Slam Dunk Ernest is a 1995 comedy film, and the eighth full-length feature film starring Jim Varney as Ernest P. Worrell. It was released direct-to-video, and was directed by long-time Ernest collaborator John R. Cherry III. In this movie, Ernest joins his employer's basketball team and later becomes a star with the help of an angel (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar). It was third and final "Ernest" movie to be filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The magic shoes concept was later used for the film Like Mike.
Ernest (Jim Varney) takes a job with a cleaning service at the local mall, and he soon seeks to join his co-workers' basketball team, "Clean Sweep", as they compete in the city league tournament. He is reluctantly accepted by the team, but given only a minor role as their cheerleader and mascot. In his despair, he is visited by an angel (played by basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), and given a pair of magical shoes, but is warned, "Don't misuse the shoes." As a matter of fact, the shoe store's owner, Zamiel Moloch happens to be a demon in disguise. He would eventually prevent Ernest's sportsmanship with the basketball players by luring Ernest to arrogance.
When an injury to a key player leaves the team desperate for a replacement, Ernest is given an opportunity to play. In the process, he discovers that the supernatural shoes have imbued him with super speed and the ability to fly. Armed with these extraordinary abilities, he leads the team to a series of victories leading ultimately to a showdown with the NBA's Charlotte Hornets. As the city league tournament champions, Clean Sweep earns the right to play an exhibition contest against the Hornets, but suffers turmoil as Ernest's teammates soon grow weary of his ball-hogging antics.
While Ernest is in the zone and the team does nothing but sit around, Ernest decides to let the team do the work and get rid of the shoes, but Ernest is needed again and scores (along with causing some mishaps) the game-winning point and the members of the team get drafted into the NBA.
- Jim Varney as Ernest P. Worrell
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as The Archangel of Basketball
- Jay Brazeau as Mr. Zamiel Moloch
- Louise Vallance as Miss Erma Terradiddle
- Cylk Cozart as Barry Worth
- Miguel A. Núñez, Jr. as T.J.
The film currently has a 20% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
This film had its first DVD release on August 5, 2003 from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. Lions Gate Entertainment re-released it on March 23, 2007. Disney re-released it as part of the Ernest 2-Movie Collection along with Ernest Goes to Jail on February 10, 2008. Image Entertainment re-released it as part of Ernest's Wacky Adventures: Volume 2 along with Ernest Goes to School, Ernest Goes to Africa and Hey Vern, It's My Family Album on June 5, 2012.
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