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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 38.89%
Average: 2.78%
Pretty Bad: 2.78%
Total Crap: 5.56%

1 review, 30 user ratings

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Gods Must Be Crazy, The
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by Scott Weinberg

"Beware of falling Coke bottles!"
4 stars

Nowadays it's not all that uncommon for a foreign film to hit the American shores and manage to become a "sensation". Sure, it only happens a few times each year but it's a fairly reliable occurrence. Such was not really the case in 1984, which is when Jamie Uys' "The Gods Must Be Crazy" arrived at your local arthouse, and the movie was, indeed, a bona-fide "sensation".

By this point, Jamie Uys was known mainly for his amusing nature documentary entitled Animals are Beautiful People (1974). Following that success, Uys spent the next 3+ years working on "Gods," which was completed in 1980 and spent four years overseas before making it stateside. And what a solid little coup it was for the folks at Jensen Farley Pictures, a now-defunct distributor which generally dabbled in product like Joysticks, Madman and Chained Heat.

The Gods Must Be Crazy was one of those "dinner party" movies that you simply HAD to see if you wanted to participate in all the buzzing. As always, it's reassuring to realize that just about ANY movie can become a success if the audience feels enthusiastic enough to spread the good word.

Though initially broken up into three distinct plot threads, The Gods Must Be Crazy slowly and amiably pulls each one closer until it all fits together quite well.

Thread 1 introduces us to a South African bushman who aims to throw a Coke bottle off the edge of the world. Recently arrived on their land by a careless pilot, the bottle initially represents some type of modern convenience. But once the tribe members start getting mad at whoever's 'hogging the magic item', the decision is made: edge-of-the-world time for this pesky gift from the gods.

Thread 2 covers a monumentally clumsy (yet entirely likeable) inventor/scientist who's been asked to escort a lovely new school teacher to her arid new lodgings. This particular plot thread is heavy on silly schtick and frequent pratfalls. Still, there's good fun to be had.

Thread 3 (thankfully) earns the least of the screen time, and it's got something to do with a violent political uprising and machine gun-toting mercenaries.

The ambitious Jamie Uys seems to throw whatever he can into this silly stew: broad comedy, cutesy romance, political intrigue, nature documentary footage, action sequences and social commentary all buck for your attention - resulting in a movie experience that's as admittedly odd as it is perpetually intriguing. If one section doesn't work for you, just wait five minutes and something completely different will parade across the screen.

Looking back on a Foreign Flick Sensation that's now over twenty years old...The Gods Must Be Crazy still holds up surprisingly well. There's an earnest sincerity to the messages offered within, plus the presentation is colorful and exotic and quite funny throughout.

If it manages to drag just a bit here and there or perhaps run about fifteen minutes too long, you'll be willing to forgive "The Gods Must Be Crazy" by that point, simply because it's such a quaintly surreal, quietly amusing and endearingly bizarre little import.

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originally posted: 05/18/04 14:40:08
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User Comments

4/13/16 Katrina Weiss Hilarious when I was a kid and still funny today. 5 stars
8/13/14 dr.lao Funy and thought provoking 5 stars
1/12/14 shane excellent 4 stars
5/20/10 PVM An unforgettable movie: weird, funny, awkward, sincere, touching, thought-provoking, crazy 5 stars
4/22/10 M. Carter @ the Movies A fun fish-out-of-water comedy that tells one intriguing story 4 stars
10/27/08 Jeanette There are some really dumb people in the world. No appreciate of cultural classes &humour 4 stars
4/26/08 max Hilariously intertwining three different African cultures and stories 4 stars
1/25/08 nico humurous yet witty, creativity at it's peak. an instrument for national and self-realizatio 4 stars
9/30/07 Jesse Bottom line is setting priorites of individuals, families and society. 5 stars
6/01/07 V.j. This movie was hi-larious! You've gotta see it. It's great for the fam and ur peeps 5 stars
12/29/06 David Pollastrini very well done 5 stars
10/27/06 David Harrison indecent parts, several instances of provocative semi-nudity 2 stars
10/09/06 Phyllida The funny bits belie the greater philosophical ideas behind them! 5 stars
10/08/06 ngila A genius piece of art; but to get the most u need to understand some georgraphy, history an 5 stars
5/22/06 Zay undeniably entertaining, at the expense however of an already objectified people 3 stars
4/12/06 TONCjkfsbnkbdkifs Prefect 5 stars
11/27/05 me crap 1 stars
10/26/05 Cassie Bliss I thought this movie was boring and not the least bit funny. 1 stars
9/20/05 Michael Excellent! A weird, wonderful little movie. 5 stars
11/22/04 les ford haven't seen 5 stars
10/03/04 WILLIAM1919 Work of genius but comedy is not taken seriously by critics 5 stars
9/28/04 Butter G very funny. all of that over a coke bottle. i love the clicking talk. awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
8/26/04 Helen Bradley Very funny clever movie 5 stars
8/07/04 ranger4e Absolutely hysterical. One of my favorite movies. 5 stars
6/14/04 Louise S. Excellent film! Good message and just good fun. 5 stars
6/11/04 T. Maj A one-of-a-kind film 4 stars
5/24/04 Peter a great social commentary; simple, yet true 5 stars
5/22/04 Monster W. Kung Good, funny and sometimes even touching. 4 stars
5/20/04 R.W. Welch Quite original and generally amusing pic. 4 stars
5/18/04 John a wonderful comedy and a wonderful film 5 stars
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  13-Jul-1984 (PG)
  DVD: 01-Jun-2004



Directed by
  Jamie Uys

Written by
  Jamie Uys

  Marius Weyers
  Sandra Prinsloo
  Louw Verwey
  Michael Thys
  Nic De Jager

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