Hamburger: The Motion Picture (1986)

hamburger

By Richard Winters

My Rating: 1 out of 10

4-Word Review: Receiving a hamburger education.

Russell (Leigh McCloskey) has flunked out of several colleges and has no future plans while being deemed a failure by his parents (Robert Hogan, Lillian Garrett). Then he meets a franchise owner of Busterburger who tells him about how much money he can make as an owner of one of their restaurants, which convinces him to train to become a franchisee. The problem is that he must attend Burger U, which is run by the no-nonsense Drootin (Dick Butkus) who has strict rules and won’t even allow the students to leave the campus during the school semester. They are forced to sleep in beds that look like giant hamburgers and if they do get into trouble they are locked into cells made to resemble giant pickles and sprayed with hot sauce.

There are schools out there that train people on how to own their own fast food franchise and had this film toned down the silliness and keep it solely on a satirical level it might’ve worked. The opening 10 minutes has an over-the-top campy quality, which isn’t bad, but then it devolves into the crude, cartoonish mindset that drags the thing down until it becomes a forgettable waste of time.

The film was written by Donald Ross who penned many teleplays for TV-series from the ‘70s through the ‘90s. He is also the husband of Patti Deutsch a red haired, nasal voiced woman who was a quirky contestant on game shows during the ‘70s including ‘Match Game’, which is my favorite. They also appeared together as a couple on ‘Tattletales’ and in those instances he came off as a reasonably intelligent person, so I was expecting a little bit more from this than what I got.

Unfortunately there’s nothing funny about it and just proceeds to get dumber and dumber as it progresses. It’s also insulting to overweight people as it includes a highly offensive and gross scene where a busload of them come into a restaurant and eat everything in sight like they’re animals instead of humans and then proceed to all have a flatulence attack, which ultimately blows the whole place up.

Former Chicago Bears linebacker Butkus is alright and the one highpoint of both the film and his otherwise unimpressive acting career. Chuck McCann, who is almost unrecognizable as an eccentric professor, is okay too, but star McCloskey is dull and looks more like a man in his 30’s, which he was, than a college aged student while the rest of the cast of characters are too exaggerated to be either interesting or funny.

Clearly the producers were trying to tap into the Police Academy formula, but it doesn’t work and is a complete embarrassment to all those involved.

My Rating: 1 out of 10

Released: January 14, 1986

Runtime: 1Hour 29Minutes

Rated R

Director: Mike Marvin

Studio: Busterburger Limited Partnership

Available: VHS

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