...If you're like me and just LOVE a really GOOD belly-laugh (read my lips, now), YOU HAVE GOT TO SEE THIS MOVIE!
If "Airplane!" made you learn the meaning of the word "guffaw" or you laughed yourself silly the first time you saw "Blazing Saddles", "Police Squad!", "History of the World Part I", [Monty Python's] "Holy Grail" or [Woody Allen's] "Bananas" ("Take the Money and Run" or "Sleeper") -- HAVE I GOT THE MOVIE FOR YOU -- YOU WILL LOVE IT!
It's a bit of an "oldie" and you've probably never even HEARD of it before but, I'll wager you HAVE heard the title of the movie from which THIS movie's title is "Lampooned"...
You've heard of a movie called "What's New, Pussycat?", right? I mean, you may not remember anything about that movie but, you've heard the TITLE before, yes?
(Let me preface by assuring you that the titles of these two movies are the ONLY things they have in common, so, if you didn't care for "What's New, Pussycat?", as I did NOT, don't worry, this movie's NOTHING LIKE "What's New, Pussycat?"...)
This ABSOLUTELY, without QUESTION, if-you're-into-comedies-like-the-above-mentioned-ones "MUST-SEE", cannot-go-ANOTHER-MINUTE-without-grabbing-the-nearest-copy-you-can-get-your-hands-on-and-watch (and make sure you go pee before you start -- can I say "pee" without getting flagged? ...no matter...) JEWEL of a film is the fabulous, hilarious:
"WHAT'S UP, TIGER LILY?"
If you're like me and just LOVE a really GOOD belly-laugh (read my lips, now), YOU HAVE GOT TO SEE THIS MOVIE!
You may have a little trouble finding a copy because it's (for reasons that I absolutely CANNOT FATHOM) a tad "obscure" but, I PROMISE YOU it WILL be WORTH WHATEVER IT TAKES to secure a copy that you can watch at home...
RENT IT. BUY IT. SELL YOUR FIRST-BORN TO AFFORD IT if you have to -- but, GET IT AS SOON AS YOU CAN AND WATCH IT (preferably WITHOUT "distractions"... tie up the kids and gag 'em, send hubby to the nudie bar, promise the little woman you'll do the dishes for a month... Do whatever IT TAKES, it WILL be worth it...)
Here's my best effort at a synopsis (which, you realize, cannot even BEGIN to do this movie justice -- it's one of those "ya just gotta SEE it" things... Picture someone trying to do "Blazing Saddles" justice in a synopsis and you'll get an idea of what I mean...):
"What's Up, Tiger Lily" (1966) was written by Woody Allen
(and PUHL-LEEZE don't go into that tired, old "I don't like him because he married his Asian adopted-daughter" refrain... It doesn't have a THING to do with his abilities as a writer/director/ actor and, besides, he wrote the dialogue for this film WAAAAAYYY before that ever happened...)
and is possibly the ONLY ONE of its genre because this film was "reincarnated"...
What I mean by that is that it started out its movie-life as one film and wound-up aTOTALLY DIFFERENT FILM!
The original film was a mid-1960s, cheap, JAPANESE, "James Bond" knock-off, "spy thriller" with an all-Japanese cast, director, producer -- the whole ball o' wax...
Woody Allen actually BOUGHT ALL the rights to the original film and then WIPED THE SOUNDTRACK clean...
He then wrote a HILARIOUS COMEDY (using the voices of Louise Lasser [of "Mary Hartman! Mary Hartman!" fame], Joe Butler, Frank Buxton, himself and others) in its place!
The end-result is, without question, ABSOLUTELY THE FUNNIEST MOVIE that I HAVE EVER SEEN in my ENTIRE LIFE!
Woody Allen's plot has the suave, debonaire "Japanese James Bond" battling his arch-enemies in elaborately-contrived settings with (at the time) "high-tech weapons" amidst a veritable PARADE of beautiful, Asian "Bond girls" over which one will possess "the best egg-salad sandwich recipe in the WORLD" ("...an egg-salad so good, you could plotz...")
Here are my feeble attempts at some synopses of just a VERY few of the many, MANY, MANY funny moments in the film:
1. A beautiful Japanese girl dressed in overalls has broken out of prison and been unwitting rescued -- not by the people she was expecting -- but by a debonaire, worldly Japanese James Bond. She has just taken a shower in his bachelor-pad apartment and emerges from the bathroom wearing a tight-fitting, silk, embroidered, Oriental-style dress.
Japanese Bombshell: I somehow managed to find a woman's dress...
2. After the Bond character and one of the beauties are tied up in a basement, a strange, weirdo, evil sidekick of one of the archvillans (with the voice of a badly-imitated Peter Lorre: "...this Peter Lorre imitation is KILLING my THROAT!") has loosed his pet cobra in the room and then leaves for a moment. In the interim, the Bond character manages to kick the cobra onto some high voltage wires with his foot and kill it. The weirdo sidekick returns and is overwhelmed at the loss of his pet.
Weirdo Sidekick: You killed my snake!! You, you, BEAST you!! Where am I going to get a long, thin COFFIN?!?!?
3. Gang of thugs on a small boat is going to a large ship in the harbor to fight it out with the good guys:
Leader: "...Don't get too close to these railings, men -- you'll fall off... Remember the training films we saw... And make sure that all of your W-2 forms have been filled out!"
4. Bad guy is on a "gambling ship" in Yokohama harbor and wins a bunch of money by cheating with an electronic device. He is going to leave but is stalled by the dealer (per the orders of the arch-villan) by being taken to the top deck where gorgeous prostitutes are standing at each of the cabin doors.
Bad Guy to first prostitute: Hello.
To second: Hi there.
To third: Hello.
To fourth: MOTHER! What are you DOING here?
Fourth Prostitute: Well... You NEVER write...
But, it is as I have said, I can't even BEGIN to do this movie the justice that it deserves...
Just take it from "The Kween of Krazy Kapshuns": If you love funny movies like I do, you shouldn't live another night without seeing "What's Up, Tiger Lily?"! You will not be sorry!
A still from Woody Allen's "What's Up, Tiger Lily?" that started out as a Japanese spy-thriller and ended up the funniest movie I've ever SEEN...