On Tuesday March 21, the trailer for Quasi dropped. Quasi is the Broken Lizard satirical take on The Hunchback of Notre Dame or that is what the people say. From this trailer I do not see it.
What Quasi has going for it…
Sure, there are somethings in common with Hugo’s novel and/or other adaptations. It takes place in medieval France and there is a hunchback named Quasi, which is a nickname of Quasimodo, but that’s a far as it goes according to the trailer.
This trailer poses three questions.
First being what makes a good trailer? I have seen great trailers for bad movies and bad trailers for awesome movies. Trailers are an art form. One has to give people just enough of the film that people want to see more. From this trailer and reading comments on social media, this trailer is for people who are Broken Lizard fans already and also want it mixed with a bit of Monty Python-type of humor.
From this trailer, it does seem like comedy troupe wanted to a comedy movie set in medieval period but wanted/needed to ground it in already known story. The general public knows of The Hunchback of Notre Dame as it is an old novel but most people don’t know the story that well. All most people might know about the novel are the basics. Quasimodo is a Hunchback who rings the bells at Notre Dame. So it a good base for whatever story you want.
Which bring us to the second question, What makes a Hunchback adaptation an adaptation of the story? What elements are needed? Very simply, one needs a Quasimodo character, an outcast who has deep reverence for a specific place. Does it HAVE to be a cathedral? It helps but it not specifically needed given the story. It has to be a place where people align themselves, a place that forms a sense of identity and connections. Then you have the foils to Quasimodo. An Esmeralda character who is also considered an outcast as she is a member of the Travelers but she beloved by the public as well as beautiful. And a Frollo-type character who is part of the community and is mostly respected because of his position but not loved by anyone and is for most part is alright with that since he considers himself above the common masses. I would say those core-elements are needed to convey the basic plot of novel, there are exceptions but for the MOST part those elements in some form are needed.
Thoughts on the Trailer
So what did I think of the trailer for Quasi? Umm…. I didn’t. It’s not my style of humor and I wouldn’t say I have high-brow humor. I have been known to like dumb stuff.
If you find this style of humor funny that is great, humor is very subjection but I didn’t find it funny and I’m failing to see The Hunchback of Notre Dame in this “version.” Broken Lizard can do whatever medieval comedy movie they want but don’t peddle it as a movie version of novel if just in name only.
The news outlets were calling it a satirical or spoof of the novel but I’m not seeing even that much. If the Hunchback character was named anything else I don’t think it would change a thing within the story, it’s just to get people to think it’s the novel with nothing else of the novel is there.
An Illuminating Quote
Here’s a quote from Jay Chandrasekhar about the movie “I will tell you this, we have a movie called ‘Quasi’, which we made. It’s going to come out in December on Hulu, and it’s a 13th-century French … It’s like murder, assassination, mystery. I play the King of France, Paul Soter plays the Pope, and Steve Lemme plays a hunchback. And it’s a big international sort of … It’s a ‘Monty Python’ movie.” https://collider.com/super-troopers-3-script-update-jay-chandrasekhar-comments/
Judging from the quote it doesn’t SOUND like they were originally aiming for a Hunchback version either.
So yeah while I was wrong in my assumption that Kevin Heffernan would play Quasi(modo) when in-fact Steven Lemme is playing the Hunchback character, I feel wrong calling this movie a Hunchback of Notre Dame adaptation.
I wouldn’t have known about the movie if wasn’t being called a Hunchback version and the trailer is giving me little to support that it is one. Especially since an actor in the film called the titular character “a hunchback.” It seems that the troupe wanted to do a Monty Python and the Holy Grail type flick mixed with their brand of humor and to make the project marketable they named the Hunchback Quasi and labelled it as a spoof for subterfuge.
So the third and final question is should Quasi even be reviewed as a Hunchback adaptation???Follow thehunchblog