Top Secret Cover

Top Secret is one of my guilty movie pleasures, for the non-stop way in which it throws every imaginable gag at the viewer – sight gags, puns, political humor, slapstick, musical parody, movie parody, classical ballet parody, Omar Sharif in a crunched-up car, an underwater saloon brawl to the tune of the theme for Bonanza, the surreal ‘backwards’ scene in a Swedish bookstore (with subtitles, yet) and a member of the French Underground named Déjà vu (“ave we not met before?”) . These elements all come flying so thick and fast that at least some of them have a chance to stick to your funny bone. Top Secret cheerfully managed to skewer two apparently disparate genres; the ‘Cold War/WWII espionage flick, and Elvis Presley musicals, with some passing swipes at “Blue Lagoon” and various James Bond flicks. Frankly, it doesn’t much matter of one gag falls a little flat, for there will be five or six more in the next few seconds, and the odds are that at least one of them will elicit uncontrollable giggles. “Top Secret” may have been Val Kilmer’s very best movie performance, along with “Real Genius” – and it also proved without a doubt that if he couldn’t have made it as an actor, he had a better than even chance as a pop-singer. Alas, within a couple of years he would start taking himself all too seriously. No movie role that he has had since has displayed quite as much of the manic sense of energy, the musical chops – or the gleeful sense of humor.

This is definitely one of the most memorable and funniest films from the 1980s, amusingly repackaged with a bonus CD of pop songs from that period: INXS, A-ha, and the barely-recalled Echo and the Bunnymen. Extra features for the film itself include four alternate scenes, the original theatrical trailer and the obligatory commentary track by the directors, and producer.

Top Secret will be available this week at Amazon.com and other retail outlets.

Sgt. Mom is a free-lance writer and member of the Independent Authors Guild who lives in San Antonio and blogs at The Daily Brief. Her current book project – The Adelsverein Trilogy is also available through Amazon.com. More about her books is at her website www.celiahayes.com.

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