The Jerks (1987)

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A small-time thief learns the hard way what it’s like to hit the big score in this hilarious Greek comedy starring, written, and directed by Giorgos Konstadinou.

Leonidas is a small-time thief who spends his time waiting for the call from his childhood friend turned master thief Babis about a big score. However, living as a boarder, he must contend with Froso, who always wants him but he always refuses her advances and gets “punished”. When Babis finally calls , he has a major job for Leonidas. The job involves robbing a bank and Leonidas has ten days to gather the best team possible for the job.

Along with recently released Vlasis, Leonidas gathers funeral worker The Crow, karate expert Toufas, discotech fanatic and car thief Mikki, and card shark Duke. However, things got from madcap to insane when Mikki recruits his disco rival Gogo and their girlfriends Vanessa and Suzy. In addition, Duke enlists his muscle, a big guy known simply as the Balloon. Meanwhile, Babis actually something in store for the gang as he has ultimate plans of his own. What will happen when it is time to pursue the heist?

This hilarious comedy from Giorgos Konstadinou is basically about what can go wrong when one, you are given a big job and two, you must hire a team to get the job done. Konstadinou is quite a funny guy on screen, not only having to deal with the job but also have his own issues at home as his landlord is a bigger woman who attempts to always seduce him and fails, thus resulting in him getting his butt kicked by her. The opening scene alone is funny as we see Leonidas look at a safe in an apartment across the street, but his bumbling friend mistakes him seeing the safe for Liana, played by Linda Giga, who is later revealed to be Babis’ girlfriend.

The hijinks are what’s expected of an 80’s comedy. When Babis begins to worry Leonidas might not get the job done, Liana offers to seduce him on several occasions, but to no avail. Toufas’ introduction is quite funny when he reveals he was “teaching” a female student. The Crow’s introduction has a bit of slapstick humor mixed in with revealing that he works at a funeral home run by an old deaf man. The fights at the disco are quite funny as well involving Mikki and Gogo. Of course, when everything is revealed, it becomes a madcap chase that isn’t shot like the American comedies of yore or that of Benny Hill. It is as if Konstadinou brought his own style to the mix in terms of the chase and it is quite hilarious and the film itself ends on a hilarious note.

The Jerks is quite a funny a Greek comedy that meshes the 80’s comedy (and rightfully so) along with a dash of an unexpected funny chase scene that can only end in hilarity.

WFG RATING: B+

A Giorgos Karagiannis and Co. Ltd. production. Director: Giorgos Konstadinou. Producer: Giorgos Karagiannis. Writer: Giorgos Konstadinou. Cinematography: Vasilis Hristomoglou.  Editing: Kostas Raftopoulos and Giorgos Triandafyllou.

Cast: Giorgos Konstadinou, Markos Lezes, Giannis Vouros, Kostas Palios, Yiorgos Petrohilos, Kostas Karagiorgis, Tasos Psomopoulos, Kostas Makedos, Frini Arvaniti, Dimitri Vasmatzis, Linda Giga.

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