The Beverly Hillbillies Review

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In this film based on the 60's sitcom, The family Clampett move to Los Angeles after finding oil on the rural farm and selling it for a fortune. Once they arrive they find various people are after their money whilst the bankers try to integrate them into society.


In the 1960s, The Beverly Hillbillies was a surprise TV hit, following the adventures of Jed Clampett and his brood of dirt-poor farmers who struck oil and relocated to California, where homespun wisdom, refreshing honesty and $20 billion made them welcome in the hearts of the rich and shallow.

Aside from the fact that the title scores high on recognition value, there is no earthly reason, however, why the 90s should be troubled with a remake of a show that wasn't very good in the first place. The only thing the film gets right comes early, with a mercifully straight version of The Ballad Of Jed Clampett, the show's memorable theme song, rather than, as with The Addams Family, some horrible rap arrangement of the same. Things go from appalling to intolerable as characters are introduced.

Jim Varney tones down his Ernest obnoxiousness as Jed, but the rest of his family (Cloris Leachman as a game granny, Erika Eleniak as the unfeasibly-breasted Elly May, Diedrich Bader as big lunk Jethro) go all out for grinning good fellowship. Tomlin and Dabney Coleman fume as the stuffy bankers who try to introduce the Clampetts into society and Lea Thompson (Howard The Duck and this in one career!) keeps the "plot" moving along as the schemer out to marry into the Clampett billions.

Spheeris, who made not only Wayne's World but also the Decline Of Western Civilisation movies, does a downright terrible job of trundling out lame jokes (there's a topical one about "Cousin" Bill in the White House), hokey guest appearances (Buddy Ebsen, the original Jed, pops up as Barnaby Jones) and goofy hoe-downs. Quite, quite horrible.

With films like these, it's a wonder studios still think it's a good idea to regurgitate the past. Yet again proving it's not such a great idea, The Beverly Hillbillies turns into possibly one of the worst transitions ever. With a cast full of nobodies (who are nobodies for good reason, except Eleniak and that's for her breasts) and an uninspired script the whole film is a considerably patchy affair.