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Review: Mockumentary ‘Bucky and the Squirrels’ crashes and burns on takeoff

Matt Cook, from left, Matt Shively, Kyle S. More and Josh Duvendeck in the movie "Bucky and the Squirrels." Credit: Julien Lasseur
(Julien Lasseur)

The excruciatingly witless mockumentary “Bucky and the Squirrels” should have stayed on ice (it was shot in 2013) just like its title characters, a one-hit wonder band found frozen alive 50 years after their tour plane crashed in the Swiss Alps.

There’s potential in the story of a lost group of 1960s pop stars who must adjust to modern-day life and reclaim their fame. But in the hands of writer-director Allan Katz, a veteran TV writer-producer, it plays like an ill-conceived comedy sketch in search of a feature film.

It’s a no-go from the get-go with its labored stabs at humor and satire, doltish characters, utter disconnection from reality (even for a spoof) and scenes stretched to the breaking point. Several celebrity cameos feel like padding.

The plot, such as it is, finds an Appleton, Wis., TV newsman (Henry Dittman) tracking the defrosting and rehabilitation of hometown celebs the Squirrels (Josh Duvendeck, Matt Shively, Matt Cook and Kyle S. More). The dopey high jinks unfold with the help of a bemused therapist (Jill Lover) and the Squirrels’ now elderly manager (Katz). Godawful wigs, costumes and fake buck teeth abound.

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A twist involving the IRS leads to the inevitable make-or-break concert, which includes a performance of the Squirrels’ earworm hit, “Do the Squirrel.” It’s a bit of too-little, too-late fun that shows what this cheesy mishmash might have been.

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‘Bucky and the Squirrels’

Rating: PG, for some language and rude humor

Running time: 1 hour, 22 minutes

Playing: In limited release

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