A Herbie Review Spectacular - Part I
Review By: Gringo

Herbie sucks! Well, okay, he doesn't. In fact, I'm not even sure Herbie could be classified a 'he'. After all, Herbie is a car that seemingly has a mind of its own. That's right, a car with a mind of its own. And what scrapes it manages to get into! Despite the fact Herbie has had several careful owners, they all seem fairly nonplussed at the fact they've inherited a car with brains. I'd be freaked out, and would probably hit the car with a crowbar screaming "MAKE IT STOP! MAKE IT STOP!" but then that's just me. However, Herbie's owners - as seen in the four original Love Bug movies - didn't do that. Although the little old lady who was the car's second owner had that look in her eyes whenever she saw Herbie - like she would beat it up whenever anyone wasn't looking. Anyway! This isn't really a 'spectacular' review of the four Herbie movies. It's just a review of them. Who knows, there might be something in it which makes it spectacular, but seeing as the amount of planning in these articles = zero, I doubt it. As you're about to find out, this car-with-brains has been all over the world. And that's about it. Great.

The Love Bug. The original Herbie movie, and perhaps the worst? Well, it's certainly not very funny, even though it's billed as a comedy. It starred Dean Jones, who was in every live-action Disney movie ever in the 60s and 70s, before going nowhere fast. This is the story of how Herbie, the Volkswagen with the large number 53 written on it, is a car with a mind of its own. Quite. Herbie helps befuddled racecar driver Dean Jones win using all manner of wacky tricks. Exciting! Exactly why a Volkswagen would be allowed to enter a race alongside proper, 100mph racecars is beyond me, but hey, this is Disney! Who cares about reality? There's also a mechanic character called Tennessee who can't stop calling the car "Hoibie". Really, what sort of stupid parent names their kid after an American state? Hello! I am Delaware Idaho! It's not very original, is it? You should be calling your children Gringo and Senorita Gringo. Do it now! Anyway, I think he calls the car "Hoibie" because of character's accent, but I couldn't work out where it was meant to be from. I didn't really care, either. There's also some woman in the movie, who is Dean Jones' character's love interest. They get it on.

For a supposed love bug, Herbie doesn't seem to do a whole lot of loving. Sure, he wins the race, but I bet the lead characters (Dean Jones and random woman) would have gotten together anyway. Plus, the term 'love bug' is a bit of a dubious one. The only love bugs I know of are naughties, like herpes, crabs and those other evil things. Oh, Gringo! Always with the crudity! Fuck you, uptight prick! It's saying something that I'm still annoyed by the whole "Hoibie" accent the character Tennessee has. It's the main thing I remember from this movie, which is a really bad sign. It's not even funny in a comedy bad accent kind of way. It's just plain irritating. Much like this review! Ho ho! The jokes are coming thick and fast now! You know, I think these movies would have benefited greatly from more violence and swearing. Like when Herbie loses a race, Dean Jones should have jumped out of the car, screaming "CUNTY! YOU CAME IN LAST FOR THE LAST TIME!" and started throwing bricks at it. Just an idea. It would have made The Love Bug more entertaining anyway, even if it wouldn't have been allowed a rating certificate back in the 60s.

Herbie Rides Again. The second Herbie movie is not so good. It's the story of nasty Alonzo Hawk, who has bought lots of downtown property and wants to build a super-sized fun park. Okay, not a fun park. But there's an obstacle (isn't there always?). A little old lady - I think she was meant to be Tennessee's mother - won't sell the converted firehouse that is stopping construction. Cue lots of stupid scenes where Herbie takes on Alonzo's workmen and colleagues in an attempt to keep the firehouse standing. Also, if the little old lady is meant to be Tennessee's mother, how come she doesn't speak with an accent which is even barely reminiscent of her stupid son's "Hoibie" nonsense? Come on people! Get with the program! There's some other stupidity in this movie about a couple who oh-so comically fail to get together, but, yes, you've guessed it, Herbie uses his car-brain tricks to get them together. If memory serves me right, and I'm not sure it does, there's also a highly unfunny and very bizarre scene in which Alonzo's office gets covered in foam, cueing lots of skidding around and falling over. Although that could just be the fifth Herbie movie I'm working on in my mind.

There's also some crazy stuff about the little old lady's dead husband being reincarnated as the engine of a San Francisco tram. I'm not making this up! There's even a scene where the tram, which inexplicably has some kind of music system on board, starts acting with a mind of its own (just like Herbie!). What the hell? Does that mean Herbie is actually powered by the spirit of a dead person? Can you generally get cars powered by dead people? If so, I want the car powered by ex-President Richard Nixon, just so I can kick it at random intervals. As you've probably guessed, Herbie saves the day, Alonzo Hawk is defeated, the couple gets together and lives happily ever after, and the firehouse isn't demolished. Shame! Anyway, Herbie Rides Again is not a particularly good movie. The jokes are sadly standard live-action Disney quality, meaning they're funny if you're either two years old or laugh at anything because something's not quite right in your head. Stay tuned for the second part, which sees Herbie going to Monte Carlo and South America! Same bat-time, same bat-channel! Oh, wait, this is Herbie we're talking about. Now I just look foolish. Shit.


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