Sometimes, the result is amusing. Richard "Cheech" Marin and Tommy Chong work their stoner screen personas to solid effect watching clips of famous drug cautionary films like "Reefer Madness." I don't care for Cheech & Chong generally but found their work here entertaining in a low-burn way.
A clip from the Ed Wood classic "Plan Nine From Outer Space" features Dudley Manlove pondering an attack on mankind: "As long as these humans think, we'll have our problems."
Cut to Chong at the ticket window: "I want my money back."
Alas, that's as much as I can offer in the way of positive comment about the interstitial sketches which make up the original content in this film. That's a shame because I am a fan of both Dan Aykroyd and Gilda Radner from their "Saturday Night Live" heyday and John Candy of SCTV. They make up the other three players introducing the recycled content here. Seeing Gilda and Danny relive their small- screen glories playing SNL characters like Judy Miller and a short- fused detective should be more fun than it is.
Some reviewers here see a connection between "It Came From Hollywood" and "Mystery Science Theater 3000," which ran bad movies over caustic commentary that was often funny. But the blog Dead 2 Rights has it right: This is a cracked remake of films of the prior decade like "That's Entertainment." Producer-directors Andrew Solt and Malcolm Leo are out for cheap yuks.
Instead of overblown reverence, you get easy scorn for silly B- movies about rampaging gorillas and brains that fly around and attack people.
"C'mon, honey, you want it and you know it," Aykroyd says over footage of a woman being jumped by a brain in "Fiend Without A Face." "Don't be a brainteaser."
Chuckles do come, but never develop into anything more, the way they so often did on MST3K with their zany sketches and running gags. The clips are more interesting for curiosity value, like a chance to see Rosey Grier try to sell the idea of having Ray Milland's head attached to his body in "The Thing With Two Heads."
"This picture started the black street fad of wearing middle-aged white men," Aykroyd explains.
The inclusion of clips from classic films like "The Day The Earth Stood Still" and good genre flicks like "The Creature From The Black Lagoon" is annoying, though, as are any of the sequences featuring Radner, as lost here as she did in any other movie she made.
"The movie theaters just show scary monster movies so you drop all your popcorn and candy on the floor and they put in back in the boxes and resell it," she explains as her Judy Miller character.
A decent sequence showcases two Ed Wood films, "Plan Nine" and "Glen Or Glenda?" It's hosted by Candy, who makes the fair point that it's hard to make a movie when there's no budget. If the rest of the film followed this more explanatory approach, rather than generally commenting on the weak plots and overacting, it could be worth your time.
To be fair, "It Came From Hollywood" came from 1982, the year of David Letterman's late-night debut when snarky irony became suddenly fashionable. Snarky irony is mostly what you get here, and while it works at times, it isn't enough to make it that interesting.