See Bill Murray In The Lost Science Fiction Movie Nothing Lasts Forever

Back in the day, Tom Schiller wrote and directed weird and funny short films for Saturday Night Live, in the "Schiller's Reel" segments. Most of these are hard to see now — and so is Nothing Lasts Forever, the full-length science fiction movie Schiller directed in 1984. Except that the whole thing is on Youtube.


As Dangerous Minds explains in a must-read article, Nothing Lasts Forever is:

the tale of a young man (Zach Galligan from Gremlins) who aspires to become "an artist" but whose lofty ambitions are foiled by the Port Authority of New York who run Manhattan like a totalitarian state. He fails the test for a "creativity license" and they assign him to direct traffic at the Holland Tunnel....

Nothing Lasts Forever is similar in some respects to Terry Gilliam's Brazil, with its depiction of a bureaucracy run amok, but with a hefty dollop of Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 thrown in for good measure: While the Port Authority may run New York City like a police state, it's really a fraternal order of benevolent Illuminati tramps who are calling all the shots. There's also a bus trip to the moon and true love. Along the way are vivid cameo appearances from Bill Murray as a suspicious bus conductor, Eddie Fisher playing himself as a broke lounge act, Dan Aykroyd as Zach's uptight manager, Mort Sahl, Lawrence Tierney, Imogene Coca and Larry "Bud" Melman. Lauren Tom (later of Friends) plays the intergalactic love interest. John Belushi was to have played a small role in the film, but died six weeks before photography began.


Sadly, Nothing Lasts Forever was buried after a single test screening, and never received a theatrical release. Nor has it ever gotten a home video release of any kind. The only way you could see the film in theaters is if Schiller himself screened it at a festival — or at a Bill Murray retrospective, where Murray often will request this movie be included. But you can see the whole thing above, on Youtube.

To read more about Nothing Lasts Forever, and the short films of Tom Schiller, head over to Dangerous Minds.

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Gonzo the Something

The Schillervision shorts used to freak me out a bit.

Another strange one worth checking out is The Monitors, based on a Keith Laumer novel and produced by the Second City troupe.

As well, there's a movie with one of the most forthright titles of all time: They Saved Hitler's Brain.