"Night Patrol" stars Murray Langston, who was hot stuff on "The $1.98 Beauty Show" about five years ago; Jaye P. Morgan, who was a wow on "The Gong Show" before that; and Pat Paulsen who, according to cave paintings, starred on "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour." Add to this Linda Blair, whose career since "The Exorcist" has been roughly comparable to Father Merrin's.
Langston plays Melvin, a cop who's trying to break into the nightclub biz as "The Unknown Comic" -- he wears a paper bag over his head and tells terribly funny jokes (or at least the hired extras think they're terribly funny). But a crook is afoot wearing the same get-up, so Melvin's partner (Paulsen) begins to suspect him. Morgan plays Melvin's agent, who, when he tells her he has butterflies in his stomach, feeds him mothballs. Blair plays a cop in love with Melvin. Her name is Sue Perman. But Melvin is in love with Edith Hutton (and when Edith Hutton speaks, people listen).
"Night Patrol" begins in anarchic gross-out style (for example, a pregnant prostitute offering a "Two-for-One" sale). The opening sequence is, inexplicably, half in subtitled French; and a series of sight gags are introduced pell-mell, linked only by the movie's bouncy reggae theme. But the movie soon becomes the sort of tired punfest that went out with, well, "The $1.98 Beauty Show," "The Gong Show" and "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour." The movie ends by asking, "Should he franchise the Unknown Comic? Yell Yes or No." And honk if you voted for Pat Paulsen.
Night Patrol, at area theaters, is rated R and contains nudity, sexual themes and profanity.