A Movie A Day #259: Take This Job And Shove It (1981, directed by Gus Trikonis)

Originally from a small town in Iowa, Frank Macklin (Robert Hays) is a hotshot young executive with The Ellison Group.  When Frank is assigned to manage and revitalize a failing brewery in his hometown, it is a chance for Frank to rediscover his roots.  His childhood friends (played by actors like David Keith, Tim Thomerson, and Art Carney) may no longer trust him now that Frank wears a tie but it only takes a few monster truck rallies and a football game in a bar for Frank to show that he is still one of them.  However, Frank discovers that the only reason that he was sent to make the brewery profitable was so that his bosses could sell it to a buffoonish millionaire who doesn’t know the first thing about how to run a business.  Will Frank stand by while his bosses screw over the hardworking men and women of the heartland?  Or will he say, “You can take this job and shove it?”

Named after a country music song and taking place almost entirely in places stocked with beer, Take This Job And Shove It is a celebration of all things redneck.  This movie is so redneck in nature that a major subplot involves monster trucks.  Bigfoot, one of the first monster trucks, gets plenty of screen time and, in some advertisements, was given higher billing than Art Carney.

A mix of low comedy and sentimental drama, Take This Job And Shove It is better than it sounds.  In some ways, it is a prescient movie: the working class frustrations and the anger at being forgotten in a “booming economy” is the same anger that, 35 years later, would be on display during the election of 2016.  Take This Job And Shove It also has an interesting and talented cast, most of whom rise above the thinly written dialogue.  Along with Hays, Keith, Thomerson, Bigfoot, and Carney, keep an eye out for: Eddie Albert, Royal Dano, James Karen, Penelope Milford, Virgil Frye, George “Goober” Lindsey, and Barbara Hershey (who, as usual, is a hundred times better than the material she has to work with).

One final note: Martin Mull plays Hays’s corporate rival.  His character is named Dick Ebersol.  Was that meant to be an inside joke at the expense of the real Dick Ebersol, who has the executive producer of Saturday Night Live when Take This Job and Shove It was filmed and who later became the president of NBC Sports?

A Lot Going For “It”

Trash Film Guru

As a general rule of thumb, when you give Stephen King material the “Spielberg Treatment,” good things happen — just ask Rob Reiner, who did it twice and found critical and box office success on both occasions. Admittedly, the opportunities to make nominally “family-friendly” populist blockbusters based on novels by a guy billed as the “Master of Horror” are few and far between, but still — when you can find ’em, you gotta take ’em. Especially when there’s (for reasons I can’t really fathom, but that’s neither here nor there) a bona fide 1980s revival going on. So, yeah, in a very real sense, director Anthony Muschietti’s cinematic adaptation of It has all the pop culture stars aligned in its favor. And yet —

Plenty of other sure-fire “successes” that were served up equally easy slow pitches over the middle of the plate somehow managed to swing and miss, didn’t they?…

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Music Video of the Day: Star Trekkin’ by The Firm (1987, dir. Pete Bishop & Marc Kitchen-Smith)

Seeing as an episode of Star Trek: Discovery is going to air once tonight, I thought I would spotlight the “classic” ear-worm, Star Trekkin’. This thing was unleashed on the public back in 1987 by a group who did novelty songs called The Firm.

The story on the video is that the song was such a success that they knew that it would be expected of them to appear on Top Of The Pops. They didn’t want to do that since, as one of their members put it, a “bunch of balding thirty-something’s…would kill the whole fun element of the thing stone dead!”

The video was originally going to be animated. They went to several production companies, but it was too expense and they needed the video quickly. Luckily, one of the companies they approached were a team of art college graduates who put this claymation video together for them. Each of the characters were based on different kinds of food.

They were so rushed that they only had hours to spare after they finished it before it was set to air on Top Of The Pops. I think they did a pretty job considering the rush.

I love the ants.

It reminds me of the famous animal-selfie case with Naruto as well as people discovering that technically national parks can fine you if you use any picture you take on their land for commercial purposes. I’m not kidding.

The origin of the song comes from a parody of the song I Am The Music Man.

It became I Am The Star Trek Man.

I’m not what you would call a Trekkie. Regardless, I am looking forward to the new series…sort of. I guess I will be able to see the first episode–usually awful–and then nothing else??? It’ll end up somewhere. I’ll see it eventually. I’m not signing up for a single channel’s service though.

Enjoy! The music video at least.