The naked weapon gave us one of the most recognizable policemen in history – the indestructible geek who, when needed, pretends to be Enrico Pallazzo.
Lieutenant Frank Drebin sneaks into the criminal’s office. “Who are you and how did you get here ?!” – hears being covered: “I am a locksmith. And I’m a locksmith, “he says surprised.
I have no doubt that this is one of the best dialogues in the history of comedy. However, I decided to check if the rest of the humor in the Naked Weapons trilogy and its serial prototype – created by the legendary trio of mockers ZAZ (David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, Jerry Zucker) – stood the test of time.
The following text is not only a collection of information about the series in question, but above all my subjective assessment, which of course you may disagree with, but you can also try to change my mind.
A very special brigade
As I mentioned – he was a television prototype, which on the big screen continued the parody of the story about policemen and detectives. The series was created in 1982, was broadcast on the ABC station and despite its high popularity (and even two Emmy nominations), it only got 6 episodes.
The very introduction of each of them reproduces the same pattern: to the accompaniment of a musical intro (referring to the song by Stanley Wilson from the police series with Lee Marvin) on the screen appears the view from the roof of a moving police car with the cock on and the large inscription “POLICE SQUAD! … in color! “.
However, before we also see the episode title on the screen (and the clearly excited voice from off read completely different), we meet the actors playing the main characters of the series (about them later) and Rex Hamilton in the role of Abraham Lincoln – although he is not in the series.
Similarly, we will not find any of the “special guests” – actors who are killed during the opening credits. I especially recommend the death of William Shatner, known even for the role of James T. Kirk, captain of the USS Enterprise in Star-Trek. I am particularly amused.
Each episode also has a characteristic ending. The moment the subtitles appear on the screen, the characters (usually lieutenant Frank Drebin and his captain) freeze, imitating a freeze frame; except that time flows around them normally – coffee poured from a jug begins to spill onto the desk, and the arrested man, surprised by the behavior of the policemen, escapes from the police station, etc.
Criminal riddles and crimes that the Special Brigade has to deal with (these are known from gangster movies: bank robbery, extortion, planting bombs, etc.) are only an igniter for a nearly 20-minute load of gags, jokes and mistakes, the amount of which can get tired and after so many years, instead of making fun … tired.
However, what is worth noting: before we start asking ourselves questions such as “what do I do it for myself, why do I watch it?” – in every episode there is one brilliant scene that compensates for the difficulty in perceiving the whole (see even the beginning of the text).
The main characters here are: lieutenant Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen), captain Ed Hocken (Alan North), not very smart, officer Norberg (Peter Lupus), police scientist Ted Olson (Ed Williams) and Johnny street shoe maker the Snitch (William Duell).
Of this cast, only Leslie Nielsen and Ed Williams will star in a trilogy where the series looks like a starter to the main course.
Six years after the premiere of the series, the feature film hit the cinemas, which turned out to be such a great success that it saw two continuations: (1991) and Naked weapon 33 1/3: Final insult (1994).
It was impossible to stay with the title, because the next part of the well-known series was flying in cinemas (this could generate unnecessary confusion). Of the other 20 titles, they decided to, because, as the creators recall: “He promised much more than he could ever deliver.”
Except after watching all the parts, I have no doubt that this series brings – not only humor, but also interesting stories. First of all, the scale of work of Frank Drebin, the main character of the series, changes, as we learn already in the first scene.
Beirut – in one of the palace rooms, leaders of states, dictators and religious guides convene with each other: Mikhael Gorbachev, Muammar Gaddafi, Ayatollah Khomeini, Idi Amin, Yasser Arafat and Fidel Castro. Topic of conversation: how to humiliate America and inflict pain on it. Then he enters the action, the lieutenant of the Special Department Frank Drebin, who, like the sheriff of the free world and defender of democracy, successively pours those with whom the United States is on its way. When everyone gets after the event, the hero warns them that they should not show up in America. Then he accidentally strikes the face with shutters and falls through the window.
The motive for the great conspiracy against the United States returns in the third part. There, pressure groups and terrorists want to inflict such a blow on America, after which it will not rise long, destroying its reputation in the international arena and breaking the spirit of its citizens. Interestingly, however: the first time the plan is an attempt on the life of Queen Elizabeth II visiting the United States – to show her death with the actual helplessness of the superpower. In contrast, what will destroy America is to be a bombing during the Oscars, which will kill all known actors and celebrities.
Particularly relevant seems to be the struggle of lieutenant Drebin in Naked weapon 2 1/2: Who will defend the president?, Where the main antagonists are the owners of mines, refineries and nuclear power plants – trying to influence the US government (at that time the Republicans with George Bush were in power a senior who is shown here as a complete slouch). Only Frank Drebin, a geeky cop in this world of idiots, can save the United States and maybe the entire planet from ecological disaster.
Is this defending?
– Ludwig ?!
– Yes, I am Drebin!
– I have a message for you from Vincent Ludwig! Eat your lead cop!
– Excuse me! I can not hear you! Don’t shoot the gun when you talk to me!
The above scene comes from the first and perfectly captures the character of all movies, which even stripped of absurd humor, in my opinion, would also work as a good sensational cinema.
Of course, zealous advocates and advocates of political correctness will find many jokes to which you can attach, such as: the least cheeky character who is the most unlucky in the whole film series is just a black policeman (OJ Simpson), and in one part it is stated that the easiest way to kidnap women is because “they are small, easy to move and smell good”.
It doesn’t change the fact that while getting through can be a challenge, 31 years after the first premiere, the humor contained in the series not only amuses, but next to Mel Brooks, Airplane !, Johnny Dangerously, Top Secret! or Hot Shots! – it proudly represents the golden period of parody in mainstream cinema (before everything broke the meager continuations of quite funny Scary Movie and Superhero Movie and Epic Movie movie abominations).
Paradoxically, she also gave us one of the most recognizable policemen in history (at the same time the character who defined Leslie Nielsen’s later career) – the indestructible geek who, when needed, pretends to be Enrico Pallazzo.