Hamburger: The Motion Picture (1986)
80s flick boasts burgers, bosoms and Butkus
It’s a couple of weeks into the school year now, and I’m sure most of you have come to the realization that things just aren’t working out. You have made a horrible mistake. Fear not, all you have to do is tough it out for another two or three short years.
What then? Well might I suggest that you explore alternative forms of education, such as Buster Burger University, the subject of this week’s selection, Hamburger: The Motion Picture.
The film opens up with a montage of hamburgers being assembled. This is some hot stuff. It gets even more sizzling in the next scene where we travel into a women’s dorm shower. So in the first two scenes we have burgers and boobs. If you like nipples and pickles, this film will quickly have you jerkin’ your gherkin.
It is in the shower that we meet a young university student named Russell, the hero of the film. After he is discovered conserving water by showering with a young lady, Russell is sent to meet with the school psychologist. We learn that this behaviour is routine for Russell, and it has resulted in him being booted out of several other colleges. The psychologist tries to get to the root of Russell’s problems, but she is soon overcome by his sheer animal magnetism, and throws herself at him. After an untimely visit by the Dean of the university, Russell is shown the door.
Russell’s father is none too pleased with this development. He reminds him that if he doesn’t graduate, he can kiss his share of his grandfather’s $250,000 inheritance goodbye. So Russell finds the one university he feels he can excel at – Buster Burger University.
With a degree from BBU, a graduate can be managing, or even owning a Buster Burger franchise in no time. Joining Russell in the quest for higher learning is a singer who is a Rick James clone, a stereotypical nerd, an obese man who uses electric shock to control his hunger and a nun. So every demographic is covered.
Trying to keep this crew in line is Drootin, a former drill sergeant turned burger instructor. Drootin is played by NFL legend Dick Butkus. While Butkus is regarded as one of the greatest football players of all-time, he has also put together a hall of fame acting career. Besides this movie, he also has appeared in the films Gremlins 2 and Any Given Sunday, as well as episodes of “Murder She Wrote” and “Fantasy Island.” While other notable athletes such as Michael Jordan, O.J. Simpson and Cate Blanchett have tried their hands at acting, none has gained the notoriety of Butkus.
Conflict arises when Drootin’s fiancée falls for Russell. Drootin then sets out to ensure that Russell’s career in the burger industry ends before it even begins. The final exam calls for the students to run a Buster Burger location, and Drootin puts Russell in charge, hoping to see him fail miserably. Wackiness ensues, as the students try to combat every obstacle that is thrown their way.
Unfortunately, this film was not well received at the box office. I place the blame for this squarely on one group – vegetarians. Hollywood has a very large vegan contingent, which worked very hard to torpedo this film’s release. I pose this question to those individuals – if God didn’t want us to eat animals, why did he make barbeque sauce so darn tasty? Can’t poke any holes in that argument. That’s what one year of university philosophy will get you.
Hamburger: The Motion Picture is a satisfying treat that delivers such a tasty movie going experience that it will have you coming back for seconds. You will come out of it with a greater appreciation for film, and fast food.
So next time you at your local fast food joint, and you are enjoying a hearty burger, take a moment and think about all of the hard working and upstanding individuals that worked together to give you that burger. Demand to speak to the manager so you can shake their hand. They love it when people do that.