No, wait! Come back!
How predictable. You saw the title of the review and thought, “No freaking way am I reading a review of a movie with a title like ‘Olympic Greasy Watermelon.’” That’s fine, just as long as you understand you’ll be missing out on that rarest of films that combines elements of “Rocky,” “BASEketball,” and “The Natural”…only with watermelons.
The newest Olympic sport, according to this film, is Greasy Watermelon: in which the titular melon is smeared with Crisco (the official grease of Olympic Greasy Watermelon) and thrown into a pool, where two teams jump in and attempt to take it to their side, scoring a goal in the process. Silly as it sounds, Greasy Watermelon has become the newest Olympic sport, and the United States team is vying for the gold against those rotten bastards from the Mediterranean country of Gonadia.
Greasy Watermelon has a lot in common with Douglas Adams’ “Brockian Ultra-Cricket” or Patterson’s Calvinball, in that there are apparently no rules. Teams are free to elbow, gouge, and utilize such moves as the “washing machine” or the “stinky cheese” in order to win. And it appears the American team will have their hands full with the Gonadians, whose children are taken straight from the womb and deposited in a watermelon shell for quick transport to an infant Greasy Watermelon camp, sort of like modern-day Spartans. Against our patriots, Gonadia sends the brothers Jigle and Money Panzarovalof.
Not to be outdone, the American team is led by the doughty Colonel Fabien (Steve Couture) and Eldrick “Vitamin” Jones (Willem Hartong). They take the place of original starters Bruce Jenner and Mark Spitz (not shown), and are coached by greasy watermelon legend Coach Keating (Mark Krajan).
“Olympic Greasy Watermelon” is a capable spoof of all things sports-related, but especially televised coverage of sporting events and all that inspirational Olympic “up close and personal” bullshit we’re forced to endure every four years. The film itself switches back and forth between coverage of the championship match and flashbacks to the history and controversy surrounding the sport. Writer/director Hartong has done an admirable job integrating video with still photography and animation to tell the tale of what is obviously a sport near and dear to his heart.
Any activity involving swimming around like madmen will naturally involve a good deal of underwater action, and “OGW” delivers the footage capably, showing each heroic American move as well as every underhanded Gonadian dirty trick which, typically, the officiating staff fail to catch. Sounds a lot like how the Russians won the basketball gold in 1972.
For those tired of traditional American sports, I heartily recommend a few rounds of “Olympic Greasy Watermelon.” It’ll make you cheer again. And remember, “There’s no “me” on ‘melon.’”