Wow. Apparently you either love this movie or you hate it. I'm definitely amongst those that loved it.
As a fan of classic comedy by the true classic film comedians (Marx Brothers, Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, and more recently Jim Carrey), I think Adam Rifkin's cinematic offerings deservedly have a place with them. Like the movies of the above-mentioned comedy stars, "Stoned Age" is packaged and presented as zany, numb-skull entertainment, but executed with true wit and life-long knowledge of how to conjure up a laugh.
Like Allen and Brooks, Rifkin places his protagonist ("Ishbo", played by Rifkin himself) in a foreign setting (prehistoric time) as if he were a modern day, overly-analytical nebbish that was suddenly transported back in time and is awkwardly left to deal with his dangerous and illogical new surroundings. When offered the bar-b-qued foot of a fallen tribesman, Ishbo refuses the disgusting extremity under the excuse that he's on a diet, to which the chef replies "What's a diet?". And we don't even question how cave man Ishbo came upon a pair of glasses. And it's great that Rifkin doesn't feel his audience is clueless enough to have to have it explained to them. Rifkin uses modern banter sparingly enough that when it happens, it seems as foreign to us as it does to his spear-chucking contemporaries, and the results are effectively funny.
There's a crazy quilt of a cast in "Stoned Age" which includes the late David Carradine, Tom Arnold, Talia Shire, porn star Ron Jeremy, Gary Busey, and a very, very competent (and gorgeous) Ali Larter who proves to have some amazing comedy timing. I don't know if Rifkin hired her mainly for her curves, but he got a true comedienne in the deal.
Granted you have your gratuitous gay cave man and Mastodon turds routines, but most of the movie is fraught with hysterical parody that really would be at home within the pages of National Lampoon Magazine. My favorite bit is the faux acid trip Ishbo experiences which finds him laughing at the dancing drawings on the cave walls and results in a helacious hangover and the discovery that the wild jungle sex he had that night was not with the cave girl of his dreams as he imagined. I also laughed my rocks off at the scene where a bevy of beautiful bare-breasted lesbian amazons wash Ishbo in the pond in preparation of impregnating the entire tribe. It's filmed exactly live a booty-shaking pool side hip-hop video with a hilarious original rap song to go with it.
Oh, and there's tons of DVD extras including Penthouse and Maxim Magazine photo shoots of the movie's cave girls. As much as I appreciate a well oiled cave girl booty, I didn't think the shoots had much relevance to the movie and it kind of dumbed the package down for me. But I have a sinking feeling I'm in the minority of that opinion. :)
As I said, you either love it or you hate it. At the price this DVD is selling for, it seems to be a better deal than actually renting it (I should have waited for these cheaper prices). For two or three bucks I guarantee you'll either laugh your butt off or you'll find a friend to give it to who will appreciate the wit and whackiness of "Stoned Age".
With better distribution there's no doubt this movie would be considered at home next to the works of Mel Brooks and The Marx Brothers. Hell, they even killed off the funnier original title ("Homo Erectus") because the DVD distributors probably assumed the more conservative and less educated video store dwellers would be offended.