‘Quasi’ Is Pure Merde

Quasi is an appropriate name for this movie. Quasi is meant to have some resemblance in a certain degree. And the latest movie from the comedy troupe Broken Lizard looks like it could’ve been a great satirical comedy of not just The Hunchback of Notre Dame but period piece movies in general. But you can see traces of Monty Python and the Holy Grail and History of the World Part I in the plot, but there’s nothing much there.

Maybe the problem is that it started streaming on Huly about six weeks after the so-so History of the World Part II that the satirical peiord piece genre is worn out. Comics and comedy writers seem to live in this crazy notion that the times we’re in are the best and it must’ve been hard for people who lived hundreds of years ago. Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Wayd to Die in the West was a more vulgar version of Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles which was able to subtle show the hardships of the Old West.

But there’s always hardships no matter what era or time period we’re looking at. I’m sure 100-200 years from now, people will think just how the heckfire did we manage with the limited technology and conditions we had. People are a products of their times and we’re suppose to adapt with changing times.

And the Monty Pythons showed the hardships of the Middle Ages with Holy Grail, but I think it had more to do with limited funding rather than intentions. We all know they used the coconuts to clack together to symbolize the sound of horse hooves, but I felt their decision to appear in multiple roles came about because they couldn’t hire too many actors. In Quasi, Broken Lizard members are all cast in dual roles but it doesn’t add much to to the roles. You could always see the actors in Monty Python playing different roles. You can’t get pass that the actors don’t even attempt to make their characters look or sound different.

And it’s not groundbreaking to have an actor in dual roles taking to each other. Many people have done this better. The plot revolves around the Quasimodo character as Quasi (Steve Lemme) is a grotesque hunchback who finds himself thrown into the middle of dual plots by King Guy (Jay Chandrasekhar), the king of France, and Pope Cornelius (Paul Soter), the Pope of England, to murder the other one. Quasi wins a papal lottery when his friend, Duchamp Rosseau (Kevin Heffernen, who directs this time), gives him the winning ticket as a gift to meet the pope in person.

There’s also Michel Demek (Erik Stolhanske), who is hired to test the torture devices Quasi and Duchamp use. Quasi has invented the rack to help stretch him out, which the new Queen Catherine (Adrianne Palicki) finds impressive. Palicki is a welcome addition and seems to be a constant in a lot of Broken Lizard movies where the non-troupe member is the best actor. Brian Cox was such a welcome surprise in a comedic turn as Capt. John O’Hagen in Super Troopers. Rob Lowe was the great one in the disappointing sequel. Then, there was the late Bill Paxton and Brittany Daniel as Coconut Pete and Jenny in Broken Lizard’s Club Dread. Despite the movie’s identity crisis of trying to be both a straight slasher and a parody, they both great life to their roles.

While I like the first Super Troopers and Beerfest greatly, I found parts of The Slammin Salmon, also directed by Heffernen to be great, but it to have been better done in Waiting… It’s disappointing because I really like the Broken Lizard team and they are pretty cool with their fans on social media. When Stolhanske posted on Instagram over a year ago they were set to begin filming a new movie, I asked him if it was Potfest, which was teased at the end of Beerfest, and he said, “Not this time.” I’ve interacted with Lemme and Soter as well. They’re great guys and for some reason, I missed seeing Lemme and Heffernan performing at a nearby casino years ago. I love Tacoma FD.

But sometimes, things don’t work out well. This is their worst movie since Puddle Cruiser but at least they had an excuse for that, because they were young and starting out. I watched this movie twice to make sure I didn’t miss anything but what I missed was the scenes were there were jokes. So much happens where they’re isn’t anything funny. It seems they think all they can do is throw in French jokes and that’s not enough but I did like a joke by Henri-Francoise (also Heffernan) King Guy’s personal aid, about Saxons.

With the exception of Heffernan, none of the dual roles work out. Lemme also plays a Jester who is constantly punished. Chandrasekhar plays Biouin, the owner of a pub that pops up in a few scenes. Soter also appears as Lucien, boss to Duchamp and Quasi who is a dick. And then there’s Stolhanske as Cardinal Claude, a personal aid to the Pope whose dressed in red robes similar to the Python’s Spanish Inquistion sketches.

Yellowstone fans will notice Hassie Harrison in a small role. She also costars with Lemme and Heffernan on Tacoma with Gabriel Hogan, Marcus Henderson and Eugene Cordero, who all appear in supporting roles here. Cox functions as the narrator delivering a few lines he probably was able to film during a lunch break while filming Succession. These guys probably had a helluva good time making this movie and you can see it, but I just wish there was a better story and joke. The plot about the double murders seemed to have been tacked on as an afterthought.

Who knows what they’ll do next? Willie Nelson, who they costarred with on Beerfest and that awful Dukes of Hazzard movie turns 90 in a few days. Will he be in Potfest and is it next in line? If so, will it turn out like Super Troopers 2? Sometimes giving fans what they want is not always a good thing.

What do you think? Please comnent.

Published by bobbyzane420

I'm an award winning journalist and photographer who covered dozens of homicides and even interviewed President Jimmy Carter on multiple occasions. A back injury in 2011 and other family medical emergencies sidelined my journalism career. But now, I'm doing my own thing, focusing on movies (one of my favorite topics), current events and politics (another favorite topic) and just anything I feel needs to be posted. Thank you for reading.

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