“Tickle your ass with a feather?” - Major Liceman
Apparently, when Ron Leibman, who plays Major Liceman, saw an early cut of
Mad Magazine presents Up The Academy he immediately told producers he wanted his name removed from the picture and any upcoming promotional material. By the time Up The Academy hit theaters, he wasn’t the only.
I don’t know at what point during his pre-screening did Ron Leibman decided that he needed top stand up for his reputation, but if I had to guess, maybe it is this scene where he asks a fellow female solider if he could tickle her ass with a feather.
After Up The Academy bombed in theaters, Mad Magazine, out of sheer disdain, paid $30,000 dollars to the producer to remove their name and Alfred E. Nuemans likeness from the film before it was going to be aired on HBO.
All this backstory would probably make you think that Up The Academy is a worse movie than
Human Centipede 1 Human Centipede 2 Human Centipede 3. Actually, it’s just a watered down, less funny version, of Animal House. Instead of a college campus, our mischievous teenage heroes go to a strict military boarding school, where the cause trouble for the evil, sexual deviant Major Liceman (Ron Leibman).
Up The Academy is a passable teenage comedy that is remarkable in one way, it has an incredible soundtrack.
Up The Academy has one of the best movie soundtrack of all time, featuring some late 1970s jams. It probably has the greatest inverse relationship between how bad the film is and how good the soundtrack is. Here are some of my favorite tracks, but the whole thing is worth a listen:
Nick Lowe - Heart Of The City
Blow Up - Kickin’ Up a Fuss
Cheeks - Boney Maroney
Blow Up - Beat The Devil
Eddie And The Hotrods - Do Anything You Wanna Do
Dwight Twilley - Trying To Find My Baby
I can’t say that Up The Academy is so bad that it warranted Mad magazine and Ron Leibman to fight to remove their names from the film, but I will say that I can’t blame them for wanting to either. Up The Academy is a silly film that spends little time with plot instead speeding from one joke to another, like bullets from Miss Bliss’s classroom. There are a few good laughs to be had and the cast of young actors give some good performances, but in the end Up The Academy is just a pubescent clone of a much better film.
In a sentence
Up The Academy is a passable, pre-teen Animal House clone with a few good laughs and a great soundtrack.
Rotten Tomatoes: Not Enough Reviews
My Rating: 2.5 Broken Lenses Out Of 5
“You can escape purgatory, but you can’t escape Hell.” - Priest in My Left Foot
This has been day 17 of 30 VHS In 30 DAYS. My journey to the center of VHS Hell. Special thanks to I Luv Video in Austin, The World’s Largest Video Store, for being my spiritual and literal guide through VHS purgatory.