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Dr. Otto and the Riddle of the Gloom Beam (1985) Online

Dr. Otto and the Riddle of the Gloom Beam (1985) Online
Original Title :
Dr. Otto and the Riddle of the Gloom Beam
Genre :
Movie / Comedy / Sci-Fi
Year :
1985
Directror :
John R. Cherry III
Cast :
Jim Varney,Glenn Petach,Myke R. Mueller
Writer :
Daniel Butler,John R. Cherry III
Type :
Movie
Time :
1h 37min
Rating :
6.1/10
Dr. Otto and the Riddle of the Gloom Beam (1985) Online

Ernest P. Worrel tries out a strange contraption he bought cheaply called the Changing Coffin. The machine turns him into his opposite - a mad scientist and supervillain bent on world domination called Dr. Otto. He plans to use his Gloom Beam to render all the computers that keep people's financial records and bank accounts useless which would make him the only one with access to all this dough. Bumbling hero Lance Sterling and his cautious sidekick Doris are sent to Dr. Otto's lair to stop him. There, they must face various scary alter egos of Dr. Otto as well as his manservant, Willie the Robot. {locallinks-homepage}
Cast overview, first billed only:
Jim Varney Jim Varney - Dr. Otto / Rudd Hardtact / Laughin' Jack / Guy Dandy / Auntie Nelda / Ernest P. Worrell
Glenn Petach Glenn Petach - Otto's Head Hand
Myke R. Mueller Myke R. Mueller - Lance
Jackie Welch Jackie Welch - Doris
Daniel Butler Daniel Butler - Slave Willie / Kegler
Esther Huston Esther Huston - Tina
Tina Goetze Tina Goetze - Rhonda Sue
Jennifer Wood Jennifer Wood - Monique
David Landon David Landon - Bank Pres. Rutherford
Mac Bennett Mac Bennett - V.P. #1
Winslow Stillman Winslow Stillman - Lance's Dad
Mary Jane Harvill Mary Jane Harvill - Lance's Mom
Irv Kane Irv Kane - Herr Vonschnick
Leslie Potter Leslie Potter - Mme. Vonschnick
Bill Middleton Bill Middleton - Man at Autoteller

This is the only film featuring Ernest P. Worrell (Jim Varney) in which he is not the title character.

Doctor Otto is what inspired the villain of The Marvelous M Show (2011), Dr. Mac.


User reviews

LiTTLe_NiGGa_in_THE_СribE

LiTTLe_NiGGa_in_THE_СribE

This movie is strangely surreal, and if you're an Ernest/Jim Varney fan in the least, you'll really enjoy it. The film starts a bit slow, but really starts to come together when we learn the connection between bumbling hero Lance Sterling (great name!) and pussy-willow-adorned, third-hand-on-his-head villain Dr. Otto. Willie the Robot is also a hoot, what with his changing smiley-face expressions, and Lance's assistant Doris is the brains behind the hero. Auntie Nelda is fall-down funny, especially when she's discussing her "dear, departed nephew Hymie" or clubbing creatures on the floor with a toxin-laden ladle.

There are a lot of little clever bits and dialog that make the movie enjoyable. It may be hard to find, so good luck!
Jerinovir

Jerinovir

The only reason that the movie is considered to be part of the Ernest P. Worrell series is because the character of Ernest appears for 2 minutes at the beginning and end of the film. But you should not track down a copy of the film only to see Ernest. The best part of the movie is the very dark, very funny characters that come right out of Jim Varney's imagination.

This is a very dark comedy about an evil, dispicable, deformed guy named "Dr. Otto Von Schnick-ick-ick-ick". He had a horrible childhood which he blames on his parents (whom prayed nightly that Otto would run away), and on his days in High School. Now, he hates everyone and everything, and hopes to destroy the world with his "gloom beam". He is heard to remark, 'my gloom beam will level entire cities, and maybe, hopefully, take out a couple homeless orphans and their puppies as a bonus!!'

Varney also plays 4 other characters in the film. A stuttering Australian mercenary that runs a Day Care Center for teaching children how to become militia. A Pirate with a parrot permanently on his shoulder who calls everyone "Jim". The old woman with the neck brace (who appears in every Ernest movie) who complains about her sons who no longer care for her. And 'Jim Dandy'- the richest man on Earth.

this is a must for any Ernest fan, and for everyone else, watch the movie, but fast forward whenever Jim Varney isn't on screen.
Jwalextell

Jwalextell

A dark comedy, a twist that is somewhere between Ernest and Tim Burton, very cheaply made but well done, surrealistic plot with very cool characters made especially by the man Jim Varney. This movie is like watching a dream and then waking up not having any idea what to think, what a great flick.
Naril

Naril

This is the 1st of the Ernest Movie Series even though Ernest himself only has about a minute or 2 of screen time. I can't believe this movie was the prequel to the Ernest Movie Series since he was only shown for about a minute throughout the whole movie. Maybe they decided Ernest was the only interesting thing to come out of this trashy B Movie.
Zuser

Zuser

As far as stories go, it seems that the writers here could only pass a kindergarten story writing class. Plot? Dr. Otto wants to destroy the world! That's all.

However, what you get is the Brilliance of Jim Varney, not as Ernest for 90 minutes (I'll be the first to admit that to be a hard challenge), but Jim portraying a variety of other Characters that we only get glimpses of in other movies and his TV series. He is brilliant as he throws himself into these wild, wacky characters. Think of it as a bunch of 10-20 minute short films each with a different lead character by Varney, and each around a central theme that were spliced together, each short fairy self contained. It's much easier to watch this movie then.

If you want to see some great character acting (or at least Jim Varney not playing Ernest), definitely watch this movie if you can find it.
Washington

Washington

I bought this movie on DVD. This movie was one of the zaniest I've ever seen. I loved it!! I find Dr. Otto Von Schnick-ick-ick-ick strangely attractive. I couldn't help but side with Dr. Otto because of how awful his parents treated him. Lance Sterling, IMO, was a pathetic hero. He really didn't know all that much but he was born to a wealthy family so I guess money talks. Dr. Otto and Lance are total opposites. Otto wants to destroy the world by making money worthless. He demagnetizes credit cards, damages bank accounts, scrambles the stock market. The government has no idea who owes who and how much. In a way, this movie wasn't far off the mark. This was ahead of its time. It reminds me of how the economy is today: In a huge mess. I love the 'Changing coffin'. Dr. Otto becomes Rudd Hardtact with a lizard on his shoulder, Auntie Nelda, Laughin' Jack and Guy Dandy. What I liked as well was that Bill Byrge actually had a speaking role as the gas attendant. We all know Bill as 'Bobby' on other 'Ernest' movies. This is not an Ernest movie per se. It had a darker theme to it. But, of course, I cracked the hugest smile at the end of the movie when none other than Ernest P. Worrell stepped out of the changing coffin. Gotta love Ernest. I recommend this movie and not only because of Ernest. But because it's also pretty crazy. But seeing Ernest is a bonus!
Jogrnd

Jogrnd

I first saw this movie when I was very young. I loved Jim Varney and Ernest at the time, and still do, and having recently come across this movie again I must say. The plot is strange and only mildly existing and the hero is a bumbling fool, who is not Ernest, but all that being said I really like the movie. It is corny but if you like Varney it is great. Dr. Otto is an over the top villain and its worth watching just for him, and the thing you will find if you like the movie is that you are routing for him. This character was later used in other Ernest shorts, especially his Saturday morning kinds show but this is where he came from. We get to see Varney do many characters and many of his voices. I find the movie very enjoyable.
Nagor

Nagor

Me and a buddy from high school went to the theaters the day this released. We made PLANS to go see this. It was, no question, the worst thing I have ever watched and I have seen some stinkers.

There might have been a chuckle or three, but I am literally amazed that this ever saw VHS or DVD.Had the Ernest movies (all filmed well after this bomb) not been huge successes, this film would have probably been shipped directly to one of the rings in Dante's Hell.

I have not revisited this film since that fateful day in the movie house, and I suppose that viewing it as a collection of character performances by the late Mr. Varney might give it some value, but I wouldn't subject myself to it again in order to find out.

If you are a die hard fan of Jim Varney, I guess this would be a necessary evil to complete his body of work for your collection. Otherwise,just skip this.
Ginaun

Ginaun

Jim Varney's first real movie is quite a delight, but don't come in expecting to see Ernest P. Worrel any time soon. I felt the wide array of characters Varney depicted were great, but without being said, the rest of the movie should be put into a mulcher or something. A rather odd beginning for a movie icon.
Kirizan

Kirizan

This is officially the first film in the long running Ernest series. It was based on a series of commercials. Ernest himself actually only has two minutes of screen time in the entire movie. He turns into this supervillain named Dr. Otto. At least I think that's him or does he turn into Ernest? He tries to take over the world by destroying the economy.

A lot of this seems to be filmed in the dark, but it also surprisingly has a lot of color. My favorite part is when there's a newspaper that says "Francs Collapse", only for a guy named Frank to literally collapse. I thought this was a compilation film at first. It kind of was, as we got to see Jim Varney in all these different personas that did seem like separate parts. The film isn't memorable, but is completely harmless. It's the highest rated Ernest movie here, but I'd probably say "Ernest Saves Christmas" is the best, not that any of them are technically good. **1/2
Bu

Bu

You can't describe this as the first Ernest movie because it's not part of the Ernest-movie genre. It's a wickedly weird comic masterpiece that will have you laughing out loud.
Garne

Garne

DR. OTTO AND THE RIDDLE OF THE GLOOM BEAM is an odd and wacky children's comedy of the mid 1980s, one replete with science fiction staples and more than bizarre costumes. The dialogue is a waste of time and most of the reason to tune in is to see Jim Varney, the future comedy actor, playing a crazy megalomaniac complete with a hand attached to the top of his head. It's a cheap costume for sure, but somehow effective. The rest is a mix of exaggerated acting and a campy tone; it's fast paced and has lots of action and humour, even if it is really cheap.
kinder

kinder

this is one of the stupidest movies ever, not THE stupidest mind you but one of the stupidest. This is 96 1/2 minutes of sleep inducing material. Probably Jim Varney's worst movie ever. The last 30 seconds of the film is the best and funniest part but hardly worth sitting through the whole movie for. On the other hand, if you are a die hard Jim Varney/Ernest fan, then like me, you must add this film to your collection. It does have brief, rare moments of humor, although they are few and far between. The mere fact that this movie is so hard to find makes it a collectors item and a must have for your ernest collection. I was lucky to find this film online at a dirt cheap price a couple years ago. I believe I paid 1.99 plus shipping for it. And it was the only copy I could find anywhere. Even though this is a truly all around horrible movie, it is still a must have if you are a Jim Varney fan and an Ernest movie collector such as I. On a scale of 1 to 10 I give this movie a 2 but thats only because I've never seen a 1 before ;)
Faezahn

Faezahn

I saw this movie when it was first released in 1986. At the time I was young and enjoyed all the normal comedy available, i.e.; Monty Python, Jim Belushi & SNL, Steve Martin, Cheech & Chong, so I believe that my judgment represents most "sane" individuals.

The absolute best part of this movie was the trailer played at the beginning of the movie for the new "My Little Pony" movie that was coming out.

This movie was so atrocious that it was actually yanked from most theaters before the initial week run was completed.

I'm surprised that anyone would waste there corporate money to duplicate this steaming pile of human waste.

Don't waste your time or money to rent or watch this "movie".
YSOP

YSOP

This is the stupidest movie you will ever see. There is no plot, and the scenes change constantly, with none of the scenes connected to the last. This is the kind of movie you hate to have to watch. Though there are a few funny parts, it is not worth watching at all.
Perongafa

Perongafa

I had NO idea that this was actually the first "Ernest" movie (despite the fact that Jim Varney's lunk-head movie character Ernest P. Worrell appeared only for a brief time during the movie.), but it's still a great film. Varney does an excellent job performing his many various characters such as Auntie Nelda, and Ernest's evil alter-ego Dr. Otto who is plotting to make money, and accounts etc. useless to everyone except him! Overall, an excellent film, and a nice start for Jim Varney's sucessful career.

Overall, this movie was good Knowhutimean?
RUsich155

RUsich155

My website (www.theflickguy.org) lists this pick as the worst movie of all time. Here is an excerpt:

"If I were strapped down to a chair and forced to watch this movie over and over again, I couldn't imagine Hell being any worse. Jim Varney plays a three-handed crazy guy bent on destroying the world (apparently starting with cinema). Now let's face it, no one expects a whole lot from a Varney movie, but this agonizing drivel had me dry-heaving for 92 minutes. Not a laugh. Not one. This is not kamp or gitchy, this is not even mindless. It is evil. Do not rent this, it may destroy your DVD player. Do not even buy the VHS from a 29-cent clearance bin to use as a blank tape. It is the worst film of all time. Period. I mean it. Really."
ACOS

ACOS

I think Jim Varney is a great talent for sure. And I love zany, cheesy B flicks by the likes of Corman, Meyers, Waters, et al. But this movie is just BAD! The only redeeming thing is Jim Varney, and is so convoluted and painful to get to his numerous characters, I just lost patience. Not sure if this was to break him out of his Ernest type casting, get a little more T&A involved, or make a political statement while trying to be goofier than Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes? (which I agree is a classic in itself!) Aside from some cute funny lines here and there, this movie is just BAD! And to add insult to injury, it is available in 'The Best Of Ernest' box set. BUT - is a direct video transfer to DVD. No effort was made to enhance or remaster it in any way. Possibly if it was clearer and cleaner, it may have got one more star from me. But I kinda doubt it.