National Lampoon's Cattle Call

 (2006? 2008?)

by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Look at the title. Do you still need more information? It's a Lampoon project. Rarely have National Lampoon products required any review.

In the 1970s and 80s they represented edgy, hip, anti-establishment humor, and you could be pretty sure that anything attached to the National Lampoon brand was funny. The magazine was funny and groundbreaking and smart. The live shows and record albums were outrageously anti-establishment. The movies were not as edgy as the other material, but were comedy hits (Animal House, Vacation), starred the hottest comic stars of the time like Belushi, and are still watched today. Back then, if the title included the words National Lampoon, you could be pretty sure that the product was on the cutting edge of comedy, and that knew that you were not getting ripped off when you plunked down your greenbacks.

No review necessary.

Boy, was that a long time ago! Now the brand means just about the exact opposite. You can be sure that it will be straight-to-video stuff as low in quality as it is in brow. Sometimes the Lampoonistas produce from scratch. Sometimes they just lend their name to material which has already been created.

But still no review necessary.

Here's a quick overview of their four highest-rated products at IMDB and the four lowest-rated. Note the dates.

Animal House (1978) 7.6
Vacation (1983) 7.3
Christmas Vacation (1989) 7.2
Disco Beaver from Outer Space (1978) (TV) 7.0
Lady Killers (2003) 2.4
Men in White (1998) (TV) 2.3
Last Resort (1994/II) (V) 2.1
Pledge This! (2006) 1.6

I'm not sure what happened to them when the New Year's ball fell, ushering in the 1990s, but it wasn't good. Since that time, Van Wilder has been their only worthwhile product, and even that was a notch below their best early efforts.

Cattle Call probably isn't going to end up with a score as low as the four bottom ones in the chart above, but it is not significantly above that level. Three guys pretend to make a movie so they meet girls. It's like video dating, except fraudulent to the point of illegality. Predictability ensues.

This film is embarrassing, more sad than funny, and the saddest and most embarrassing part about the experience is that the legendary Jonathan Winters agreed to appear in it. At 80 years old he still showed the same nutty energy and was good, as always, although he seemed to be in a different movie. Of course that just about sums up his career, doesn't it?

Funny thing about Jon. Although I am quite old, nearly 60, I can't remember a time when Winters was hot. Even when I first became aware of him, he was talked about as a guy who used to be bigger. "Gee, remember when he used to be on Jack Parr and Omnibus?", older people would ask me with a smile of fond recollection for hilarious things which transpired before my time. Yes, Jon was Jack Paar's favorite guest, or so I have read, but Paar's stint on Tonight happened before I really became aware of the show, and in my day, Winters could never really break through. Johnny Carson and others would speak of him in the reverential tones reserved for saints, as one might speak today of Nelson Mandela, and everyone in the biz loved and respected Winters. But when he'd get his own TV show, as he would from time to time, it seemed to be cancelled after about ten minutes, and I never even caught a single minute of any of them. I know that Robin Williams idolized Jon and basically stole his act, but Robin used that act to became a major star in movies, TV, and stand-up, while Winters always remained a bit player that people in the biz seemed to love far more than audiences did.

So it goes.

I wish all those people who love him so much would offer him better jobs than Cattle Call, because I hate thinking that he needs a paycheck so desperately that he would work in something like this. Seeing him in this is like seeing Nelson Mandela wearing a paper hat and working behind the counter at Arby's.


* npt yet available






No major reviews online.


5.2 IMDB summary (of 10)
  The ballot has been stuffed with 9s and 10s. The final score is expected to be significantly lower.






There is an IMDb comment from 2006 which says that the film would be released theatrically in the Spring of 2007. Cross out "theatrically" and "2007" and replace with "on DVD" and "2008"




  • Lisa Arturo is topless in a sex scene.
  • Jenny Mollen is modestly topless, from oblique angles, as she gets dressed after a shower.
  • Two other women show their breasts when they audition for the non-existent movie.
  • One brief scene takes place in a strip club, and several anonymous topless strippers are seen in the background.



Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:


I found it difficult to wade through, and rarely enjoyed it, but it did meet my prime criterion to award a C-, which is that I did not reach for the fast forward button. Based on that, I assume it will provide the minimum genre requirements for those who really enjoy youthploitation films.