Craptastic Cinema

Celebrating The Best Of The Worst Movies


Year : 1985 Director : Jonathan Lynn Running Time : 94 MInutes Genre : ,
Movie review score

A movie based on a board game?  In 2012, many people were asking that question with the release of Battleship.  The overall reception of that film was quite negative, and rightfully so.  It was a terrible movie.  That does not mean that the idea of another movie based on a board game will never happen.  In fact, several are currently in the works.  Soon we will see movies based on Ouija, Risk, Monopoly, and even an Adam Sandler version of Candyland.  Only time will tell if any of these movies will be a success or not.  One has to wonder if any of these movies would be even be made had it not been for the 1985 release of Clue, the first movie ever based on a board game.

Clue is a mystery game in which players have to place clues together to figure out who committed a murder, what room they committed it in, and with what weapon.  The premise is the cornerstone of every crime mystery story every created.  It actually also makes the perfect backdrop for a movie.  The question was, how would exactly would a movie be made of the game?  Would it just be a drama based mystery based on the characters?  As easy as that sounds, it could have made that movie get lost in a sea of other murder mysteries.  Luckily, the makers of Clue saw that too and decided to go a completely different direction.  Clue was made into a slapstick comedy, and the results were movie perfection.

Before going into the premise of the movie, I have to address the actors they cast in Clue.  Without a doubt, is was a list of some of the best actors with comedic timing ever assembled.  Clue starred Tim Curry, Christopher Lloyd, Madeline Kahn, Michael McKean, Martin Mull, Eileen Brennan, Lesley Ann Warren, and Colleen Camp making up the principle cast.  Also appearing in small roles are Howard Hesseman of WKRP In Cincinnati fame, and Jane Wiedlin of The Go-Go’s.  Looking at that cast alone, one can tell that this will be a laugh riot.  Side note, Colleen Camp looked beyond stunning as Yvette the French Maid. Before I even knew what a crush was, I had a crush on Colleen Camp in Clue.  I mean seriously, check her out…

Craptastic Cinema Colleen Camp

Set in 1954 America, Clue is about a group of strangers who are gathered together in a strange mansion on a dark and stormy night.  As each guest arrives, Wadsworth the Butler (Curry) welcomes them and escorts them to the house’s study as Yevette offers them a glass of champagne.  Wadsworth informs the guests that they are all given pseudonyms to use instead of their real names to protect their identities.  During dinner, another guest by the name of Mr. Body (Lee Ving) joins the party.  Shortly after his arrival, it is reveled why they were all gathered there that night.  Every one of them were being blackmailed by Mr. Body for various reasons.  Wadsworth explains that he invited all the guests in hopes to confront Mr. Body and report him to the police.  Mr. Body then gives each guest a gift of a weapon, the same weapons from the game, and says that he hopes one of them will kill Wadsworth when he shuts off the lights.  After doing so, they would destroy the evidence of the blackmailing, and all go about their lives.  The plan backfires when he turns off the lights, and he is the one who is shot instead…. or was he?  This incident sets of a series of murders around the house.  The guests do their best to figure out who did the murders while all trying to protect themselves from dying.

Perhaps the best part of the movie is the fact that there are three different endings to “who did it” at the end of the movie.  This is a great little nod to the board game because every time you play it, there would be a different series of endings.  A forth ending was filmed, but was cut out of the picture due because of various reasons.  At the time of Clue’s release, some theaters were unsure what to do with the endings.  Some would show all three, as intended, while others would chose themselves which ending to use.  Some would even change the ending with each showing throughout the day.  This was later reflected on the DVD and BluRay releases of Clue by allowing the viewer to select seeing all there, or a randomly chosen ending.

This movie BOMBED at the theater.  In fact, Clue never made up it’s budget of $15 million during it’s theatrical run making a financial failure.  Originally, critics panned the movie, though many have changed their opinion in the years that have passed.    The audience for Clue came from the home video release, and many Saturday Afternoon Movie airings.  In fact, most of the people who loved this movie were kids.  That was a direct contrast to who Clue was marketed towards.  Asking most of my friends, they remember liking it as kids before their parents became fans.  I was maybe 8 years old when I first saw it myself, and I know that I have watched it at least two to three times a year since then.  Every time, I laugh as hard as I did the first time I watched it.

On the Craptastic Scale, Clue gets a perfect 5 out of 5.  To call this a Cult Classic is almost insulting, as it should simply be considered a classic.  The deadpan humor, no pun intended, is a perfect matched against the slapstick comedy.  It is like an old Marx Brothers film, but with a tad bit more of an edge.  It will made a perfect addition to any movie collection.  It has been released on DVD and BluRay, though neither is a clear choice over the other.  The BluRay does not upgrade the picture quality much, nor the mono soundtrack.  I would recommend just getting whatever version you prefer.  I am still watching the DVD and enjoying it.

Another fun way to watch this movie, is playing a drinking game along with it.  As we did with Showgirls, we will provide you with our modified version of one for you to enjoy.  Please, if you do play this game, drink responsibly, and do not drive afterwards.

The “Clue” Drinking Game

Take One Drink When:

  • Each character is first introduced in the movie (also add “Hello Mr/Mrs _____” to each drink to introduce them)
  • Lightning is heard
  • The gun is fired (keep track if it was fired 1+1+2+1 times or not)
  • Someone screams (screaming yourself before every drink)
  • The cook is on the screen (alive)
  • The dogs are on the screen
  • Any of the rooms are mentioned by their name (this one gets pretty crazy near the end of the movie)

Take Two Drinks When:

  • The outside of the mansion is shown
  • A key is shown on screen
  • Someone uses the phone
  • Anyone stares at, or makes a reference/innuendo about, Yvette’s breasts
  • Someone removes their glasses
  • Someone uses a “secret passage”
  • You see a dead body
  • You see Mr. Green and Yvette standing at the bottom of a staircase
  • Someone checks their shoes after smelling something
  • A weapon is mentioned by name
  • Someone slurps their soup

Take Three Drinks When:

  • Someone gets slapped
  • Mr. Green says “I didn’t do it”
  • A chandelier falls to the ground
  • Mr. Green and Yvette finally go up the stairs
  • Someone says “flames” (three for every time)
  • Anything is referred to as a “red herring”

Finish Your Drink When:

  • Col. Mustard’s suspenders get snapped (by himself or someone else)
  • Yvette’s panties are seen

-Matt Camarco

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