croaked really hard.

The usual stick in the muds in the lamestream media savaged the shit out of it and it got Razzies. It didn’t help that Chevy Chase was a raging dick head on set berating the staff and fellow actors but what else is new? Apparently legendary fantasy/sci fi artist was commissioned to do the poster art but I’ve never seen it and I don’t think it was ever used. So should you give this movie a chance? I say HELL YES!!! On this blog I will only review noise both audio and visual I find interesting, makes me think, entertaining etc. I will never waste my time or yours on stuff that completely sucks. This movie is in that weird vein of comedy mined by “Beetlejuice”, “Cabin Boy”, “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2”, “Freaked” etc. back in the day. Go mine the hell out of it yourself.  

To mine it go here:


Visual White Noise Theater: Hate dem’ fancy “Cabin Boy”s(1994)

I remember as a kid loving Chris Elliot’s TV show “Get A Life” about a thirty something year old that still lives with his parents and has a job delivering papers, all his friends were between the ages of nine and thirteen years old (hey that sounds familiar, Chris was a prophet!), it screams “Pedo” and jokes were made in that direction. The humor in the show was absurd, offensive, off the wall, non sequiturs, crazy, stupid, juvenile etc. and it lasted only two seasons. My parents and mom in particular knew him from the David Letterman show, that and his two season show got him a movie that Tim Burton was supposed to direct but ended up producing because Tim wanted to direct “Ed Wood” instead, he was a big fan of Chris’ humor. “Cabin Boy” was all the things I mentioned above, I laughed at the movie and loved it, my dad called it “a crock of shit” and my mom wasn’t impressed with it when we rented it from our local family owned video rental business. Now years later I wanted to see if it still made me laugh or at least gave me chuckles, I’d forgotten almost everything about it except David Letterman as the the sailor/sock monkey salesman that says “I hate dem fancy boys!” Well I watched it and not only did I laugh, my jaw fell to the floor. Elliot and his co writer/director Adam Resnick, who also was a writer for David Letterman were way way WAY ahead of their time, Tim and Eric and Adult Swim owe Chris and Adam.

When Tim left to direct “Ed Wood” they didn’t know who to get to direct. Tim mentioned that Adam should direct it and they were off and running. Well more like jogging, when Buena Vista pictures found out Tim was leaving they cut their budget in half. When Adam and Tim wrote the script they kept in mind Burton’s penchant for weirdness, so they wrote a lot of special effects related things for the script. In fact, if they’d known Tim wasn’t gonna direct they were gonna leave a lot of the weird stuff on the floor which makes no sense at all because Chris’ humor is bizarre and it annoys some people.

The “Cabin Boy” is Nathaniel Mayweather who goes to “Fancy Boys Finishing School” where he wears a wig, is an obnoxious, stuck up, is an ass to his teachers and fellow students and he is also a virgin (a lot like his character in “Get A Life”). When he graduates his dad, played by Chris’ real life comedian dad, Bob Elliot, wants him to take over the hotel chain they own in Hawaii after he graduates, he is given tickets to board a luxury cruiser, the Queen Catherine, after being thrown out by the annoyed limo driver who was supposed to take him to the cruise ship, Nate takes a wrong turn into the wrong shipping village where David Letterman, the sailor/sock monkey salesman sends him to the boat, The Filthy Whore, instead.

Nathaniel thinking the Filthy Whore is one of those “theme boats” encounters Kenny (played by Andy Richter) who is the retarded Cabin Boy, he lets Nate on the boat while the other sailors aren’t on it because Nate says the captain said it was OK, he falls asleep and soon is awakened by the crew all played by curmudgeons who play crusty old men and villains in other movies, these four guys make this movie, Chris is still funny but these guys had me cracking up through the whole thing. Captain Greybar (yeah this movie is immature, played by Ritch Brinkley), Skunk (Brian Doyle-Murray, Bill’s brother and Noah from “Wayne’s World”), Big Teddy (played by Brion James who you’ve seen as a villain in tons of 1980’s-1990’s movies and TV shows) and Paps (played by James Gammon, the coach from “Major League”). Nate tries to convince them to go to Hawaii they laugh in his face. Nate fools Kenny into steering the ship towards Hawaii while the crew is asleep.

They run into a violent storm, evil clouds blow the ship around and Kenny falls into the water and drowns, they make Nate the new Cabin Boy and he has to do degrading things and clean the ship. It turns out that the ship got blown into a type of Bermuda Triangle called “Hell’s Bucket” in this place they encounter a lot of weird stuff, a half man, half shark creature called Chalky (played by Russ Tamblyn who is known as Dr. Jacobi in “Twin Peaks”), a girl who is trying to swim the Pacific Ocean, gets caught in Nate’s net and he falls in love with her and she has no interest in him, a frost giant, a giant cupcake that spits tabacco, the blue skinned, many armed Hindu goddess Kali who “cleans pipes” (I am not giving that one away folks) and her possessive, pissed off giant Housewares Salesman husband named Mulligan (played by Mike Starr).

I am not giving away the whole store, your gonna have to go shopping. It will be a very weird store indeed, the production company for “Cabin Boy” was Skellington Productions, which is Tim Burton and Henry Selick’s (who directed “James and the Giant Peach” and “Nightmare Before Christmas”) studio, so all the weird creatures and sets were made there, all of them practical, no fucking CGI, thank the B movie gods. This whole movie has got a “Tim Burton” vibe to it if he made more light hearted fair, it also reminds me of Terry Gilliam’s absurdist movies.

So this movie came out and…A bombed whole cities, pulverized them to radioactive dust. Critics (most of them I fucking hate, like Siskel and Ebert) shit all over this movie, it was a huge embarrassment at the time for everybody involved. Chris and Adam had stated for the longest time their careers were in shambles. But in 1994 I was a junior high kid loved this movie and didn’t care what some four eyed, pencil neck geek said about it and still feel the same way years later.

Like all things ahead of their time “Cabin Boy” garnered a cult following, people rewatched it and quoted lines from it like “Hate Dem Fancy Boys!” And most famous of all “My pipes…are…CLEAN!!!” Chris and Adam are surprised by the newfound fame of their movie that embarrassed them and now they have a fondness for it and speak at screenings. Watch this movie and tell me that most of the stuff on “Adult Swim” and “The Mighty Boosh” owe a debt of gratitude to “Cabin Boy”.

So where do get on the right ship and get on the right stream? Well its gonna cost you a ticket, sorry guys don’t feel good about posting this movie on my bitchute channel, don’t want to get busted:

However, there will be certain “pirates” in the “bay” that will take you to your destination free of charge, just make sure that ship has a VPN cloaking device if you get my drift. *wink*wink*

This is must have visual noise, but a little “Cabin Boy” in your life (that came out sounding creepy.)