Blu-ray Review: FATSO

FATSO was written and directed by Anne Bancroft and stars Dom DeLuise, Ron Carey, Candice Azzara, Estelle Reiner, Richard Karron, Paul Zegler and Anne Bancroft. The music was composed by Joe Renzetti.

All his life, Dominic DiNapoli (Dom DeLuise) has found comfort in food. But when his sister Antoinette (Anne Bancroft) implores him to stop eating himself into an early grave, Dominic begins bouncing from crash diets to the support group “Chubby Checkers” to all manner of binges in between. In the end, Dominic discovers that what he needs most is a steady diet of love — from his family, from a new and lovely neighborhood acquaintance … and most importantly, from himself.

This heartwarming 1980 comedy follows Dominic who’s been dealing with some weight issues his entire life and the viewer gets to witness it from the very beginning. Since birth, there’s always been a family member there for Dominic who would comfort him with some kind of food when the occasion called for it. After his cousin Sal dies of obesity at a young age, Dominic’s family steps in and wants him to go on a diet. His sister Antoinette (Anne Bancroft) and his brother Junior (Ron Carey) lead the charge in moral support for Dominic but as soon as he hops on whatever diet plan he’s forced on there’s always a relapse that ends in him eating even more than before.

They try just about everything, from fad diets to doctor’s orders and even a hilarious support group that turns violent, but none of it works for Dominic because he always finds his way back to food. The poor man has an unhealthy obsession with food and it’s slowly killing him. What happens is, Dominic ends up meeting Lydia (Candice Azzara), a nice Polish girl from the neighborhood and the two really hit it off. This new relationship ends up being just what Dominic needed to finally help him take his mind off of food.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features an image from the movie. The Blu-ray disc also features its own individual artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Fatso is a movie that I watched a long time ago at my grandparents house and I don’t guess I’ve seen it since. Needless to say, I enjoyed revisiting this 1980 comedy that stars Dom DeLuise who was known more throughout this career as the sidekick or supporting character than the leading role kinda guy. The thing about DeLuise is that it didn’t matter if he was top billed or not because he would always steal the show no matter what kinda role it was. DeLuise gets the spotlight here and makes the most out of this opportunity as a man who’s fighting a battle of the bulge. This is a serious topic that so many people out there can relate to but Fatso gives it some humor. This was Anne Bancroft’s one and only directing gig for some strange reason because she did a great job telling the story and bringing it to life on screen. She’s also part of the supporting cast that does a great job with their characters. Fatso‘s story is full of heart with dramatic moments and side-splitting situational comedy but at the heart of it all are these wonderful characters. Fatso joins the Shout Select lineup when it makes its Blu-ray debut on June 25th. Remember to watch through the end credits.

Distributor: Shout! Factory

Run Time: 93 Minutes

Rated: PG

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono

Subtitles: English

Special Features: The extras include new interviews with producers Mel Brooks and Stuart Cornfeld, as well as film historian Maya Montañez Smukler, author of Liberating Hollywood – Women Directors and the Feminist Reform of 1970s American Cinema, an image gallery and press kit.

  • “Looking back on Fatso” featurette with Mel Brooks and producer Stuart Cornfeld (12:20)
  • Interview with Maya Montañez Smukler, author of Liberating Hollywood – Women Directors and the Feminist Reform of 1970s American Cinema (26:14)
  • Image Gallery (02:01)
  • Press Kit (02:45)
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