IT CAME FROM HOLLYWOOD
* * * * (1982, 80 minutes, Rated PG)
That's Entertainment: The B-Sides
It must have seemed like a strange and unlikely project in a world before Mystery Science Theater
3000: Assemble a few comedians at the top of their game and have them present a b-movie
greatest hits clip show.
Note that It Came From Hollywood is not a documentary about b-movies. There’s no narrative and
nothing historical or educational about this film, with the possible exception of the segment on Ed
Wood (and even that‘s a stretch). It’s more like a catalogue of b-movie absurdity, or a film
adaptation of Michael Medved’s “The Golden Turkey Awards,” which would certainly make sense
as he served as a consultant on the film.
The set-up for It Came From Hollywood is very simple: Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Gilda Radner
and Cheech & Chong take turns “presenting” various categories of b-movies: Gorillas, Giants and
Tiny People, Troubled Teenagers… you get the idea. Each comic’s segment opens in a way to
play to their strengths. Aykroyd and Radner appear in assorted sketches as increasingly wacky
THE ROAD TO B-MOVIES
PART III: THE EYE-OPENER
Junior high. I won’t lie to you – there’s a lot I’ve blacked out from my junior high years. As your
parents will attest, something happens during that age where every kid becomes a bit of an
asshole, and I reckon I wasn’t any different.
I was still a big Godzilla fan, but those films were becoming harder and harder to find on TV.
Around that time, my tastes started turning towards modern-day horror films. The Nightmare on
Elm Street series. Child’s Play. Frickin’ Shocker. Dark times, indeed.
One Sunday morning, my father surprising me one morning with a movie he recorded the night
before. He saw that it was going to run right after Saturday Night Live and threw a VHS tape in,
figuring that I’d enjoy it.
My first time watching this, I was disappointed to see that Godzilla only made a passing
appearance. But man, did this open my eyes to a whole world of b-movies.
I must’ve watched this film a few dozen times, and watching it today, I can still recite some of
the one-liners right along with…
it present to think of It Came From Hollywood as a precursor of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
What’s really impressive about this movie (besides how well it holds up) is the breath of films it
covers. It Came From Hollywood features over 90 films, many of which have been covered by the
Bargain Bin Review. Some might wish more time was spent digging a bit more into each movie,
going into such particulars as the plot or even the title, but I don’t think that was the intent of this
It’s much better to think of It Came From Hollywood as a highlight reel, with some of the best
comedians of the day showcases the best moments from vintage b-movies. Now that’s what I call
|Dan Aykroyd (in the bra) and John Candy
(lovingly admiring an angora sweater), reenacting
a scene from Glen or Glenda.
characters, while Cheech & Chong
simply try to take in a movie. While the
sketches are funny, it’s the latter
approach that works best. Between
the popcorn sizes at the concession
stand and the unspoken social rules
of sitting in a theater, Cheech &
Chong have more than enough to
After the segment’s introductory bit,
we go into a video compilation of
various b-movies with occasional
narration and/or snarky commentary
from the comic. Their wise-cracking is
used sparingly, but there’s enough of