As promised, here’s the second (and to date, final) Westlake-related parody in Mad Magazine. Dortmunder fans can take some small satisfaction in the fact that The Hot Rock got seven pages, and Payback only four, though that probably relates more to changes at Mad in the ensuing decades than to the quality of the films being spoofed. And I note with approval that they didn’t even notice Parker. It was out of theaters too fast for them to do anything with it, anyway.
I tend to agree with the artist’s unspoken assertion that the most enjoyable thing about Payback was watching Lucy Liu and Maria Bello strut their considerable stuff. And hey, the movie wasn’t that inconsistent about how much money he’s asking for. Okay, maybe it was a little. Anyway–Playback.
Ah, the joys of the comments section. Anthony helpfully pointed out to me there was a Mad Magazine parody of The Hot Rock, which was published in issue No. 154, Oct. ’72, which sold at the time for 40 cents (cheap), and which I easily obtained via ebay for $5.50 (inflation). My copy arrived this morning. And having gained a bit more proficiency with the optical scanner at my place of business, I’m going to try to make it available to my loyal readers, so they don’t have to further clutter their gracious homes with useless collectibles. (See, what I didn’t realize when scanning Philip is you can convert the images to JPEG’s. Well, that all worked out for the best anyway.)
Now for Mad Magazine, as we all know, there has never been any such thing as a good movie or a movie star who knew how to act. That’s just the form. But I wouldn’t say they are equally hard on all movies–you can see them showing a bit more respect for something like The Godfather (The Oddfather in their version). That one you can find elsewhere online. I think there is some legitimate criticism being made here, as well as the usual by-the-numbers disrespect for everything and everybody that we all happily plunked down our allowances for when we were kids.
They did not feature The Cute Rook on their cover (it’s Alfred E. Neuman eating corn on the cob), but overall I think they did a credible job. Worth it for the Zero Mostel caricature alone (Drucker obviously loved him, and so do I). And I think I was right on target in my guess that their main target would be Redford. Uppity goy.
So without further ado–The Cute Rook. No need to thank me. I live to serve.
I’m obviously biased, but I think Westlake’s book was a lot funnier. Still, you aren’t anyone until Mad Magazine has sent you up. Any other Mad parodies of Westlake movies I could put up here? Cracked would be fine too, I’m no snob.