Picks and Pans Review: Caveman

updated 05/25/1981 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/25/1981 AT 01:00 AM EDT

It's bad enough that this fleshed-out Flintstones burlesque repeatedly stoops to flatulence, armpit odor and worse for laughs. Nobody expected Shakespearean repartee, but even the film's potentially amusing caveman argot includes only 15 words. The rest is grunting. Ringo Starr plays a moony misfit who aloondas (loves) the hostile tribe's local "10," lusciously embodied by his off-screen fiancée, Barbara Bach. He even fights off machas (dinosaurs) to get her ool (food), but it's all for nya (nothing). Barbara zug-zugs (mates) exclusively with her cave's fech (ugly, no good) leader, played with fech to spare by 6'8", 280-pound Oakland Raider tackle John Matuszak. Ringo is helped by some perkily animated machas, especially a blissed-out tyrannosaurus rex. They in fact supply the charm the film's bo-bos (humans) lack. Amid the belching and scatological jokes, first-time director Carl Gottlieb and co-writer Rudy (Silent Movie) De Luca provide the engaging Ringo with a few bright gags, notably the discovery of music over a campfire. But in toto, Caveman is fech and hard to aloonda. (PG)

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