Used Cars | Chicago Reader

Used Cars

For once a comedy in the Animal House school that knows what it's was about: the vulgarity of the gags matches the vulgarity of the subject, and this 1980 film becomes a fierce, cathartically funny celebration of the low, the cheap, the venal—in short, America. Most of the time, I didn't know whether to laugh or shudder, and I ended up doing a lot of both. It was Steve Martin who said, “Comedy isn't pretty,” but it's Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, the writer-directors here, who prove it; this is the Dawn of the Dead of slapstick. Kurt Russell, in an eloquently obnoxious performance, is the chief salesman; the supporting cast has been drawn, evocatively, from The Gong Show, Laverne and Shirley, and The Munsters.

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