December 3rd, 2014


THE COUCH TRIP (1988) ** ½

Dan Aykroyd stars as a patient in a Chicago nuthouse. A noted psychiatrist and radio call-in host (Charles Grodin) in Beverly Hills has a nervous breakdown and hires Aykroyd’s doctor to be his replacement. Aykroyd escapes the mental institution and goes to Beverly Hills where he poses as the doctor and takes over the radio show. Within days, the show is a huge success, but eventually everyone figures out he isn’t who he says he is.

The Couch Trip has several funny individual scenes, but as a whole, it never quite works. The scenes of Aykroyd making time with his doctor’s secretary (Victoria Jackson) are funny, and Aykroyd gets lots of laughs while doing the radio show. However, the subplot about Grodin’s lawyer (Richard Romanus) sleeping with his wife (Mary Gross) could’ve easily been excised.

Likewise, the stuff with a street preacher (Walter Matthau) doesn’t add much to the film. He gets a few laughs, but the subplot is an odd fit to say the least. Grodin is woefully underused and you’ll wish his part was bigger and Matthau’s role was limited to an extended cameo. As it stands, he’s an underutilized supporting character whose potential is never fully realized.

Speaking of the supporting cast, there are far too many inconsequential characters and director Michael (Fletch) Ritchie has trouble juggling them all. He also allows the Mistaken Identity clichés to pile up by the end too. The film’s targets (the Beverly Hills lifestyle, psychiatry, call-in radio shows, etc.) are all too broad and it just doesn’t have the balls to skewer them properly.

Still, there are plenty of solid laughs to be had, especially early on. If anything, it’s a good vehicle for Aykroyd’s comedic skills. It’s no Doctor Detroit or anything, but what can be? We also get a pretty funny, if completely random Chevy Chase cameo as well.



I am currently putting the finishing touches on my second book, The Video Vacuum’s Unexpendable Guide to Action Movie Icons and it should be ready sometime before Christmas. It is a movie review compilation devoted to the stars of The Expendables franchise. Chapters focus on Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph Lundgren, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and many more!

If you love action movies and you love my reviews, I think you’ll definitely want to pick it up. It’s guaranteed to be the perfect stocking stuffer. Many of the reviews can be found on this site, but the book also features a bunch of brand spanking new reviews that you won’t find anywhere else. Among them:

Paradise Alley
Total Recall
Set Up
Fire with Fire
Hidden Agenda
The Package
Battle of the Damned
Universal Soldier: The Return
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Cowboys and Aliens
Ender’s Game
Bird on a Wire
The Expendables 3

Once the book is published I’ll provide you guys and gals with the links where you can purchase it. You can pick it up on Amazon, or directly from the publisher. (I get more royalties that way.) It’ll also be available on Kindle as well.

I hope you all have as much fun reading it as I did writing it!

Those of you who haven’t bought my first book, The Best (and Worst) of the Video Vacuum (which features an introduction by none other than The Return of Swamp Thing’s Jim Wynorski) and want to check it out, you can buy it through these channels: