Code Red // 1977 // 73 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Christopher Kulik (Retired) // May 15th, 2008
It's the nuttiest, naughtiest, looniest, gooniest, funniest madcap comedy of the year!
Maybe someone in 1977 thought that was a perfect tagline. However, in 2008, it's so false.
Essentially, Can I Do It...'Til I Need Glasses? is like a poor man's Saturday Night Live, except filled to the brim with R-rated sex jokes too dirty to televise in the mid-'70s. It's as if the filmmakers decided to bring together all the jokes they passed along throughout the '50s and '60s, then film each and every one of them. The result is a 73-minute movie with 61 individual jokes. Two or three actually got mild chuckles. Perhaps six or so made a small smile come to my face. Otherwise, all of them were obvious, moronic, vulgar, weird, or offensive. Just to give you more of an idea, here is a sampling of what Can I Do It... has to offer:
* A show called Wildlife Today has zoologists measuring the tally-whackers of different animals.
* A naked guy with a gun and a bag over his head knocks on a couple's door. At first, the husband thinks it's a burglar, but when the guy reveals himself as a rapist, the husband turns around and calls, "Honey, it's for you!"
* A drunk guy hears his phone ring while ironing, but accidentally mistakes the phone for the iron and burns his ear off. (One of the few non-sex jokes, but equally stupid.)
* A woman wants to take a birth-control pill before making love to her husband (yeah, riiight). To add to her stupidity, she doesn't know how to take the pill, so she sticks it in her vagina, since that's "where the magic happens."
* A woman wakes up next to a gorilla one morning in bed. She thinks she was really "tight" last night, and the gorilla says, "Only the first time."
* A father is upset at his friend's son who has pissed into the sand at the beach simply because it was in his daughter's handwriting. (Moving along...)
* A guy masturbates to a Hustler magazine on a bus. During his pleasure, everyone gets off (no pun intended) as soon as possible...with the exception of a priest.
* A nudist camp has naked waiters who carry cups of coffee to everyone. Take a wild guess on where they hold the donuts.
At any rate, I think you all now get the point, so why bother going on?
If Can I Do It... proves anything, it's that the 1970s was all about open sexuality. The decade was ripe with these type of movies, most of which are distressingly dated now; that's not to say there aren't people out there who still masturbate in public places or have fetishes like feeling up a chicken's bunghole. However, when you treat this material with humorous intentions, at least have a point. John Waters had one when he made A Dirty Shame, as well as Trey Parker and Matt Stone with Orgazmo. This film is like one of those bobbing chickens in that you stare at the screen in bewilderment and boredom (when you are not occasionally offended, that is). If you must know, Can I Do It... is a follow-up to the similar If You Don't Stop It...You'll Go Blind!!!, which had the same cast and crew. The same year of this film's release saw yet another dirty joke-filled extravaganza called Jokes My Folks Never Told Me, which I saw on VHS back in the late 80s. Now, with the rise of STDs in all varieties, you come away with all these movies with a host of negative side effects.
Granted, I've seen comedies with less laughs or practically no laughs (Waiting... immediately comes to mind). With Can I Do It..., very little of it delivers either because the jokes are predicted too soon or too childish. For example, there is a string of dirty fairy tale-like jokes hosted by a "lovable" old aunt who tells stories involving oral sex ("The Frog and The Princess") and animals "eating" girls ("Little Red Riding Hood"). The worst offenders are the anti-women jokes, and it's unsurprising that the film was written and directed by men, as well as showcasing nearly all the women fully unclothed. Some of the men are unclothed too, though none of them shows their privates, while several of the women do. In fact, I'm stunned this didn't receive an X-rating when it was first released.
When the movie was half over, I had the penchant of checking my watch every few minutes. When it was three-quarters over, I had started to yawn uncontrollably. Oh, sorry, did I already mention the film is only 73 minutes? Anyway, by the time of the final joke (which is typically supposed to be the best one), all the filmmakers could come up with is a virtual rip-off of the final sequence from Woody Allen's Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex But Were Afraid To Ask. Yes, indeed, it does involve talking sperm that are about to fly out of the male body; Allen's line in his film, just before he's about to jump out ("Well, at least he's Jewish!"), tops every second of Can I Do It..., hands down.
There is a reason why this film is now on DVD, while the others I mentioned earlier remain in the black hole of bad movies: Robin Williams. Yes, the Robin Williams. Technically, this is his "motion picture debut," though it was by filmmaker force, to explain. This film was originally released in 1977, with all of Robin's material already excised. In late 1979, after he had it hit it big on Mork & Mindy, the film was re-released with all of the excised footage back in, and the shameless marketing campaign played up on Robin's star quality to get more people into the theater. (This is why at the very, very end of Can I Do It..., after "The End," it shows a still of Robin and recognizes his small contribution.) I think he's one of the funniest guys on Earth, though here, he's only in two scenes (one in a courtroom, the other outside a dentist's office); in both, he's not allowed to be funny and ends up simply be the butt of someone else's bad joke (he's also wearing glasses, so go figure!). I hesitate to recommend this even if you are a die-hard fan, as it just isn't worth it...and I'm sure Williams himself will tell you the same thing.
Code Red, a small branch of BCI Eclipse, has decided to bring Can I Do It... to DVD. The results range from barely faithful to outright disdain. The film is presented in 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, drawing upon original vault materials, and the visual quality is as crappy as the film itself. Lines, scratches, white spots, discoloration, and cigarette burns run wild all throughout; what's really sad is that this will no doubt be the best the film will ever look. Audio is mono, and it's much better than expected, though you may want to mute during the annoying title song. There are no subtitles, though the DVD is Region 0 in case you want to ship it off to Abu Dhabi after suffering through it.
As far as extras, Code Red screwed up a perfect opportunity: several cast and crew members are thanked in the DVD credits, and yet none of them comes out to speak about the film. I'm not sure if they were embarrassed or had better things to do, but there is no new material being offered for this piece of film history, even if it's not in the good sense. What we do have is a piss-poor re-release trailer, proudly proclaiming that the "funniest man on television is now the funniest man in the movies!" There are also trailers for other Code Red DVDs. Even though it doesn't state it on the back case, there is one other extra; when you click "extras" on the DVD menu, you see a scene that is really a 2-second clip from the movie. In that sense, it's not really an extra, though give them credit for trying.
I suppose the only ones who may find this funny at all would be drunk frat boys. Otherwise, unless you're a dedicated Robin Williams completist, you'd be better off actually "doing it," glasses not required.
Can I just stop here...and say it's Guilty?
Review content copyright © 2008 Christopher Kulik; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* Bottom 100 Discs: #84
Studio: Code Red
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
Running Time: 73 Minutes
Release Year: 1977
MPAA Rating: Rated R
* Theatrical Trailer