A horrible 100-year-old Judge in the small town of Valkenvania rubs his hands in glee when his bumbling deputy brings in a pair of speeding New York yuppies. The hapless duo try to flee, only to run into several life-threatening pitfalls and traps in the process.
Chevy Chase, John Candy and Dan Aykroyd are all comic actors with a string of hit comedy movies, including Ghostbusters and Uncle Buck, between them.
It’s worth pointing this out, since in this “comedy” their comic talents are strangely absent, and there is barely one laugh to be had throughout the whole film.
Chase is rich financial publisher Chris Thorne, who encounters the beautiful Diane (Demi Moore) in a lift, and invites her on a daytrip to Atlantic City. Setting off with her and a Brazilian couple along for the ride, they take a detour off the freeway for a picnic and end up in the derelict village of Valkenvania, where they get arrested for running a stop sign.
Now, Valkenvania is no ordinary place, so instead of being let off with a traffic ticket, the foursome are hauled up in front of 100-year-old Judge Reeve (Dan Aykroyd looking like a latex leftover from Dick Tracy), whose methods of justice are extreme to say the least.
Finding them guilty, the judge, his policeman grandson (Candy) and his man-hungry granddaughter (Candy in drag) imprison the four in their booby-trapped home where they encounter Bobo and Little Devil (two adult-sized babies that look like Jabba The Hut) and various moving floors, walls and gizmos that would get better laughs at a funfair’s haunted house.
Unfortunately this isnt even half as fun as the shortest bumper-car ride, with the cast lost in a sea of unfunny situations and badly executed antique jokes on loan from The Munsters all obviously puzzled about why they are actually there.