The Big Bus

[2.5 stars] [IMDB Link]

[Amazon Link]
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My movie mood was leaning toward "dumb and funny", so I picked this blast from the past. And shelled out $3.99 to Amazon for the privilege. I saw it when it came out in 1976, and not since. Although it's still funny in spots, my memory was overly rosy.

An opening prologue references the movies parodied here: "There have been Movies about Big Earthquakes . . . There have been Movies about Big Boats sinking . . . Movies about Big Buildings burning . . . Movies about Big German Balloons busting . . . And now a Movie about . . .". And (amazingly) this movie was made before Airplane!. They don't make 'em like this any more, do they?

Joseph Bologna plays Dan, a bus driver down on his luck, reviled by his peers for a past catastrophe in which bus passengers were eaten by crash survivors. But Dan himself was cleared, since he was unaware of the ingredients of the stew his co-driver prepared. ("You eat one lousy foot and they call you a cannibal!")

He gets a chance at redemption when his ex-fiancee, Kitty (Stockard Channing) importunes him to take "Cyclops", the titular nuclear-powered one-headlight vehicle, on its maiden nonstop voyage from New York to Denver. Complication: an oil magnate will stop at nothing to sabotage the bus. A careless hillbilly causes a collision. The bus (literally) teeters on the edge of disaster. And (of course) both crew and passengers are a colorful lot.

But I fell asleep on the sofa with about 20 minutes left in the movie. Fortunately, Amazon lets you back up.

Last Modified 2024-01-11 4:50 AM EST