Savage Steve Holland's One Crazy Summer is a zesty hot-weather tonic, light and sparkling, and a fine follow-up to last fall's "Better Off Dead," Holland's knockout debut feature. As impossible as it seems just now, Holland actually finds fresh approaches to the youth comedy. [12 Aug 1986, p.C5]
Holland fills this film with so many throwaway gags that it is impossible to communicate the outright zaniness. Every scene contains dozens of jokes, some that work and some that don't, but they keep coming so fast and furious that the duds are easily forgotten. Strung together on the flimsiest of plots, Holland's film works as well as it does because he stocks it with several likably eccentric characters. While certainly not for all tastes, it's refreshing teenage fare, and underlying its cartoony insouciance is a welcome touch of innocence.
Not a bad film, and certainly more polished than Holland's "Better Off Dead" debut, though it's marred by unevenness and the director's ineradicable penchant for infantile clowning (think Three Stooges, think Soupy Sales and worse).
No one ever said good taste was a requirement for good box office,
particularly when the commodity in question is a summer teen flick, but it
does help to have appealing characters in the leading roles and a script with
at least the wit of a failing TV sitcom.
One Crazy Summer's only truly funny bit of business occurs when two evil kindergartners are transformed for no reason at all into pigs. You laugh here, not because it's riotously funny, but because the scene is one of the most stupid things you'll ever see...Much like the film it's contained in.