Dr. Otto and the Riddle of the Gloom Beam Reviews

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April 19, 2015
This was technically the "first" Ernest movie, but boy was it ever terrible! It's a very low quality film and quite possibly the worst Jim Varney has ever been. Thankfully, the character of Ernest was better developed for future films.
February 14, 2015
The ultimate B-movie ("B" meaning both "bad" and "brilliant."). Jim Varney shines in his multiple roles. Lots of dumb fun to be had. Dig this one up and have a good time.
½ July 27, 2013
I saw this movie as the first show of a double feature at a drive-in in 1986. We went to see Rambo First Blood Part 2. We had never heard of this movie. I still recall it as the worst movie I have ever seen. Bizarre! Many of these characters showed up again on Jim Varney's Saturday morning kids show, which, ironically, wasn't bad. Very,, very strange movie.
March 31, 2012
Although Dr. Otto and the Riddle of the Gloom Beam is the technically the first Ernest movie, there isn't a whole lot of Ernest really in it. I can't say that I'm an enormous fan of Ernest, but I do enjoy his movies for the most part. This film is probably his most interesting and more of an extension of Jim Varney's imagination, much more so that his later films. After this movie, it was solely about Ernest and his schtick (which I do like). This one is really weird though. It's all about a mad scientist who wants to take over the world by destroying the world's economy (kind of like Y2K). The movie is pretty goofy and takes a lot of steps backwards and forwards as far the comedy routines go, but overall, it's definitely worthy of a watch.
February 11, 2013
Very trippy for Ernest fans. Especially if you've seen the mainstream films first. This is probably the second feature with the Ernest character after "Hey Vern: It's My Family Album". Once again Varney is given the opportunity to showcase his range at acting. Now the plot might lose some of the children viewers but maybe after five or six they'll understand. Visually it could attract the kids or frighten them. All in all it's a cool picture. Some of it felt like Terry Gilliam directed a Jim Varney film. I think John Cherry and the rest of the creators of the Ernest character set out to do a mock Corman like picture. I'd say to those that never caught on to the Ernest sensation that they would actually like this. It's sort of the rebellious Ernest film, even though Ernest is hardly in it. Can't believe I'm saying this but watch the film stoned and see what you get. Definitely a fun film and a trippy one if you're a lifelong fan of Ernest, knowhatImean?
August 28, 2011
Really? Ok, Umm... No.
bug761
Super Reviewer
April 11, 2011
This movie was so crazy. I loved it!!! Though made in 1986, it was ahead of its time. Dr. Otto, played by Varney, wants to make money worthless and demagnetizes credit cards and damages bank accounts where no one can cash their checks, thus causing riots to break out all over the U.S. The nation is looking at another depression, one worse than the one in the 1920's. The economy is bad, the government has no idea who owes who and how much. The stock market is in a mess. It really reminds me of how our economy is today-in 2011. When you get right down to it, this movie is not far off the mark on how things are or are going to be. Varney-one of the chief writers (along with Cherry and Sams)-knew what he was doing when he wrote this. Lance was kind of a pathetic excuse for a hero that I found myself siding with Dr. Otto Von Schnick-ick-ick. I loved the riddle and I only could figure out that Auntie Nelda and the South Pole was the answers. The 'changing coffin' was a favorite of mine and along with Dr. Otto, Guy Dandy was another favorite character. Call me strange, but I think Dr. Otto is kind of hot. Other characters Varney portrays in this movie: Rudd Hardtact and Laughin' Jack. Of course, I cracked the biggest smile at the end of the movie when none other than 'Ernest P. Worrell' stepped out of the 'changing coffin'. This is not an 'Ernest' movie and has a much darker theme but it's still a great movie. I noticed a lot of characters that have went on to be in the Ernest movies like Mac Bennett, Daniel Butler, Myke Mueller, Jackie Welch and Bill Byrge, who actually had a speaking role in this as a gas attendant.
½ January 26, 2011
I don't think anything can explain this film, at most times ludicrous and surreal, others intelligent and hillarious. If you want something unconventional and cheesey 80s check this out the film debut for Ernest P. Worrell
October 14, 2010
Funny, but there's better Jim Varney films out there.
July 29, 2010
This film is pretty dumb, but it's also pretty funny and entertaining.
FilmFanatik
Super Reviewer
January 1, 2008
Crazy Jim Varney goodness.
October 21, 2007
One of My Favorite Ernest Movies
September 12, 2007
With Jim Varney it has to be good.
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