This is one of my favorite movies from when I was younger. I grew up listening to Weird Al’s parodies and when I saw that he had made a movie, I just had to see it. I was expecting a movie parodying movies just like his songs parodied songs. What I wasn’t expecting was a superhero movie. Weird Al plays George Newman, someone who can alter reality to suit his own means, and he uses his powers to defeat the evil head of the C8 corporation, R. J. Fletcher, a mastermind enemy with his cadre of henchmen trying to eliminate George’s base of operations, his UHF headquarters.
George Newman is an interesting choice for a hero, while he’s generally soft spoken, he does tend to let his emotions take over, whether he’s accosting a tyrannical employer or showering his love interest with gifts. On occasion he showcases his powers, whether it’s to steal a coveted idol or to rescue his trusty sidekick Stanley Spadowski from Fletcher’s henchmen. Some of his abilities include whipping someone’s arm clean off of their body, and catching a bullet in his teeth and explosively spitting it back out, not to mention being able to transform himself whenever the need arises. I also think there’s a bit of intestinal fortitude to be able to withstand the Twinkie weiner sandwich.
R. J. Fletcher is a menacing villain, firing his henchmen at a whim, even attempting to fire people that don’t even work for him on more than one occasion. He has ties with the mafia, using his influence to intimidate mafia bookie Big Louie, as well as being oft accompanied by a group of trigger happy gunmen. His constant goal is to track down the source of UHF’s power and destroy it, both by going to the head of the operation Uncle Harvey and trying to eliminate George’s sidekick Stanley.
As a sidekick, Stanley often does more than George on the public front, creating support from the masses with his vivacious personality, but he’s not without his fighting skills as well, as long as he’s not separated by his source of power: his trusty mop. He’s a master at janitor-fu and pratfalls, though unfortunately he lacks in the mental fortitude department, falling for a simple ruse from Fletcher’s henchmen. His sensibilities also helped design a large portion of the UHF-cave, complete with the firehose and quick-oatmeal pit to foil would-be intruders.
As with many superheroes, George trying to hide his secret identity from his girlfriend Teri creates some major tension in their relationship. While he’s busy keeping things going in the UHF lair, he misses important dates with her and she becomes rightfully upset. It’s not until the end of the movie where he reveals his powers to her that she’s able to take him back so they can spend their time together.
Throughout the movie, George and Stanley aren’t the only heroes featured here, there’s also several others that get their moments to shine, like a brief appearance by Conan the Librarian, as well as their trusty tech guy Philo who keeps them supplied with gadgets and devices to help foil the evil Fletcher, and even he is able to reveal his secret identity at the end of the movie. This movie is not without its flaws, but it never fails to put a smile on my face, whether it’s Raul’s Wild Kingdom or Spatula City or the Beverly Hillbillies music video in the middle of the movie. It’s one of my favorites and I hope you have a happy April Fool’s Day. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.