National Lampoon's Favorite Deadly Sins

  • 1995
  • Movie
  • R
  • Comedy

Two out of three ain't bad for any omnibus. Edited down from the original Showtime film series, this satiric contemporization of the seven deadliest transgressions does justice to Greed and Anger, but sins against Lust. In the "Greed" episode, Hollywood huckster Frank Musso (Joe Mantegna) tries to get the jump on oily agent Todd Ferrett (William Ragsdale)...read more

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Two out of three ain't bad for any omnibus. Edited down from the original Showtime film series, this satiric contemporization of the seven deadliest transgressions does justice to Greed and Anger, but sins against Lust.

In the "Greed" episode, Hollywood huckster Frank Musso (Joe Mantegna) tries to get the jump on oily agent Todd Ferrett (William Ragsdale) in the exploitative purchase of true-life crime tales. In the rush to turn trailer-trash lives into marketable TV-movie commodities, Musso involves himself in

the commission of a felony: the Cinderella Killings. Egging on curvaceous Norma Jean Hazelrig (Cassidy Rae), Musso stands by when Norma Jean torches her stepmother and stepsisters, then masterminds her defense by telegenic attorney Noble Hart (Brian Keith). When agent Ferrett points out Musso's

profitable double crossing, Norma Jean cheats the gas chamber by blaming the arson murders on Musso, who goes out with a ratings bang by televising his own execution as a variety special.

In Episode Two, "Anger," Dick (Andrew Clay) unleashes an obscene invective against his girlfriend (Farrah Forke) who has run out of tampons. Blowing his top at a convenience store clerk, startled customers, robbers who shoot Dick during a hold-up, and ultimately against Satan himself, foul-mouthed

Dick is returned to Earth where we discover that his girlfriend has an even nastier temper.

In the "Lust" segment, a married milquetoast, Jake (Denis Leary), peers out his apartment window and dreams of the luscious babe, Sarah (Tanya Pohlkotte), across the courtyard. However, his shrewish wife Brenda (Annabella Sciorra) becomes a lot more desirable after Jake realizes that Sarah is a

dedicated lesbian.

Although a lot of inside jokes may zip past viewers of "Greed" who aren't addicted to Entertainment Channel updates, enough accessible caustic wit remains to ensure merriment. A bit overplayed by Mantegna, "Greed" is an unremittingly sarcastic send-up of the Made-for-TV mentality, a mindset in

which people are tempted to kill for 15 minutes of fame, capped off by making the cover of People magazine. The comic high attained by "Greed" continues with "Anger," which may delight even those normally offended by Andrew "Dice" Clay's trademark sexism. On an adrenaline rush of anti-social

soapboxing, Clay baits everyone he meets. Structured ingeniously to build to a sidesplitting pay-off, "Anger" never relents as the Big Mouth spews hatred so volcanically that even Hell has no place for him.

More pretentious than the episodes preceding it, "Lust" is weak-kneed Walter Mittydom for Leary, whose sexist shtick has never registered so impotently. His bitter musing about how the grass in the other man's bedroom always seems greener is lazily written and handicapped with insane fantasy

sequences. It leaves a sour aftertaste without garnering even one belly laugh. For a good time, unrepentant sinners are advised to succumb to "Greed" and vent their "Anger," but not to give into "Lust." (Violence, nudity, extreme profanity, sexual situations, substance abuse.)

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  • Released: 1995
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Two out of three ain't bad for any omnibus. Edited down from the original Showtime film series, this satiric contemporization of the seven deadliest transgressions does justice to Greed and Anger, but sins against Lust. In the "Greed" episode, Hollywood h… (more)

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