Saturday, April 02, 2011

Not to be confused with the Ant & Aadrvark cartoon of the same name

What did I just tell myself? Anyway, it's that time of the week again where we look at a Stooge film! Yay! Welp, with Ants in the Pantry, we start familiarly enough with a comedy name... and dolly in on it for good measure! Librarians named Bookman, pest exterminator business owners named Mouser, it's all good. They take it one step further by making him a Kraut. Priceless. He walks in on the boys playing cards and asks "Vas ist loss?" ...I probably didn't spell that right. I'd try using the special dictionary pronunciation font but that'd take several weeks, and you'd probably have to download a special 5 megabyte font just to see it. But don't kid yourselves, the Stooges got the comedy spectrum covered. The dizzy secretary says "Oh, they're in the next room discussing politics. One of them said, 'Let's have a New Deal.'" And they're actually playing cards! Get it? See, because... ah, skip it. Spoiler alert: Fox News devotees should probably stop reading now, it's only going to get worse.
Anyway, the plot: the Stooges attempt to drum up business for the flailing pest extermination company by handing out free samples to unsuspecting customers, if you will. Now, I've tried to cleanse my mind of the Stooge memes, but I think this is the first one where Larry does his "I can't see! I CAN'T SEE!" bit. In fact, Larry secretly steals the show here. Moe sets it up so that Larry's fist swings around and hits Curly on the head. Kinky! Also, he gets star treatment when he lets loose his set of pests. The capper is a string of ... I assume moths... from under his hat. Good double bill with that Don Knotts astronaut picture. And Larry with a hammer? Silver screen gold. Chivalry will have to take a back seat as Larry attempts to eradicate a mouse on a lady's back with a hammer. She's dancing with Curly and any good comedian knows it's not funny to hit a lady, even with a hammer. Then again, he hits two ladies on the foot with same hammer in a bravura sequence where he's chasing a mouse on a fishing line.
To pad out the two reels, there's a subplot involving Moe falling in love at first sight with a pretty waitress. Curly also has a bag of cats, and they're simply adorable. Still, this was the pre-Humane Society days when you could get away with those kinds of shenanigans.
I hate to say it, at least out loud, but I can type it here! Nevertheless, I think Pest Man Wins is slightly better. Well, the boys were more experienced when they made that one, but there was still some old footage from Pantry that would do in a pinch. But I will concede, and I'm too behind in my work to check YouTube right now, that Pantry's probably got the better ending, even though it's a little contrived, even for the Stooges. Lord knows the one thing you can't ask a Stooge to do is clean up the mess they've made, and quietly and/or discreetly, but the snooty party guests come to the half-correct conclusion that these three knuckleheads are obviously entertainers (from Vaudeville) that have come to provide a novel form of entertainment to these high society types. From there, they get invited on a fox hunt alluded to in the costuming. Curly has a bad cold on the fox hunt, mistakes a skunk for a fox, catches it and puts it in a bag. But the final surprise is: it's not just Moe and Larry that get blown away and knocked out cold by this!

Good double bill with: Hoi Polloi

Next week: Movie Maniacs!
The Three Stooges filmography at Wikipedia

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

No comments: