Monday, March 10, 2008
The Sheriff and the Satellite Kid
Uno Sceriffo extraterrestre – poco extra e molto terrestre; science-fiction comedy, Italy, 1979; D: Michele Lupo, S: Bud Spencer, Cary Guffey, Raimund Harmstorf, Joe Bugner, Harold French, Ricardo Pizzuti
Newnan, Georgia, is a small provincial town where the strong sheriff Hall doesn't have much to do. But one day people start massively reporting about a UFO siting, while Hall meets a little kid who claims his name is H7-25 and is an alien. Hall doesn't believe him at first, but when the kid creates all kind of unexplainable things with his remote control, like animals talking or time moving forward and backwards, he has to face the music. When the military kidnaps the kid and forces him to tell them all his secrets, Hall steps in and saves him. The spaceship takes the kid away, but he shows up again and decides to stay with the sheriff.
This gentle and harmless children's comedy isn't one of the best examples of comedian Bud Spencer's skills, but due to it's nostalgic flair and sweet gags it even seems like a decent achievement. There is nothing extraordinary in the tame story, everything seems to be going by the standard Spencer formula of light entertainment, whereas even the best moments, like when the alien kid H7-25 (Cary Guffey, the kid from Spielberg's "Close Encounters") uses his remote control device to make time go forwards and backwards in a loop in order to make the evil military chief get hit two, three or even four times by the same object or when Spencer smashes through the wall, cause just a small smile of sympathy at best. If anything, the chemistry between Guffey and Spencer is really charming, maybe underlying a small theme about the understanding of different cultures, while the songs are great. It's not much of a treat, but one really wonders how the authors managed to make the characters so appealing in such a mainstream film, while many skillfuler ones can't even make one memorable character in their demanding ones.