Saturday, June 12, 2010

SPIRIT of '76

It had to happen sooner or it finally happened.... What Happened?....After the previous 30+ good movies I have watched, my streak came to an end when I chose to watch....Spirit of '76!

It included a lot of interesting names in the cast list, but unfortunately it wound up wasting those actors with a bad script and bad direction. Spirit of '76 was just 82 minutes taking up space on my TV screen.

America in 2176 has gone to Hell and for some reason they think it's because all of their important documents, like The Constitution, have been lost. A trio (David Cassidy, Olivia D'Abo, and Geoff Hoyle) are selected by part of the government (DEVO) to go in Cassidy's time machine back to 1776 to get a copy of The Constitution (facts be damned that The Constitution wasn't adopted until 1787.....but, don't worry this won't be the last time facts get dammed). Cassidy plays Adam-11, D'Abo plays Chanel-6 and of course after those two are just one number off (Adam-12, Chanel #5), for some reason Hoyle plays Heinz 57. WTF!

The time machine goes a little wacky and unbeknown to the travelers they land in 1976. A couple of stoner teens, played by Steve and Jeffrey McDonald of Redd Kross doing a weak version of Bill and Ted, are going to help them out. There's another teen played by Liam O'Brien, who comes off like a bad Jerry Lewis, who is hoping to capture the "aliens" and win the science fair. At the same time, Leif Garrett, who is excellent in his role as Liam's brother, is trying to bed D'Abo. On top of everything else, The CIA is after the futuristic trio. At this point I would normally say - hilarity ensues. Unfortunately, nothing ensues.

It appears that the makers of the movie were more interested in showing you iconic items/events from all of the 70s, rather than having any good jokes. Which presents another problem, instead of concentrating on items that were relevant in 1976, we get a whole slew of things that are from different eras of the 70s. Some are from before 1976, but were well past their significance by 1976 (i.e. 8-tracks), but could still loosely fit into the time line. However, some objects/events were from after 1976, which of course, didn't make a bit of sense (see I told you earlier facts would be damned again). Not everything will jump out at you, but even a person with only a casual knowledge of 1976 should be able to catch a few. I would have probably overlooked most of these, BUT since the movie wasn't funny and the plot was thin, I had little else to do while watching Spirit of '76 other than noticing some of these errors and I'm sure I probably missed many of them.

You can't really blame the actors for this stinker of a movie, since Spirit of '76 had a great cast. The makers of the movie just didn't utilize the talent they had. Besides the actors mentioned previously, the cast also included Julie Brown (Homecoming Queen's Got A Gun), Carl and Rob Reiner, Barbara Bain, Tommy Chong, Frank Zappa's daughter Moon Unit Zappa (Valley Girl), Don Novello (Father Guido Sarducci), and even Iron Eyes Cody makes a disastrous appearance spoofing himself.

I understand that this movie has developed somewhat of a cult following. I can't understand why (unless seeing David Cassidy in some very tight jeans is your thing). I do know that sometimes a second or third viewing is necessary to "get it" with some cult movies. However, I don't see any way that I could be cruel enough to force myself to watch Spirit of '76 again.....EVER!


  1. I had an 8 track in 77 through the 90s so Nyah!

  2. If you're interested in 8-tracks you should check out 8 track Journal:


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