5 comedy alternatives to 'The Interview'

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kim Jong Un isn't alone.

Queen Elizabeth II, Saddam Hussein and Pope Pius XIII have also been the targets of wacky assassination attempts on film.

But those world leaders actually made it to the multiplex, while the demise of the North Korean dictator in Sony Pictures' beleaguered "The Interview" remains on the studio shelf.

With no immediate plans to release the Seth Rogen comedy, following threats of theater violence by North Korean hackers, holiday moviegoers with a hankering for an over-the-top plot to kill a real world leader can still do it on the download in the safety of their own homes. A few options:

— "Zoolander" (2001): In a scheme to maintain cheap child labor in Malaysia, Will Ferrell's tyrannical fashion mogul Jacobim Mugatu attempts to brainwash Ben Stiller's spikey-haired supermodel Derek Zoolander into eliminating the country's new prime minister. Mugatu programs Zoolander to do the deed whenever he hears "Relax" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

— "Team America: World Police" (2004): A decade before he was a target in "The Interview," Kim Jong Un's father was depicted as a sad-sack villain in this farcical marionette musical from the creators of "South Park." A puppetty Kim Jong Il (voiced by Trey Parker) crooning in broken English about his loneliness at the top is one of the film's funniest moments.

— "Foul Play" (1978): In his first major movie role, Chevy Chase stars with Goldie Hawn as a San Francisco police officer tasked with protecting Hawn's librarian divorcee as the pair uncover a plan to assassinate the visiting Pope Pius XIII during an opera performance. Cyril Magnin, a real-life department store tycoon and philanthropist, played the religious leader.

— "The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!" (1988): The original "Naked Gun" installment centered on detective Frank Drebin (the late Leslie Nielsen) similarly foiling an attempt to slay a public figure in a public place. This time, it's a spunky rendition of Queen Elizabeth II during a baseball match-up between the Los Angeles Angels and Seattle Mariners.

— "Hot Shots! Part Deux" (1993): Before he was executed in the real world, Saddam Hussein (portrayed by Jerry Haleva) faced off against Charlie Sheen's war hero Topper Harley in this wild spoof of cheesy action flicks. In "Part Deux," Hussein is depicted as a bumbling leader with a penchant for doting on his itty-bitty dog and wearing women's underwear.


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