THE SHERIFF AND THE SATELLITE KID
(Uno Sceriffo Extraterrestre ... Poco Extra e Molto Terrestre)
The Sheriff and the Satellite Kid was an attempt to jump aboard the late 1970s science-fiction boom that had been created by Star Wars (1977). The Italians made several cheap Star Wars copies. Less well-remembered among the 70s sf boom these days was Steven Spielbergs Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), even though it was almost as big as Star Wars back in the day. The Sheriff and the Satellite Kid draws from Close Encounters story of alien contact although, if anything, it looks forward more to Spielbergs E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), which came along three years later. The Close Encounters connection is confirmed by the casting of Cary Guffey, the first of Spielbergs kid performers, as the alien. Only seven years old at the time, Guffey played in five other films between 1977 and 1985 and has not been heard from since.
The Sheriff and the Satellite Kid is Close Encounters writ down to the level of a typical Bud Spencer-Terence Hill slapstick comedy. The actual UFO contact aspect is minimised no doubt due to budget we see nothing of the UFO the townspeople are reacting to at the start and get only a couple of brief model shots at the end. Rather what we have is more along the lines of Disneys Escape to Witch Mountain (1975) and Return from Witch Mountain (1978) in which two alien kids appear and use their psychic powers to play mischief with their human pursuers. Cary Guffey has a magic all-purpose alien device here rather than psychic powers but the net effect is the same.
Thus as Cary Guffey passes through the town, he causes an ice cream vendors machine to gush ice cream all over the street and a barbers chair to spin around. Scenes in the police station involve a coffee machine, a washing machine, a typewriter and a piano starting up of their own accord. Cary Guffey causes aging deputy Gigi Bonos to dance a jig on his desk. A horse comes over and talks to Guffey and Bud Spencer in a voice that sounds like someone who smokes five packs a day. This is the sort of film where people getting punched out is accompanied by tweeting effects on the soundtrack. Some of the most witless scenes are those involving the pursuing military where we have several minutes of shots of helicopters landing and soldiers jumping out that are played in forward motion followed by reverse and then forward again. Bud Spencer (sometimes joined by heavyweight boxing champion Joe Bugner) engages in plentiful fights including one that manages to demolish most of a supermarket. The climatic scene involves an all-out punch-up at a market hall with slapstick gags such as where knocked-out soldiers fall into a See No Evil, Hear No Evil line-up, Spencer punching people that spin backwards up a firemans pole and a portrait that comes to life to deliver a few punches of its own.
Bud Spencer, Cary Guffey and director Michele Lupo returned for a sequel Everything Happens to Me/Why Did You Pick on Me? (1980).