The Fanatics

This deceptively simple farce is intended to remind the spectator that “fan” is short for “fanatic,” i.e., a worshiper at the temple or fane. It’s a great expression of disdain and contempt for the callow rump parliament of the NFL, and is dedicated at the end to a long list of defunct or rechristened teams (including at least two from Los Angeles).

The style is a casual rendition of side-splitting merriment (fans kidnap a player). The deadly cast includes Austin Pendleton, Barry Corbin, and Gregory Sporleder. Edward Asner’s resemblance to Norman Mailer here is irresistibly funny in itself somehow. Very funny outtakes under the end credits show him wrestling with a stubborn revolver, and the other actors tripping over their lines or fizzling out in action, or just being there.

All in all, this is infinitely better than Jerry Maguire.