Belushi and wife, Walker, are suburbanites who live a comfortable if humdrum life. Their mundane existence is changed dramatically when Aykroyd and his wife, Moriarty, move in next door. While Walker finds the chaos they bring a refreshing change, Belushi is appalled by their behavior.

AndersonVision’s guide to Belushi’s last film:

“Neighbors” is such a painfully awkward movie. But, I’ve never been a big fan of Avildsen’s directorial efforts. The film is built on the conceit that Belushi is playing a repressed guy, while Aykroyd is playing the wild type. Aykroyd has no chemistry with Cathy Moriarty, as they’re supposed to be playing sex crazed maniacs that live to ruin the lives of others. The film has a history that indicated how trouble the production truly was, but what do I know? I was about five months old when the film was released.

Belushi and Aykroyd fought constantly with John Avildsen and tried to get the guy fired off the movie. They even went so far as to contact John Landis in a roundabout effort to create a production that they could control. Landis refused and the duo switched roles in a form of protest. There were fights over music in the movie, stylistic choices and everything that you could possible imagine. The legacy of the film is ruined by fighting with the screenwriter and the fact that Belushi would die about four months after the film was released.

What does this mean for Joe DVD buyer? Well, I figured that the history would help frame the film for you. It’s way famous for being a Columbia Pictures dump on the Christmas 1981 Season. They figured correctly that if they could create a ton of cheap prints and throw them into a record amount of screens for a comedy, that they could head off bad press. It worked and it quite bizarrely created the modern media blitz that we now know. Unfortunately, “Neighbors” faded into obscurity. The DVD comes with no special features, but it sports strong enough special features.



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