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Don't Ask Don't Tell
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by Scott Weinberg

"MST3K material with 'Fabulous' Flamboyancy"
3 stars

Remember that old TV show called "Groovie Movies"? It predated "Mystery Science Theater" by a few years and featured a bunch of glib comedians adding a new audio track to a cheesy old movie. Sometimes the results were borderline hilarious, more often the fare was groan-inducing and tedious. It's interesting to note that some of the Groovie Movie folks are still plying their wares to this day. Case in point: the periodically very funny and generally uneventful "Don't Ask Don't Tell".

The subject of parody is W. Lee Wilder's Killers from Space, a rather ludicrous sci-fi RKO potboiler starring Peter Graves, and it gives Doug Miles and Tex Hauser a ripe old lemon to suckle upon. As you could probably assume from a title like Don't Ask Don't Tell, the 'new' plot has a lot to do with homosexuality, the military...and mutated space aliens who are suspected of trying to turn the whole world gay.

From beyond the grave, Graves steps into the role of Dr. Fartin, a mad scientist who is wrapped up in an evil scheme to homo-fy the world. It's all very silly, which is fine. But much of the material here is fairly obvious, which leaves a lot of empty space between the chuckles.

And there are laughs to be found here. Most of them come from off-hand remarks or bitchy banter; every once in a while a true rib-tickler will jam into you and wake you up. And let's not even get into the new material created to bridge Killers from Space and this wacky new concoction; this connective tissue is gay-themed vaudeville schtick of the most familiar order.

This sort of voice-over comedy is probably a whole lot tougher than it looks, so Miles and his pals deserve credit for a job well done in that respect; it's the screenplay that needs the most polishing.

The flick only runs about 75 minutes, and it's bound to make you laugh at least 5 or 6 times. For those looking for one last iteration of the Groovie Movie / MST3K template, or those who just like silly comedies about gayness, "Don't Ask Don't Tell" is probably worthy of a rental spin.

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originally posted: 02/14/04 05:17:40
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Directed by
  Doug Miles

Written by
  Tex Hauser

  Lloyd Floyd
  Rosa Rugosa
  Mike McCurry
  Erik Frandson
  Greg Roman

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