A 'cult classic' is what we're talking about here. At the time, and even now, some just won't get it.
It is interesting that Airplane!, which came before, and The Naked Gun, which followed, were huge successes and this is probably because they were more disciplined parodies of highly recognisable genres. Here, though, as in The Kentucky Fried Movie where they began, the team just let ideas run wild. Although more surreal, this is no less funny and at times is probably the best work they've done.
The songs are sublime, from a razor-sharp Beach Boys spoof to a reworded Are You Lonesome Tonight? turned into an advertising jingle. The dialogue sparkles, the jokes are terrific and the fact that Val Kilmer is taking it so seriously (he always does - and this actually makes the film funnier now that he is so well-known) just adds to the brilliance.
Who can forget the city map turning into a Pac-Man game, the giant pigeon statue or the scene with Peter Cushing, filmed entirely backwards - a scene which was ripped off by an advertising campaign for Tennants Pilsner which must have lasted a decade?
Of course, today many of the targets sent up will perhaps have been forgotten. Who now remembers Midnight Express, The Blue Lagoon, any number of cheesy Elvis, World War II and Cold War movies...perhaps even Pac Man itself?
The fact that it's so brimming with ideas will just be too much for some viewers, like a cake that's too rich. Others will be in comedy heaven.