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Buried Treasure: The Gods Must Be Crazier

May 12th, 2011 by Naivasha D Associate Producer

Like many Hulu users, I can usually find more than enough great content in our “Most Popular” section to keep me entertained, informed, and slightly less productive all day.

But I’ve always been one to root for the underdog.

So, in that spirit, I decided to start stepping out of my “30 Rock” and “Modern Family”-furnished comfort zone to explore Hulu’s treasure trove of diverse library content that often gets lost in the shadows of our most-watched shows, or Stewie Griffin’s giant head.

There are a lot engrossing movies, TV shows, and clips up there. It can be daunting. But I’ll be donning my miner’s helmet and doing a little digging to unearth some real hidden gems. —— Naivasha D

Today’s Edition: The God’s Must Be Crazy II

I want to direct your attention to the kitschy, quirky, uniquely ‘80s film “The Gods Must Be Crazy II,” directed by Jamie Uys and starring—in addition to real people—every wild animal in Africa.

Yes, this is a sequel to the equally wonderful and more famous original, but it stands on its own as a hilarious and heartfelt snapshot of an era. The “Gods Must Be Crazy” trilogy is fantastic because there is really nothing else quite like it, in the 80’s or otherwise. In this second installation, the characters spend most of the film bumbling around the Kalahari Desert in a slapstick comedy of errors, with a lot of the action scenes filmed in this frantic, speedy stop motion style that I haven’t seen before or since.

The cute factor is contributed by a couple of adorable Bushmen children who kick off the adventure by climbing into an elephant poacher’s truck and are taken on an involuntary joyride across the desert, pursued by their bemused father.

The sexual tension and age-old “city girl meets country boy” trope is rife. It’s brought by sophisticated New York City lawyer Ann Taylor and rugged zoologist Stephen Marshall, who are stranded when their plane crashes in the desert. The couple must fend off a rotating cast of wild animals and a couple of warring soldiers, who manage to be endearing despite the amount of rifle-waving and prisoner-taking that goes on.

This movie is also apparently the first comedic appearance of the recently famous honey badger, whose “nastyass” antics recently went viral on Youtube. In the movie’s best scene, Marshall and the honey badger are forced to forge a tenuous friendship as they struggle through the desert together. It’s a perfect example of this film’s command of subtle and charming situational comedy.

What I love most about this movie is the refreshing undercurrent of kindness that runs through it. The human experience is explored with love, patience, and a sort of affectionate resignation.

It’s almost great that a film about the clash of disparate cultures, set in a hostile landscape with a backdrop of war and violence, manages to leave its audience feeling warm and fuzzy.

Or, at least, it’ll leave you wanting to go on safari.

If you’re craving a dosage of 80’s-style laughs—but prefer baboons over Molly Ringwald—check out this amiable romp through the Kalahari on Hulu.