National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon I (1993)

PG-13 | 83 mins | Comedy, Satire | 5 February 1993

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HISTORY

According to a 9 Sep 1992 HR article, the script was originally conceived in early 1992 by Don Holly for Walt Disney Pictures. Although Gene Quintano was hired to complete rewrites, Disney decided to move ahead on another similarly themed project titled Buddy Cop, and put Holly’s script into turnaround. Around Feb or Mar 1992, New Line Cinema won a bid for the property, hoping to use it as a franchise venue after its acquisition of the National Lampoon comedy brand from J2 Communications. A 20 Apr 1992 DV article announced the $8.2 million film as the first of three National Lampoon projects greenlit under the agreement, all of which were to be fully or partially funded by a $28 million investment from the French bank, Credit Lyonnais.
       Although DV claimed that filming of National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon I was contractually required to begin by 10 May 1992, the 7 Jul 1992 HR listed a start date of 22 Jun 1992. Shooting took place in Los Angeles, CA. The 9 Sep 1992 HR stated that production was completed in late Aug 1992.
       As noted by the 10 Sep 1992 HR, the film “spoofs” the Lethal Weapon series, and includes other parodical references to 48 Hrs. (1982), First Blood (1982), Die Hard (1988), The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Basic Instinct (1992), and Wayne’s World (1992, see entries). According to the 9 Sep 1992 HR, producers Suzanne Todd and David Willis drew inspiration from their previous collaborations ... More Less

According to a 9 Sep 1992 HR article, the script was originally conceived in early 1992 by Don Holly for Walt Disney Pictures. Although Gene Quintano was hired to complete rewrites, Disney decided to move ahead on another similarly themed project titled Buddy Cop, and put Holly’s script into turnaround. Around Feb or Mar 1992, New Line Cinema won a bid for the property, hoping to use it as a franchise venue after its acquisition of the National Lampoon comedy brand from J2 Communications. A 20 Apr 1992 DV article announced the $8.2 million film as the first of three National Lampoon projects greenlit under the agreement, all of which were to be fully or partially funded by a $28 million investment from the French bank, Credit Lyonnais.
       Although DV claimed that filming of National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon I was contractually required to begin by 10 May 1992, the 7 Jul 1992 HR listed a start date of 22 Jun 1992. Shooting took place in Los Angeles, CA. The 9 Sep 1992 HR stated that production was completed in late Aug 1992.
       As noted by the 10 Sep 1992 HR, the film “spoofs” the Lethal Weapon series, and includes other parodical references to 48 Hrs. (1982), First Blood (1982), Die Hard (1988), The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Basic Instinct (1992), and Wayne’s World (1992, see entries). According to the 9 Sep 1992 HR, producers Suzanne Todd and David Willis drew inspiration from their previous collaborations with Joel Silver, who produced Die Hard 2 (1990, see entry) and Lethal Weapon 2 (1989, see entry). Silver reportedly declined a cameo appearance in Loaded Weapon I. An unscourced contemporary document from AMPAS library files reported that actor Steve Kahan was initially cast as “D.A.,” but urged by his cousin, Lethal Weapon director Richard Donner, to quit the production, since Donner planned to invite him back to reprise his recurring role as “Police Captain Murphy” in Lethal Weapon 4 (1998, see entry) and felt that his appearance in a parody would “hurt the character.” He was replaced by actor Rick Ducommun on less than a day’s notice.
       An 11 Feb 1993 DV advertisement reported a five-day box-office total of $10,377,172 from 1,989 theaters. The opening was expanded to 2,015 theaters on 12 Feb 1993, and a 22 Feb 1993 DV article noted a domestic gross of more than $21 million to date, resulting in J2’s first profit after three consecutive years of financial losses.
       Despite its box-office success, the film received overwhelmingly negative reviews, and New Line did not produce any Loaded Weapon sequels as originally planned.
       End credits state: “Space Shuttle footage courtesy of NASA”; “Special Thanks to CCS Entertainment Marketing”; and, “A Very Special Thanks to Golden Harvest and Mirage Studios for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles clip.” A dedication reads: “This Film is Dedicated to the Memory of John Coffey." Coffey served as one of the film’s sound mixers.
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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
20 Apr 1992
p. 1, 7.
Daily Variety
11 Feb 1993.
---
Daily Variety
22 Feb 1993.
---
Hollywood Reporter
5 Feb 1993
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jul 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
9 Sep 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
10 Sep 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
11 Feb 1993.
---
Los Angeles Times
5 Feb 1993
Calendar, p. 8.
New York Times
5 Feb 1993
p. 6.
Variety
8 Feb 1993
pp. 73-74.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
New Line Productions Presents
A New Line Cinema Production
in Association with 3 Arts Entertainment
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
2d unit dir
2d 2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Co-exec prod
WRITERS
Story
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Steadicam op
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
"B" cam op
"B" cam 1st asst
Cam prod asst
Pre-rig gaffer
Best boy elec
Best boy elec
Elec
Elec
Rigging elec
Rigging elec
Rigging elec
Lamp op
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Still photog
Cam systems by
Cranes and dollies by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dept asst
Storyboard artist
Storyboard artist
FILM EDITORS
Post prod supv
Addl ed
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
Apprentice ed
Ed intern
Negative cutting
Negative cutting
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Asst propmaster
Props asst
Props prod asst
Propmaker
Weapons handler
Set dec
Asst set dec
Set dresser
On-set dresser
Leadman
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Const coord
Const foreman
Const foreman
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Labor
Labor
Paint supv
Sign painter
Sign painter
Set painter
Set painter
Set painter
Set painter
Set painter
Scenic artist
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Set costumer
Set costumer
Set costumer
Set costumer
Ward asst
MUSIC
Mus supv
Mus ed
for Film Scores
Scoring mixer
SOUND
Sd mixer
Sd mixer
Boom op
Rerec mixer
Rerec mixer
Rerec mixer
Supv sd ed
Dial ed
ADR supv
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Foley ed
Foley by
Asst sd ed
Apprentice sd ed
Dolby eng
Rec
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Spec eff foreman
Spec eff foreman
Spec eff team
Spec eff team
Spec eff team
Spec eff team
Spec eff team
Spec eff team
Spec eff team
Spec eff team
Spec eff team
Spec eff team
Title and opt eff by
MAKEUP
Key makeup artist
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Makeup for Mr. Jackson
Key hairstylist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist for Mr. Shatner
Hair extensions for Mr. Estevez
Makeup eff
Makeup eff, David Miller Studio
Makeup eff, David Miller Studio
Spec eff makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Helicopter pilot
Helicopter pilot
Exec in charge of prod
Exec in charge of post-prod
Prod supv
Prod coord
Scr supv
Prod controller
Prod accountant
Asst prod coord
Asst prod accountant
Prod attorney
Contract supv
Legal asst
Asst to the prods
Casting asst
Asst to Mr. Estevez
Asst to Mr. De Luca
Exec for National Lampoon
Artificial animals by
of Animal Makers
Artificial animals by
of Animal Makers
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Product placement
Product placement
Unit pub
ADR voice casting by
Post prod contract admin
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Crane driver
Key set prod asst
On-set prod asst
On-set prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod intern
Safety coord
LAPD officer
LAPD officer
LAPD officer
Cook's asst
Cook's asst
Craft services
Craft services asst
Security
Security
Japanese translation
Extras casting
Studio teacher
Studio teacher
Studio teacher
Payroll services
Prod equip by
Trucks provided by
Cast trailers provided by
Insurance provided by
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stuntplayer
Stuntplayer
Stuntplayer
Stuntplayer
Stuntplayer
Stuntplayer
Stuntplayer
Stuntplayer
Stuntplayer
Stuntplayer
Stuntplayer
Stuntplayer
Stuntplayer
Stuntplayer
Stuntplayer
Stuntplayer
Stuntplayer
Stuntplayer
Stuntplayer
Stuntplayer
Stuntplayer
Stuntplayer
Stuntplayer
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Prints by
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
"You Really Got Me," performed by Denis Leary and Marty Blasick, words and music by Ray Davies, Edward Kassner Music Co. Ltd./Jay-Boy Music Corp., by arrangement with Celebrity Licensing, Inc.
"We Can Work It Out," words and music by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, all rights controlled and administered by Music Corporation of America, Inc., under license from Northern Songs
"I'm Popeye the Sailorman," written by Sammy Lerner, Famous Music Corporation
+
SONGS
"You Really Got Me," performed by Denis Leary and Marty Blasick, words and music by Ray Davies, Edward Kassner Music Co. Ltd./Jay-Boy Music Corp., by arrangement with Celebrity Licensing, Inc.
"We Can Work It Out," words and music by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, all rights controlled and administered by Music Corporation of America, Inc., under license from Northern Songs
"I'm Popeye the Sailorman," written by Sammy Lerner, Famous Music Corporation
"Bohemian Rhapsody," performed by Queen, written by Freddie Mercury, published by B. Feldman & Co., Ltd., trading as Trident Music, all rights controlled and administered by Glenwood Music Corporation, courtesy of Hollywood Records/EMI Records
"Love Kills," performed by Freddie Mercury, written by Freddie Mercury and Giorgio Moroder, published by Budde Song, Inc./Queen Music Ltd., courtesy of Hollywood Records/EMI Records.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Loaded Weapon I
Release Date:
5 February 1993
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 5 February 1993
Production Date:
22 June--late August 1992
Copyright Claimant:
New Line Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
1 March 1993
Copyright Number:
PA607440
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Duration(in mins):
83
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
32025
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Los Angeles, California, retired police officer Billie York uncovers details about a secret drug operation run through annual Wilderness Girls cookie sales. Fearing for her life, Billie telephones her former partner for help, but receives no answer. Just then, the devious “Jigsaw” arrives dressed as a Wilderness Girl and demands that Billie hand over the recipe that will allow him to lace the cookies with cocaine. Billie denies possession of the coveted microfilm, but divulges the name of millionaire Mike McCracken. Jigsaw thanks her for the information, then shoots her. The next morning, the coroner declares that Billie committed suicide, but her former partner, Sergeant Wes Luger, suspects foul play after listening to Billie’s phone message. Captain Doyle grudgingly allows Luger to investigate on condition that he teams up with narcotics officer Sergeant Jack Colt, who has developed a reputation as a “psychotic burnout” since the mysterious disappearance of his beloved dog, Claire. For their first lead, cannibalistic serial killer Harold Leacher refers Luger and Colt to his former patient, General Curtis Mortars, who also served as Colt’s commander during the Vietnam War. Across town, Jigsaw and General Mortars intimidate Mike McCraken for the cookie recipe. McCracken admits he gave the microfilm to Billie under the mistaken impression she was working on their side, and General Mortars shoots him. Meanwhile, Luger and Colt track down an informant named Becker, who confesses to being part of a money-laundering scheme for an “ex-military psycho type.” Although Luger offers him protection in exchange for more information, Becker is killed by a random sniper. Later, the two cops go to McCracken’s house to investigate, and Colt finds a box of Wilderness Girl ... +


In Los Angeles, California, retired police officer Billie York uncovers details about a secret drug operation run through annual Wilderness Girls cookie sales. Fearing for her life, Billie telephones her former partner for help, but receives no answer. Just then, the devious “Jigsaw” arrives dressed as a Wilderness Girl and demands that Billie hand over the recipe that will allow him to lace the cookies with cocaine. Billie denies possession of the coveted microfilm, but divulges the name of millionaire Mike McCracken. Jigsaw thanks her for the information, then shoots her. The next morning, the coroner declares that Billie committed suicide, but her former partner, Sergeant Wes Luger, suspects foul play after listening to Billie’s phone message. Captain Doyle grudgingly allows Luger to investigate on condition that he teams up with narcotics officer Sergeant Jack Colt, who has developed a reputation as a “psychotic burnout” since the mysterious disappearance of his beloved dog, Claire. For their first lead, cannibalistic serial killer Harold Leacher refers Luger and Colt to his former patient, General Curtis Mortars, who also served as Colt’s commander during the Vietnam War. Across town, Jigsaw and General Mortars intimidate Mike McCraken for the cookie recipe. McCracken admits he gave the microfilm to Billie under the mistaken impression she was working on their side, and General Mortars shoots him. Meanwhile, Luger and Colt track down an informant named Becker, who confesses to being part of a money-laundering scheme for an “ex-military psycho type.” Although Luger offers him protection in exchange for more information, Becker is killed by a random sniper. Later, the two cops go to McCracken’s house to investigate, and Colt finds a box of Wilderness Girl cookies and a military ring he recognizes as belonging to General Mortars. Noting the connection between the crime scenes, Colt and Luger bring Wilderness Girls CEO Destiny Demeanor to the police station for questioning. Although she claims to know nothing, she later reunites with General Mortars and Jigsaw at the Wilderness Girls office. That night, Colt returns to his beachside trailer to find Destiny Demeanor, whose overwhelming guilt has driven her to admit her involvement in the scheme. She reveals that her former lover, General Mortars, has been using the Wilderness Girls cookie business to ship cocaine around the world, and informs Colt of a drug deal scheduled to take place the following night at the cookie factory. As the two become intimate, the sound of a helicopter causes Destiny to worry that General Mortars will find her. Before she leaves, she admits her attraction to Colt, but the emotionally stunted officer struggles to return her feelings due to his lifelong disdain for women. Later, Colt tells Luger about the drug deal, but Captain Doyle finds the scenario preposterous and orders the officers to drop the case. A strict rule-follower, Luger complies, but the rebellious Colt decides to “go rogue.” At the cookie factory, Destiny confronts General Mortars for emotionally manipulating her into using her business for his criminal activity. When Colt arrives, General Mortars reveals he is responsible for kidnapping the officer’s dog, Claire. In a fit of rage, Colt attacks General Mortars and Jigsaw, but Destiny is fatally shot in the scuffle. With her dying breath, she begs Colt to avenge her. As General Mortars corners Colt behind a vat of cookie dough, Luger arrives with backup and shoots the drug lord. Outside, Captain Doyle praises their good work and agrees to let them continue working together. As Luger and Colt get in the car, Destiny appears in the back seat with Claire, both seemingly unharmed, and the new partners drive away blasting the rock group Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” on the radio. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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