Watch Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon putlocker
||IMDB Rating: 7.2/10 from votes
||Release: 25 September 2015 (USA) /
||Genre: Biography, Comedy, Documentary
||Director: Mark Monroe,
||Stars: Al Jean, Beverly D'Angelo, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Christopher Guest, Gilda Radner, John Belushi, John Goodman, John Landis, Judd Apatow, Kevin Bacon, P.J. O'Rourke, Peter Kleinman, Richard Belzer, Tim Matheson
||Synopsis: Featuring rare and never before seen footage, this is the mind boggling story of The National Lampoon from its subversive and electrifying beginnings, to rebirth as an unlikely Hollywood heavyweight, and beyond. A humour empire like no other, the impact of the magazines irreverent, often shocking, sensibility was nothing short of seismic: this is an institution whose (drunk stoned brilliant) alumni left their fingerprints all over popular culture. Both insanely great and breathtakingly innovative, The National Lampoon created the foundation of modern comic sensibility by setting the bar in comedy impossibly high.
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Watch Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon - Alternative Versions.
Director Douglas Tirola boasts (somewhat cheekily) that Drunk Stoned
Brilliant Dead features more bare breasts than any other documentary in
history. Judging by the raucous end result that details the hard-
partying genesis and spectacular flameout of the National Lampoon
humour magazine, he may well be right.
From an inauspicious start at Harvard to an ignominious end (that is
mostly glossed over), National Lampoon magazine proved notable and
memorable, with Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead reliving all the glory
years of drugs, clubs, pubs, parties, and oh yeah, ground-breaking
humour too. Focusing on the many disparate players that had a hand in
the magazine (including numerous publishers, comedians, actors,
hangers-on, and most importantly, the core writers that drove it all)
Tirola wrangles a cacophony of voices and personalities into a
digestible narrative that zips along with wit and verve.
It helps that his subjects are a motley crew of top-rate satirists, a
group who at one time helped make National Lampoon the 2nd most popular
magazine in the country and a world-changing counter- cultural force.
Yet with the inevitable rise comes a crashing fall, exemplified by
broken friendships, drug casualties, untimely deaths, and other
assorted tragedies. It's an epic story and a must-watch for comedy
nerds and casual fans alike.
Founders Doug Kenney and Henry Beard are the main subjects, although a
litany of faces (many famous) chime in throughout on the impact and
legacy of National Lampoon itself. Kenney and Beard are shown to be the
initial visionaries who, along with the help of publisher Matty Simmons
and a key group of art directors, launched the magazine. National
Lampoon spun off a Harvard publication in 1970 and immediately showed
an irreverent wit and willingness to go after any target with ruthless
precision (the bigger the better). Politics, race, gender, the rich,
the famous they were all fair game and National Lampoon tore them to
shreds with razor-sharp satire (like a more ribald precursor to
Saturday Night Live, and later The Colbert Report and The John Oliver
Behind the scenes it was a non-stop party, with the Lampoon's New York
office being a hub of sex. drugs, and rock 'n' roll. The writers had
free reign to imbibe and indulge in whatever they liked, so long as a
magazine was produced each month. And with coke-fuelled marathon
writing sessions and Kenney and Beard's dogged work ethic, they were
able to keep up. It was highly dysfunctional but many of the talking
head segments reveal former staff members looking back on their time in
those madhouse offices fondly.
Tirola keeps the tone lively and fast-paced, using excerpts from
National Lampoon's radio show and comedy albums as audio-only
interstitials, and bringing many articles and illustrations to life
through animation combined with vivid recollections from the folks who
were on the front lines. Among them are Billy Bob Thornton, Tim
Matheson, Kevin Bacon, and other actors who were related to the brand
(a fresh-faced Bacon got his ass paddled in a memorable sequence from
Animal House), as well as those that were profoundly influenced by the
magazine and its spinoffs, like comedy hitmaker Judd Apatow.
There's great archival footage of early National Lampoon troupe members
like Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, John Belushi and Harold Ramis
performing, which sadly recalls that three of those four have passed
away now (while the ever-elusive Murray appears only in old footage).
Chevy Chase figures prominently into the narrative, as he was one of
the first members of the comedy troupe and was a close friend to
co-founder Doug Kenney. The making of Caddyshack (not an official
Lampoon production but featuring many alumni) is recounted in detail,
as is the uproar over and eventual exaltation of the classic Animal
House, which helped make the careers of John Landis and Ivan Reitman
(both of him appear on-camera as well).
For every interview that Tirola may have missed out on (an extremely
young Christopher Guest is seen fleetingly in footage from the 70's),
there's three great anecdotes that will have audiences either in
stitches over some ridiculous tale, or watching raptly as the next drug
trip goes bad or close friend is lost. There's a wealth of material to
draw on, and to the movie's credit it remains fleet and sure-footed,
nimbly picking which story to expand and which interviewee to probe.
Chase himself once a titan of comedy but now often seen as an
ungrateful blowhard is humanized greatly and his relationship with
the hard-living Kenney provides an emotional anchor for the craziness
surrounding the Lampoon. The loss of life and shattered friendships are
not glossed over but the film does make the needed decision to focus
mostly on the main players of the Lampoon as there's only so much
The later years of the magazine become somewhat dire as much of its
best writers and actors are poached by Hollywood and Lorne Michaels,
but the film (and the magazine) soldier on in the face of adversity.
The down slide is given less screen time and Matty Simmon's hand-
waving away of the bad later years is both glib and appreciated in the
context of the movie (when asked about Michaels, Simmons responds
"Who?" with a smile). While the magazine ended in 1998, its brand and
looming influence continues to live on.
The film is necessarily guided by who would speak with Tirola but in
the end that turns out to be a surprisingly large number of notable
individuals, recognizable entertainers, and even more names who may not
be as familiar but whose contributions were great and deservedly
remembered here. If a documentary's job is to be true to its subject
while informing and entertaining, then Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead
achieves that goal with ease. To paraphrase the Lampoon's most famous
magazine cover, "Watch this movie or we'll shoot this dog."
Tags for Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon Full Movie
, Beverly D'Angelo
, Bill Murray
, Chevy Chase
, Christopher Guest
, Gilda Radner
, John Belushi
, John Goodman
, John Landis
, Judd Apatow
, Kevin Bacon
, P.J. O'Rourke
, Peter Kleinman
, Richard Belzer
, Tim Matheson
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