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March 26, 2012

Movie Review: National Lampoon's The Legend of Awesomest Maximus (2012)

I've always been a big fan of Will Sasso (Mad TV, Best in Show, Happy Gilmore) but the lumpy comic definitely has his detractors. Most of the naysayers aren't too happy that he's playing Curly in the new The Three Stooges movie. Curly maybe somewhat sacred in comedy lore but is still don't understand the fuss because he's versitale enough... and, well, he's fat and bald. Recently I got to see Sasso star in Image Entertainment's release of Jeff Kanew's National Lampoon's The Legend of Awesomest Maximus. Kanew's a capable comedic director - he did helm the 80's comedy classic Revenge of the Nerds - and Sasso's several years of being the funny fat guy on Mad TV give me some hope.

Buy The Legend of Awesomest Maximus on Blu-ray or DVD

King Loony (Rip Torn, The Larry Sanders Show) puts his dimwitted son, Awesomest Maximus (Will Sasso) in charge of the Roman army so they can fend off a very aggressive Greek army lead by the androgynous, Jamal (Deon Richards) and the legendary Testiclees (played by an emaciated Ian Ziering, Beverly Hills 90210).

Nearly every "sword and sandal" film pruduced over the past decade gets goofed on: Braveheart, Troy, Alexander and the obvious big jabs go to 300. All the jokes are of the low-brow variety, there's a copious amount of skin that really surprised me and a couple of performances - particularly Sasso and Tony Cox - make the film somewhat fun.

The Blu-ray for The Legend of Awesomest Maximus looks and sounds very good. There aren't any extras as this is a movie only release. "Maximus" is pretty mediocre when it pertains to fare heavy on the spoofery but even with its faults it has more laughs than the atrocious but similarly themed Meet the Spartans. For what it's worth, I will say that “little person" actor Tony Cox scene-stealing and the gratuitous nudity of the very ample and heavily enhanced actresses helped Kanew’s film quite a bit once the credits rolled.

Image Entertainment's release of National Lampoon's The Legend of Awesomest Maximus is featured on this week’s edition of the award winning Cinema Head Cheese: The Podcast. Listen for that and more right here:

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