The Naked Truth (1992) from Tuna and Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

The Naked Truth (1992) is a Nikos Mastorakis entry into what I will call, for lack of a better term, the "Naked Gun" genre. Two friends, both named Frank (Robert Caso and Kevin Schon) fly to Hollywood with the intention of acting, then eventually becoming writers and directors. They appropriate someone else's suitcases at the airport, and get tangled up with an FBI plot to catch a ketchup tycoon/drug kingpin. To escape the airport after seeing a murder, they open the suitcases, and dress in drag from the contents. I won't even try to trace the plot after that point, as it is just as silly and meandering as other films in the genre.

The film is loaded with celebrities, including Zsa Zsa, Billy Barty, Shannon Tweed, Dick Gauthier, Yvonne De Carlo, Erik Estrada, Norman Fell, Lou Ferrigno, Little Richard and Bubba Smith. Unlike others in the genre, this one has nudity, including breasts, buns and a hint of bush from Shelley Michelle, breasts and buns from former Miss USA Courtney Gibbs, and breasts and buns from two strippers. A glance at Shelley Michelle's credits reveals that she has doubled Julia Roberts, Kim Basinger, Catherine Oxenberg and Barbara Streisand.

Like all others of this genre, some of the gags left me cold, but some were laugh out loud funny. My personal favorite was the motto on an LAPD car which read, "We treat you like a king." Then there was little Richard doing the Grey Poupon commercial, but from helicopter to helicopter.

There are no reviews listed at IMDB, which leaves us with the IMDB score of 2.9 based on 37 votes. This was far lower than I expected (I see it as somewhere between 5.6 and 6.4), so I decided to analyze the votes. The first thing I noticed was that the mean score was 6.1 and the median was 5, so this is yet another example of the special formula IMDB applies to the votes.


see the main commentary

DVD info from Amazon

  • Widescreen anamorphic 1.85.

  • Clean transfer.

This film is no better nor worse than the two Naked Gun sequels or the airplane sequel, and is therefore a C. IF you like the genre, you will get enough chuckles to get through this one with a smile on your face.

Scoop's comments in yellow:

I think Nicos Mastorakis is a really charming guy, I admire his maverick nature, and I love the special features on his DVD's. For all of those reasons, I really want to like his movies, but I just can't. It's an ordeal to watch each and every one of them, although each one has some excellent moments. What can you say about a career in which Blind Date is his highest rated film at IMDb?

No matter how much you like the Naked Gun and Airplane movies (I love them. I even like some of the Police Academy movies!), you won't be able to find it in your heart to like this one. It doesn't have one original verbal gag in the entire film, and the writing level is at the level of elementary school humor. The notoriously loony screenwriter Norman Wexler used to go out on the streets and tape street lingo which would then lend authenticity to his film dialogue. It seems as if the writers of this film did the same thing, except with fourth graders, as if they listened to the school kids swap their infantile jokes, then incorporated those into the script. This film makes Police Academy: Mission to Moscow seem to be as literate as "Manhattan", and the three leads make Steve Guttenberg seem to be the second coming of Chaplin. Their film careers pretty much began and ended with this movie. They couldn't even land sitcom work. Pretty Courtney Gibbs never worked again, based on her IMDb entry. I don't think Kevin Schon ever appeared in another live action movie before or after this one, although he has gotten voice work. Robert Caso has been a hanger-on in the film industry, playing roles like "man" and "doorman". IMDb says that he is active in theater stock companies, so he might be playing right now in a dinner theater somewhere near you, provided that you live someplace far from the center of the entertainment industry, like Sarasota or Kenosha. I'm sure that Robert has enjoyed many a meal of leftover peas and roast beef, spiced by some manly after-dinner badinage with Robert Goulet.

As with all of Mastorakis's films, however, there is some enjoyable material.

  • He managed to coax cameos out of dozens of Hollywood figures, ranging from Lily Munster to The Incredible Hulk to Billy Barty to Zsa-Zsa.
  • He included some sexy frontal nudity from Shelley Michelle, body double to the stars, and some occasional peeks at other women as well. The film is filled with sexy women in bikinis.

But forget about the movie altogether. The DVD is still worth a rent because of Mastorakis's documentary "The Films of Nicos Mastorakis: Part IV". As always. Mastorakis comes up with some great raw and deleted footage, and some great anecdotes about the filmmaking process. His commentary is priceless because he has a rare combination in the film industry: acute intelligence, and complete candor. As Howard Cosell used to say, Mastorakis "tells it like it is".

Some examples of the material in the documentary:

1. Footage of an unexpected helicopter crash which killed one of his stunt men.

2. A great anecdote about screen legend Jose Ferrer, who once covered up somebody else's fuck-up by memorizing five pages of script in five minutes. Ferrer then told Mastorakis to film the rehearsal, and delivered every line perfectly. The rehearsal footage was used in the film!

3. Mastorakis's candid assessment of another screen legend, the unpredictable Oliver Reed. Here are Mastroakis's words, "My co-director and I had the brilliant idea to hire Oliver Reed, who had been infamous in the industry, not only for the eagle tattoo on his private parts, but also for picking fights and being constantly under the influence. Good old Ollie stood up to his reputation and our expectations. Fortunately enough, he didn't kill anyone and he wasn't arrested by the local police."

4. A long story about the battle waged between Mastorakis and the MPAA over the "X" rating assigned to "In the Cold of the Night", including the (relatively innocuous) footage that upset the censors.

The Critics Vote

  • no reviews online

The People Vote ...


The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, Tuna says, "this is a C". Scoop says, "E. I love the genre, and will watch almost any goofball comedy. This one was sheer torture."

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