What's Up, Tiger Lily? Reviews

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JonathanHutchings
Super Reviewer
March 20, 2011
Woody Allen's directorial debut was an interesting experiment at the time: redubbing International Secret Police: A Barrel of Gunpowder and ISP: Key of Keys (two pre-existing Japanese James Bond-esque films) with comedic English dialogue (a definite early precursor to Mystery Science Theater 3000). The film on screen, of course, is utterly ridiculous, and Allen conjures up some good lines such as, "It's a great film! It's got rape and looting," and "I have nude pictures that I will send to every grade school in Tokyo. Unless you're confident with your body, you're in for trouble", and there's even some clever participatory lines such as "Applaud so the gun will magically have more bullets," but the novelty wears off pretty quickly. In the end, it's hard to escape the fact that, even with the new dialogue, an audience still has to sit through the movie on screen. There are some awkward and bizarre musical interludes from The Lovin' Spoonful (which happened without Allen's consent, and propelled him to insist on musical control over his films) and their inclusion, both sonically and visually, is completely nonsensical. It appears as if he and his collaborators had a few good ideas here and there, but sporadic ideas does not a movie make.
Mr Awesome
Super Reviewer
May 21, 2010
After writing and appearing in the film, "What's New Pussycat?", Woody Allen was approached by producers to write an english language dub of the japanese spy thriller "International Secret Police: Key of Keys". He agreed to do it, but only if he could re-work the storyline, which now centers around a group of spies pursuing the "world's best egg salad". Yes, I know it sounds wacky, but those expecting Allen's usual satirical wit will undoubtedly be disappointed, as it's a far cry from his films from the 70s. Still, I got quite a few chuckles from it, and there were certain scenes that out and out cracked me up. I also enjoyed the incongruous appearance of The Lovin' Spoonful, even if they were added later without Woody's consent. It's definitely a unique film experience, and probably the first of it's kind.
MeetMeinMontauk
Super Reviewer
½ October 30, 2009
Good, a little strange, but funny.
Super Reviewer
April 5, 2009
Um, I really hated it. And it pains me to say so because I love Woody so dearly. Unfunny, uncreative, and unintentionally confusing! Honestly I think I would've liked the ACTUAL sexploitation B-movie is Japanese versus this mess.
Super Reviewer
August 18, 2007
Clever, but lame. I liked "Kung Pow!: Enter the Fist" much more.
garyX
Super Reviewer
November 28, 2006
I thought it was funny the first time I saw it, but it really doesn't stand up to repeat viewing. Some very funny lines though..."Mom could always take a punch!"
Super Reviewer
½ August 7, 2012
On a technical level, this is a terrible excuse for a movie. People simply over dubbed somebody elses work. Geeze, I've done that. On the other hand, it's pretty funny. By that logic, a 5/10.
Super Reviewer
½ March 3, 2008
Unbelievably and awesomely hilarious.
Super Reviewer
½ July 22, 2012
"What's Up, Tiger Lily?" made me laugh more times than any other film in recent memory, so for that simple fact alone, it merits commendation. Of course, as one would rightfully imagine, it's not perfect. There are plenty of areas where it lags, and for a debut, Allen's concept is pretty lazy, but most of the time, it's amusing and chock full of comedic ingenuity and hilarious quotes. This is an easygoing, clever comedy that isn't wholly original, but it's enjoyable and demands more credit than it has been given. "Shepherd Wong, you'd never guess I have no pants on!"
Super Reviewer
April 18, 2007
It's funny and quite sexy. Dubbed foreign films always come across very badly, but when Woody Allen sets out to deliberately turn it into a comedy, its another story entirely. If you're a fan Mystery Science Theater or Woody Allen, you'll find yourself in heaven here.
July 11, 2014
It was a bit funny, but the movie was very confusing and very badly structured. I loved the funny one-liners though.
November 2, 2013
Do you like Mystery Science Theatre 3000? Egg salad? The jovial music of A Loving Spoonful? This movie is for you.
½ May 19, 2012
Redubbing over a Japanese spy movie. Amusing fun that I'm sure inspired many to do redubbing of their own. "She was the best quarterback I ever had."
½ November 9, 2008
This is a really funny and hip flick.

A precursor to doctored movie shows like Disasterpiece Theater and Mystery Science Theater 3000, with a re-editing of to Japanese films into one as well as a very funny re-dubbed dialogue.

It does have its racial gaffes but it delivers a great sense of humor and a great movie to consider for Xmas with the family.

Very laudable opera prima from Woody Allen. It got his foot through the door.
½ June 18, 2011
Decades before Mystery Science Theatre 3000 there were those like Woody Allen who thought outside the box and really turned comedy, and action, on it's head. He used both genres to make fun of each other in a very creative way.
½ September 19, 2010
A really quirky, hilarious and clever film. Very enjoyable and entertaining! I don't think it would be a great film for repeat viewings though.
½ April 29, 2010
just plain weird. the occasional clever line pops in every now and then, but otherwise it's pretty much random nonsense. hard to believe this is Woody Allen--seems more like the product of bored film students after a night of heavy drug use....and given the time frame, that may not be too far from reality. overall an oddly entertaining film, but I can't say it's especially funny or worth watching again.
½ June 27, 2009
You can?t help but laugh at some of the dialogue in this Woody Allen concoction. It?s a rather ingenious concept, and Woody does an amazing job dubbing the dialogue. Funny and very original.
½ August 14, 2007
Woody Allen's very first film. Ah. It's not a perfect one, by any means, but it does have some absolutely wonderful moments. It's much more similar to an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 than to any of Allen's later efforts. Although parts of it are disjointed, there are enough good laughs to save the film. I definitely laughed out loud several times. Most worth seeing if you're already a Woody Allen fan. Or an MST3K fan.
November 27, 2007
This movie is PG?!? Awesome. I love the fact that the R-Rating wasn't around for a good long time. Now, if you haven't been reading my reviews in the past, you should know that I love Mystery Science Theater 3000, The Film Crew, and Woody Allen. How the hell have I not seen this movie before?

What's Up, Tiger Lily? is a redubbed and recut version of a Japanese Movie entitled "Japanese Secret Police: Key of Keys, only with all the dialogue thrown out the window and the story involving the quest for the perfect egg salad recipe. It really is genius. However, I feel I have to mention the negatives of this movie before I really go into how much I liked it. Like most commentary films (best I can describe it), there really are ups and downs in the film. Frankly, it is almost impossible to slag off an entire film and do it well. But the parts that are funny are golden.

Allen clearly has his reputation by this point in his career and exploits the hell out of it. He constantly shows up in the film as himself, explaining away his cuts as if he was a serious director. For anyone else, I don't think this would work (I'm sorry, Mike and Joel...the skits just aren't funny.) but Allen pulls it off with grace and sophistication.

This really is one of Woody Allen's greats. I watched this movie with non-Woody fans and they really got a kick out of this movie. So pretty much, there's no excuse not to rent it.
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