Neighbours, Ray Peterson (Tom Hanks) an everyman on a much need vacation, Mark Rumsfield (Bruce Dern) a war veteran, and Art (Rick Ducommun)…a guy who likes to eat, become suspicious of their creepy but eccentric new neighbours, The Klopeks.
Poking fun at the whole suburban mentality, The Burbs still holds strong to this day. Hanks is the protagonist, a guy who only wants to chill at home while his wife Carol, (Carry Fisher) nags him to go on a proper vacation and once we get to know the neighbours we begin to understand why. However, it isn’t the ghoulish new neighbours living at 669 (later turned to 666 in an overdone comedic fashion) that makes her want to leave but the other seemingly “normal” ones.
We have Art the gossip and shit-stirrer, the ever so patriotic Mark (Bruce Dern a highlight) who has a beef with an old man’s pet poodle and so on.
Those that know Joe Dante’s work will be familiar with the setting. Just like Gremlins we have a nice bright suburban town which will take a turn for the worse eventually. All told in great comedic and at sometimes rather dark manner. Bones are dug up from the eccentric Klopek’s backyard, some form of crazy experiments are happening down in the basement and so on. The standout scene must be when the Ray and Mark are convinced by their wives to stop spying and actually pay the Klopek’s a visit. Awkward hilarity ensues.
The Blu-Ray disc comes packed with all sorts of special features. “There Goes the Neighbourhood,” a making of documentary with key production members. The original work print. Another documentary titled, ‘A Tale of Two Burbs” an alternate ending and a commentary by writer, Dana Olsen. As for the transfer itself, the overall picture is good but it’s grainy as hell at times. Not too much of a complaint but could have done with some extra cleaning up.
Transfer issues aside, the film is still a fun little gem from the 80s. The special features alone make the disc worth owning which gives the overall disc an extra star.
Director: Joe Dante
Starring: Tom Hanks, Carrie Fisher, Corey Feldman, Rick Ducommon, Bruce Dern, Courtney Gains
Running Time: 96 minutes
Release Date: 15th September 2014