Last week, Erik Davis reminded us of a time in our past -- at least if you're over 30 or so -- when Better Off Dead played continuously on cable and everyone could cite or quote the movie ("I want my two dollars!"). How many other goofy 80s comedies included animation, after all? The film's writer-director, "Savage" Steve Holland, seemed to vanish from the big screen after only three movies -- two starring John Cusack -- and has been quietly directing family-friendly TV ever since. But Erik found out that Holland has been signed to write and direct a semi-autobiographical movie, The Big One 3, which is supposed to start production in New Orleans this fall. The film's producer describes the project as "classic Savage," which sounds promising.

Variety now reports that Holland has been signed to direct a second movie, this one from National Lampoon. It's called National Lampoon's Ratko: The Dictator's Son, and is described as a "college comedy." Oh, dear. When was the last time a National Lampoon-branded film was successful? It was probably back when Holland was still making non-TV movies. Recent National Lampoon films have barely made it into theaters, and most are direct-to-video or made-for-TV, like Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure. The movie National Lampoon's Bag Boy is scheduled for theatrical release this year; perhaps it will turn around the brand reputation, but I think they should have stopped after Animal House and the first few Vacation films. The Ratko project has "direct to video" written all over it, or maybe cable TV if they're lucky. I'm crossing my fingers that The Big One 3 will be as charming as Holland's earlier films, but I'm extremely skeptical about Ratko.
CATEGORIES Movies, Cinematical