Picks and Pans Review: The Shmenges: the Last Polka

UPDATED 07/01/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 07/01/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT

Originally taped for an HBO hour special, this delight features SCTV alums John Candy and Eugene Levy as the Shmenge brothers, the "Leutonian" siblings who rose to polka stardom via such vehicles as their bowling and polka TV series, Strikes, Spares and Shmenges. Candy and Levy wrote the script, the highlight of which is the Shmenges' desperate comeback attempt; Candy and Levy incorporate a polkafied version of Michael Jackson's Beat It and moonwalk into the act. Director John Blanchard neatly apes rockumentary editing—one vapid comment is juxtaposed to another—and another SCTV veteran, Rick Moranis, adds a priceless bit as Linsk Minyk, the polka version of a Vegas lounge singer. While the humor has bite, it never seems mean-spirited. What's being made fun of is not Eastern Europeans or polka music; it is the way our culture creates and treats celebrities. (Vestron, $59.95)

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