Movie Review

Krippendorf's Tribe

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual humor

Reviewed by: W.J. Kimble
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Comedy
Length:
94 min.

Starring: Richard Dreyfuss, Jenna Elfman, Lily Tomlin,, Natasha Lyonne, Gregory Smith, Carl Michael Lindner / Director: Todd Holland / Released by: Touchstone Pictures

“Krippendorf’s Tribe” is a movie best unseen. Its ludicrous premise not only insults the scientific community, but slaps the face of any respectable man or woman who cares about family values, decency and morality. Its tasteless humor inculcates the viewer with such a constant barrage of sexual innuendoes that one begins to understand why Freud was so fixated on the phallus as the libidinal object of infantile sexuality in the male. It contains prehistoric dildo humor, breaking-the-wind jokes, breast-humor and countless references to the male organ {even going so far as to show Krippendorf (Richard Dreyfuss) wearing a 6 foot long penis sheath, proudly waving it in front of him like an object of admiration and pride}. In one scene, Veronica Micelli (Jenna Elfman, from TV’s “Dharma and Greg”) is seen measuring her breast size with an ancient tribal contraption, used to make the male aroused and ready for sex; and reaching through a hole in the middle of this supposedly erotic instrument, she takes hold of Krippendorf’s private parts. Fortunately, for us, we are only told that she has placed her hand there.

This obnoxious movie reveals just how low Disney will stoop in mocking family values. While billing it as a family film, they simulate “native” sex rituals and under the pretense of scientific research, they show Krippendorf seducing his partner, in what could be considered “consensual” date rape. Simply put, he gets her drunk, convinces her to dress up like a Shelmikedmu tribesman, completes the ritual and takes her to his bedroom where they finish the affair. To her dismay and unbeknownst to her, this sordid escapade is broadcast nationwide on the “Primal Channel” and is billed as the mating ritual of the Shelmikedmu tribe.

The plot is simple. James Krippendorf, a respected university professor at Bounderby College, is paid to find the last undiscovered tribe in the primitive areas of New Guinea. When his wife dies, Krippendorf returns home with his family to live a secluded life filled with despondency and despair. After a year of mourning, Krippendorf is forced to present his findings at a scheduled school lecture or be jailed for misappropriation of funds. Quickly fabricating an elaborate tale of a fictitious tribe that he calls the Shelmikedmus, (which, by the way, is based on the names of his children: Shelly, Mike, and Edmund), Krippendorf begins the long tedious task of producing home videos of his children, dressing up as tribesmen, and using the footage of film as proof of his discovery. The comedy is supposed to be in the production of the film.

There are also several instances of vulgar language and profanity, completing this waste of a film. I recommend that you save your money and see something else! Don’t allow Hollywood to prey on you and your values in “Krippendorf’s Tribe”; rather, PRAY for the many real tribes who still are yet to be discovered and have the life-changing message of the gospel shared with them!

Year of Release—1998

Viewer Comments
Comments from young people
Thank you for the note on the end of your “Krippendorf’s Tribe” review. My family is friends with a family of missionaries in Papau, New Guinea. They recently experienced a severe drought only to now be put through grueling rains that have flooded the area(including an airport). Not only is “Krippendorf’s Tribe” an unfunny, racist, disgusting and sick movie (Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times called it Disney’s worst movie ever), but it ignores the country’s need to hear about the Gospel. We have easy access to the Bible and God’s Word (so many non-Christians will rebuke it, though). It’s a sad statement on Disney and the stars of the film.
—Zack, age 16