So when I got my latest review assignment here at the ol’ Retroist, The Nutty Professor 50th Anniversary Blu-ray, I have to admit I thought it may be an odd fit for a groovy ghoul like myself seeing as how it was a zany comedy and all and I’m more a member of the horror hound pack, but the more I thought about things, the more I realized how much having the ol’ Ouija Board Kid review this title made a perfect kind of sense.
First of all, the tale of the Nutty Professor is firmly entrenched in a solid, time tested formula (pun intended); the classic shock story of Jeckyll and Hyde (a personel favorite o’ mine). But while R.L. Stevenson dealt with a somber exploration of the darkest side of our hidden psyches, Jerry Lewis opts instead to cover the same material with broad comedic strokes in this film.
For those that are new to The Nutty Professor: Lewis essays the role of quintessential nerd Julius Kelp, a chemistry professor who is far from a hit with the ladies, his class and the faculty of the school (especially with his knack for blowin’ things sky high with his experiments). So before you can say “really freakin’ bad idea”, ol’ Kelpy has performed experiments on his own chemistry and become the ultra-obnoxious (yet infinitely awesome) Buddy Love! Love is everything Kelp was not; a smooth swinging cat that’s the hit of the campus (and a hell of a piano player to boot). Of course Kelp has to wrestle with the fact that he really thinks the attention Love gets is wizard, but he is really being untrue to himself; the classic dichotomy echoed in works as varied as Teen Wolf to that episode of Silver Spoons where the Ricker turns punk to impress some hotties.
Now I hear you say “Daniel XIII, we get the fact that since the film is a kind of parody of a classic horror yarn that is seems fitting that you provide the review here, but what sort of nostalgic ties does it hold to your misbegotten youth?” Well, since I said you asked, here goes; it seems almost without fail that before the creature features began on the local stations in my neck o’ the woods, the program directors would slot a comedy feature…and 9 times outta 10 it was one of Lewis’ films. I can’t tell you the number of times I watched not only The Nutty Professor, but also Cinderfella (more on that in a bit), Errand Boy (ditto) and the Bellboy before I dove into more frightful fare. And here’s the thing; I became a fan of good ol’ Jokin’ Jerry because of that fact! So seeing this feature again really brought back those warm and fuzzies, and for that fact alone I loved this release!
Now I realize you may not have the history with this film that I have (hell, you may not even be a Jeckyll and Hyde fan), but the extras alone are worth the price of admission (especially if you are any kind of student of film history), as you not only get The Nutty Professor (lookin’ all vibrant like in hi-def Blu-ray resplendence), but also Cinderfella and the Errand Boy (on DVD), not to mention the 45 bazillion* extra features such as (but not limited to); commentary tracks on all 3 features by Lewis, “making of “ documentaries, bloopers, outtakes, screen tests…hell they even throw in a CD of prank phone calls by Loony Lewis (near impossible to pull off in this day and age)!!!
So there you have it my fiends, this release gets ol’ Daniel XIII ‘s rollickin’ recommendation! So head on over to here and pick this thing up today!!!
*o.k. that number may be a slight exaggeration, but believe me o’ creepies, this thing is the Turducken of Blu-rays…layer after layer of pure awesomeness!