Lemonade Joe (1967)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
Lemonade Joe Photos
as Winifred Goodman
as Tornado Lou
as Doug Badman
as Panjo Kid
as Horace Badman
as Long-Haired Player
Critic Reviews for Lemonade Joe
Audience Reviews for Lemonade Joe
Lemonade Joe is a Czech New Wave musical comedy western. It begins with a silent film style battle of cowboys throwing each other through windows and constantly brawling in fast-mo. The camera uses a yellow filter, giving us the wild west is with a lemon tint. Colors change from time to time based on the action, red during a sexy dance number, and blue during a rescue mission in the dead of night, but mostly lemon yellow. A young girl and her elderly father walk into the bar extolling the benefits of giving up liquor, most notably it will make you a better shot. The cowboys though constantly violent and shooting off a the hip, are perpetually too drunk to ever manage to hit each other. The young girl and her father preach an escape from whiskey and hand out tracts, but the owner of the bar, Mr. Badman is unconcerned, until Lemonade Joe shows up. In a full yellow suit(though its hard to tell in a completely yellow world), and nearly glowing, Lemonade shows up to teach the ruffians some manners, and to extol the praises of escape from Alcohol and the benefits of Kolakola Lemonade (the only Lemonade he drinks). Quickly the cowboys convert to an all Lemonade town, thinking they to will get Lemonade Joes shooting prowess. But then the terrible Mogofogo arrives in town, he is a kind of magician and master of disguise among gunmen. As fate would have it he is Mr. Badman's brother and the two set out to reconvert the towns people to drinking whiskey again. Though Joe is shown walking past such southwestern landmarks as the Sphinx and the Eiffel Tower, he manages to see when the girl is in trouble and comes back to her rescue. What ensues is a series of Looney Toonesesque clashes between Lemonade Joe and Mogofogo. Then Joe's secret is finally revealed, that is and always has been an employee of Kolakola Lemonade, who does good deeds and rights wrongs as a kind of free advertisement for the company. The young girl is delighted to hear this, and agrees to marry him immediately, provided she get a percentage of the action. They haggle and he agrees and they laugh and they love. Lemonade Joe is a rainbow streaked television serial; an old Flash Gordon or Tarzan, but through a lens of Soviet deconstructionism. It's Bertold Brect in the wild wild west. The rivalry between the hero and the villain is not a moral issue, if Joe wins the cowboys shoot each other and dont miss, when the gunmen's drinking Kolakola there's no need to call the doctor". It's a kill boasts Joe, while Mr. Badman wins the cowboys go back to endless drunken, but not life threatening, brawls. After Mogofogo kidnaps Joe's girl, by exploiting his only weakness alcohol(Joe's kryptonite), Joe tracks him down and instead of punishing him, only asks that he sign a contract stating he will switch from whiskey to lemonade. In the end the franchise wars, are ended when all of the characters discover they are long lost brothers and sisters. Their father appears and says hero or villain, we all have our use in the company. The father decides to merge the companies into Whis-Kola, a whiskey and lemonade alternative, and satire of Coca-Cola. I imagine this lampooning of "western" capitalism and product placement in the guise of the American western, would have been very obvious to the Czech audience at the time, and the soviet censors who would have had to decide if the film was ideologically acceptable. Most importantly this movie is slapstick fun dipped in impossible colors. The comedy is touch and go, and for the most part the novelty of its delivery, and continuous camera tricks keep us interested, though it drags a bit at times. After watching it I completely understand why people would recommend it, it's another in a list of Czech surrealist films like like Daisies, The Cremater, Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders, and Who Wants To Kill Jessie. I would love to see a Coffin Joe meets Lemonade Joe crossover, but I know its just wishful thinking. A boy can dream though, a boy can dream.
Hilariously campy Czech Musical Western about a Lemonade salesman saving a little Arizona town from Alcoholism. Shot in b&w and then tinted various brilliant colors (mostly yellow...like lemonade), this is one visually intriguing picture, like someone spilled kool-aid on a John Wayne spoof. I loved it. **Edit** Still love it. Bumped it up to five stars,actually. But I just have to say that the first time I watched this it was on a crappy VHS. Lucky me, I recently found out that my library actually ordered the DVD of it I jokingly asked them to. So I checked it out, and waddaya know it's the FACETS release. And I have one thing to say to you, Facets, FUCK YOU! Seriously, what the hell is wrong with you guys? Why in god's name do you exist? The crappy VHS of it I had seen earlier looked better than this. It had sharper colors and no ghosting or pixillation. Honestly, go to any fucking college in the country and hire yourself someone who actually knows how to put a DVD together. You get all these incredible, rare films, and put absolutely no effort into them whatsoever. Jesus Christ, try transferring from 35mm prints for once instead of VHS and get rid of your godamn burnt in subtitles. What about aspect ratio? Not every film ever made was 4:3 you sonsabitches. Extras? What extras. You call that shitty little amateur essay you guys put in every case an extra. Balls. I could write a better essay just looking off of Wikipedia. Fuck, you probably do get your info from wikipedia. Thank God Mondo Vision has rescued Zulawski's films before you got your grubby little piss covered hands on them. I fucking hate you and I hope someone rapes all of you like you're raping these films.
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