Slapstick of Another Kind (1984)
For anyone who suffered through the horrific film adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions from 1999, believe it or not, there was an even worse Vonnegut adaptation. As proof, here is the abysmal Slapstick of Another Kind.
Having never read the Vonnegut novel Slapstick, I can't say for sure how accurate the film version is, although it's been said that the book is full of social and political satire. None of that is in evidence here. Essentially, Slapstick of Another Kind is the story of a couple of alien, deformed twins who are stupid when separated but are brilliant when put together as they put their gigantic foreheads against each other. No, really.
Jerry Lewis and Madeline Kahn star as a couple of "beautiful people" who are very wealthy amidst an America of insane unemployment and high gas prices who give birth to the deformed children, also played by Lewis and Kahn. You're not alone in having a feeling of disbelief that Jerry Lewis of all people would be involved in a movie where deformed children are supposed to be the source of comedy. In fact, as the father, Lewis actually starts to dry heave at seeing his newborn twins.
What is this all about? Who knows? Also on hand is Marty Feldman as Sylvester the butler who spends 15 years caring for the twins until they are seven foot tall giants who still sleep in massive cribs. But see, the twin Lewis and Kahn are only pretending to be stupid because that's what they think everyone wants; in fact, they are highly evolved and write papers on astrophysics. While in stupid mode, Lewis and Kahn have several scenes where all they do is babble, spit, throw food, run around crazily and destroy things. Anyway, they are separated and Lewis is sent to a military school where he receives shock treatments and Kahn must rescue him in order to regain their intelligence and fly back to their home planet. Oh yeah, and there's also a lot of unexplained and incoherent plot threads about the Chinese government, where the Chinese ambassador to America (Pat Morita) is only three inches tall and flies around in a ship that's shaped like a fortune cookie.
Although Lewis and Kahn deserved some blame for agreeing to star in this mess, the major fault lies with Steven Paul who wrote, produced and directed it. There is absolutely no redeeming qualities anywhere in evidence. It's not funny or interesting. To make matters worse, it's sloppily put together: the makeup is wretched, the special effects are on the level of a elementary school film strip and the editing is so butchered there are continuity errors the like that you'd see in an Ed Wood, Jr. production.
The only purpose Slapstick of Another Kind can serve (along with Breakfast of Champions) is that there should never, ever, ever be another movie adaptation of a Kurt Vonnegut novel. It's true that 1972's Slaughter-House Five didn't completely suck, but that should be viewed as the exception and not the rule.