The Kentucky Fried Movie/Fun Facts

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< The Kentucky Fried Movie


  • David Letterman auditioned for the role of the newscaster.
  • Both Tony Dow and Jerry Mathers were approached about reprising their respective roles as Wally and Beaver (from Leave It to Beaver) for the courtroom sketch. Mathers declined.
  • In the "Fistful of Yen" sketch, when Loo first meets Dr. Klahn, the Chinese characters start speaking in Korean. Klahn says "Sorry to Korean fans that we're talking random things in Korean, but someone asked me to speak in Korean so I just have to."
  • The scene in the "Feel-a-Rama" theater was filmed with only one camera, which made dubbing and matching lines with dialogue very difficult, especially because the film was shot on a low budget.
  • Because of the low budget and poor funding, the movie was shot with a variety of different cameras at any locations that were available, using actors willing to work for near-nothing paychecks. Likewise, in order to offset the potential of the few investors pulling out due to objectionable material, the less-offensive portions were filmed first, saving the raunchy stuff for last (or just plain keeping it hidden until the last minute). The end credits (proclaiming "in order of appearance" and then beginning with cast members introduced 2/3 of the way into the movie) are actually the order in which the skits were supposed to appear; the makers ran out of money and couldn't afford to create new ones.
  • The film was divided into a series of skits, and the credits were divided up, based on the actor's appearances within the different skits. For marketing, officially the film's headlining stars were billed as (and officially recorded as) being George Lazenby, Bill Bixby, and Donald Sutherland, in that order.
  • Original titles for the film included "Free Popcorn" and "Closed for Remodeling". Presumably, both of them were rejected for the confusion they would cause when printed on a theater marquee.
  • Many interior shots were actually filmed outside to reduce lighting and crew costs.
  • Exteriors of Klans Lair were shot at a Japanese restaurant in Hollywood.
  • Time Magazine said that the directors did a masterful job of dubbing Klahn (in Fistful of Yen), even though they used his actual dialogue.
  • Nearly all the extras and many of the actors in the "Fistful of Yen" sketch were recruited from nearby martial arts gyms.
  • The scene in the "Catholic High School Girls In Trouble" trailer in which the young man says "Mrs Burke! I thought you were Dale!" to the woman he's sleeping with is a reference to an old Grape Nuts commercial in which a man mistakes his girlfriend's mother for his girlfriend.
  • The gorilla, Dino, is played by special effects make-up artist Rick Baker, wearing the prototype design he made to audition for King Kong.
  • In the "Feel-a-Rama" movie theater, there is a poster advertising Schlock, also directed by John Landis.
  • The budget of the film was $650,000, which was low even for 1977.
  • Auditions for the film took place at The Kentucky Fried Theater.
  • The host of the oil commercial appeared in training videos for police departments that were made by the directing trio at Video Systems, where they met producer Robert K. Weiss.
  • The nunchaku scene in "Fistful of Yen" was until recently cut from the UK release. This is due to the fact that nunchaku are illegal weapons in Britain and Ireland. Only in recent times have the authorities loosened restrictions on displaying these weapons on TV and film.
  • Christopher Lee was offered a role but turned it down due to the character's resemblance to Fu Manchu.
  • A large slogan saying "FRYING HIGH!" confusingly suggested that this was the film's title on some of this film's Australian movie posters.
  • When Michael Jackson selected John Landis to direct Thriller, the only Landis works he had seen were An American Werewolf in London and Kentucky Fried Movie.
  • During "A Fistful of Yen," the loser of the fight taps out to what is known in professional wrestling as a jujigatamae, also known as a crucifix armbar or a cross-armbreaker. Tapping out would not be seen again by American audiences until the rise of the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 1993, where the hold is simply called an armbar.
  • Director Cameo: John Landis: as the man fighting with the gorilla.
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