Mad Magazine? Really? Yeah, really! The purveyor of pop culture parody, has been successfully poking fun at iconic movies since the 1950s and is still going strong. The incredibly wild success of 1967’s The Dirty Dozen (The biggest box office hit of the year and the 6th highest grossing film in MGM history) meant that in the January, 1968 issue of Mad Magazine, cartoonist Mort Drucker and writer Lou Silverstone would take on the monster hit film in their own inimitable fashion. Chock full of puns, inside jokes (check out the ‘cameos’ of Beetle Bailey and Co.), and wonderfully rendered caricatures of the entire cast of Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown, Trine Lopez, John Cassavetes, Robert Webber, Telly Savalas, Clint Walker, Donald Sutherland, Ralph Meeker and Robert Ryan.Too bad they didn’t do more Marvin parodies. Drucker did him great!
Oh, and the intro is wrong, by the way. The trend in anti-heroes didn’t start with Hud. That actually goes waaaay back to everything from Phantom of the Opera to Little Casear and the entire career of the likes of Humphrey Bogart, Robert Mitchum and beyond…..And whats with the guy with the eye patch smoking the cigarette?
From the July 1967 issue of Mad magazine, here’s their parody of The Professionals by artist Mort Drucker and writer Larry Siegel. Just another way of showing how popular Marvin had become during the mid to late 60s, as written about in detail in Lee Marvin Point Blank.
As to the parody, I love the way Drucker drew Ralph Bellamy’s private train as a NY subway car and the ‘asides’ they give Woody Strode. Oh, and do you sense a trend in the way Drucker draws Lancaster? Only thing missing are bugs on his teeth. And then there’s the…ahem…’charms’ of Ms. Cardinale that are interestingly rendered…. And so, without further ado…..
INTRO: “And now MAD presents its own version of the recent Western movie — well, it wasn’t exactly a ‘Western’ movie, it was more of a ‘South-Western’ movie about –well, it wasn’t exactly a ‘South-Western’ movie, it was more of a ‘South-Western Mexico’ movie about four –well, it wasn’t exactly a ‘South-Western Mexico’ movie, it was more of a — a … Well, let’s face it, it was a ridiculous movie about four ridiculous hired gunmen who should have been called: