The Clampitts cause the same commotion in Beverly Hills as when they first moved there in the 60’s. The new version has them moving from Arkansas to Beverly Hills in the 90’s. All the familiar characters are there, including Uncle Jed (Jim Varney), Granny (Cloris Leachman), Elly May (Erika Eleniak), Jethro (Deidrich Bader), Mr. Drysdale (Dabney Coleman), and Jane Hathaway (Lily Tomlin). As usual, there are some dastardly villains that would like to get there hands on the Clampitt’s money, and the Clampitts seem all too willing to oblige. Mr. Drysdale is as snivelling as ever and Granny still can cook up tasty vittles and moonshine near the cement pond. Those who have never seen the TV show may feel a bit lost, but for anyone who has “set a spell” with the Clampitts, the movie is old hat. Unfortunately, the movie cannot squeeze anything new out of an old formula and for all its sporadically funny moments, it seems nothing more than a 30-minute episode gone too long.
Though the movie portrays strong family ties, it also disappointingly resorts to sexual innuendoes and obscene gestures for jokes. The TV show never had to stoop to such levels to be very funny, but the new Hillbillies are supposedly more in tune with the 90’s. For example, when the Clampitts first arrive in L.A., they are stuck in traffic when someone obscenely gestures to them. They innocently take this to be the California way of saying “hello,” and then proceed to “wave” to several other people. Sexual references abound in the dialogue, including one misunderstanding of a word that seems to refer to genitals. When Jethro’s sister Jethrina comes to town, she falls in love and kisses a man, even though Jethrina is obviously played by the same male actor as Jethro. Granny hit by an overhanging branch and Elly May kicking a boy in the groin are both gratuitous violence played for laughs. On a more positive note, there is very little offensive language in the film, but there are sexual innuendoes and obscene gestures.