I think you already know what kind of comedy is Senseless. Simple, straightforward, and mildly entertaining it doesn’t require much from the viewer. The story is familiar, jokes are very nineties, and the overall atmosphere is energetic and positive. And this is exactly why I love watching movies like this. First of all, there are some really funny and memorable scenes here. I’m a simple man, give me a shitting scene in a comedy and I’m a happy camper. Corn, I don’t remember eating no corn? Secondly, we have quite realistic economic lingo here. It’s not something that’s going to blow your mind but it’s a nice touch.
And finally, we have Marlon Wayans doing his thing. Here, he’s channeling his inner Jim Carrey. I still think that his best movie is Don’t Be A Menace, with Scary Movie and White Chicks coming in second and third. And that’s not all, because the cast of Senseless is pretty strong. We have David Spade as the annoying privileged kid, Matthew Lillard as the edgy kid and motherfucking Brad Dourif as Dr. Wheedon. And I didn’t even mention Tamara Taylor or Rip Torn.
The story is as old as time as the young outcast tries to get both the girl and the job of his dreams. The movie touches upon several important issues but not in a preachy or pretentious way. Everything here is geared towards moving the story forwards. The storytelling is clear and on point, so this isn’t one of those quirky comedies you will need to “get”. However, you have to be able to go with the flow and inner logic of this movie. I mean this is one of those movies where scientist pulls out a glowing liquid that can do all kinds of shit.
Meet Darryl Witherspoon, a young but broke economics student at Stratford University. Darryl does everything he can to make a bit of money on the side, selling blood, semen, and even hair. However, when he learns that there’s this new experimental drug trial that’s paying $3000 to its participants, he gets really excited.
I just love the subtle and also the not-so-subtle condemnation of privilege here. You see poor Darryl literally selling his body just to keep going to this school while others are just having a good time and partying. Senseless is also a time capsule, taking you back to the nineties with style. So, you’ll have your taste of music, piercings, and all the fashionable outfits people wore back then. Hell, I remember watching this movie in the nineties and loving it. And a couple of days ago I remember the scene where Darryl uses his “super” to check the ass of a girl walking down the street. His reaction is just pure gold and a quarter of a century later is still funny.
And although this is a mainstream comedy, it still has a bit of edginess about it. Plus, you can take seriously the premise of the movie and think about how it would be to have these “powers”. Some of the scenes do lose their charm after a couple of viewings but if this is your first time watching Senseless, you’re going to have a great time. It puts a science fiction spin on your usual college comedy frame. And in that sense, you can say it’s more similar to eighties movies like Weird Science or Zapped. Or even Re-Animator also starring Brad Dourif following a promising medical student.
Director: Penelope Spheeris
Writers: Greg Erb, Craig Mazin
Cast: Marlon Wayans, David Spade, Brad Dourif, Esther Scott, Matthew Lillard, Tamara Taylor, Rip Torn
Fun Facts: Brad Dourif does not blink in any of his scenes.