"Bloopers," a holiday trifle at the Key in both Georgetown and College Park, is a comic miscellany patterned after the "Pardon My Blooper" record Albums. The exceedingly ragged footage is drawn for the most part from the outtakes of features, TV series episodes and network news shows. These basic sources are augmented by an occasional beau geste from what appears to be an advertising agency or independent filmmaking screwball.
As a rule, the humor derives from witnessing a dramatic illusion suddenly shattered by a slip of the tongue or unrehearsed goof-up. Lines are blown, spontaneously or mischievously. Props don't work or get in the way. Animals upstage the actors.
Since the blunders frequently provoke the actors into relex profanities, a good measure of the appeal springs from the demystifying shock of hearing a familiar performer step rudely out of virtuous character.
Editors often put together blooper reels for the amusement of film companies at the end of a production or season. This compilation incorporates such novelty items from "Gunsmoke," "Have Gun, Will Travel," "Cannon," "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" (during one of the good, early seasons) and "Star Trek."
Although it has fewer winning moments than the "Gunsmoke," "Cannon" or "Laugh-In" segments, the "Star Trek" interlude seemed especially welcome. If any characters need some healthy demystification, they're Capt. Kirk and his earnest crew. It's refreshing to have that oppresive Trekkie adoration blown away by the sight of DeForest Kelley playfully groping an actress or William Shatner scratching his crotch while Kirk is supposed to be manacled to a dungeon wall.
The supplementary material tends to be facetiously obscene. For example, there's a nifty soft-porn spoor of a Johnson Baby Powder commercial. A wacko named Eric Thiermann is seen literally playing a naked woman, as if she was a grand piano.
Some of the most surprising irresistible laughs derive from the news outtakes, which date from the war in Vietnam. One of the highlights finds some hapless correspondent losing the train of his tangled thought while questioning Gen. Wheeler. Mercifully, the general ends the newsman's heming and hawing by announcing, "The answer is no."
The film would be easier to recommend if it looked more presentable. The footage couldn't be more derelict: apparently fourth or fifth-hand dupe prints assembled by unclean hands at a broken-down movieola. I've seen a number of the clips before on decent film stock. A few sight gags almost disappear in the murk and smudges.
A lot of the potential entertainment value in this compilation originates in off-color humor, but that's no excuse for the excess of filthy-looking stock.