YOU can call it rude, crude and lewd, but you also have to call Ruthless People (Pearl, 9.30pm) rather funny. Everyone seems to have a comic moment, because the laughs are piled up on top of each other to the point that the audience begins to suffer joke fatigue. Ruthless People, directed by Jim Abrahams, and Jerry and David Zucker who, it will not surprise you to learn, are the men behind all those Airplane and Naked Gun capers. It is a reworking of the classic short story, The Ransom Of Red Chief. The film, begins as millionaire garment manufacturer Danny DeVito is having dinner with his sultry mistress (Anita Morris). He is planning to murder his wife (Bette Midler, in an outrageously over-the-top performance), but before he gets a chance to do so she is kidnapped by a sweet young couple (Judge Reinhold and Helen Slater), who want revenge against DeVito because he stole a fashion idea from them. From beginning to end Ruthless People is raucous. DeVito is the obnoxious American magnate personified and Midler is inspired, to the point where she begins to wear out her welcome. Even Slater gets a few gags. Her greatest moment before this came when she played the lead in Supergirl. IF Shout (World, 12.40am) has anything going for it, it is that you can see John Travolta during his most desperate epoch. This dire twaddle about the birth of rock and roll came out in 1991, well after Saturday Night Fever, and represents Travolta, recently re-invented for Pulp Fiction, in the pits. He plays a fugitive who is hired as music teacher and bandmaster by a Texas school for wayward youths. It was directed by Jeffrey Hornaday, whose best moment up to that point had come as choreographer for Flashdance. YUL Brynner and Richard Widmark between them cannot save the World War II rescue drama Flight From Ashiya (World, 9.35pm) from the file marked average. It is joined there by The Haunted (Pearl, 1.05am), in which the usual things happen to Sally Kirkland and Jeffrey DeMunn when they move into a new house. Spirits appear and disappear, furniture levitates and household possessions explode. Hasn't this one been done before? THE country that gave us the Big Mac does some self-psychoanalysis in Amazing America (World, 8.30pm), a new documentary series that threatens to explore the sub-cultures of the great nation, from Barbie Doll conventions to Deadheads, baton twirling and beauty pageants for babies. RAQUEL Welch sashays around seductively, and revealingly, in Trouble In Paradise (STAR Plus, 2.00am), a harmless comedy with an all-Australian cast, among them Jack Thompson and Nicholas Hammond. Welch is the well-tailored widow who finds herself marooned on a desert island with a carousing seaman and a coffin that should have contained her husband, but instead contains drugs. FILMS on Cable Movie Channel: Lady Super Cop (9.00pm). An informer for a tough woman police officer is killed when she tries to uncover a potentially destructive arms deal in Hong Kong. Missing In Action (11.00pm). Simplistic gung ho fantasy in the Rambo mould with Chuck Norris as an ex-Vietnam PoW who returns to the country to liberate American prisoners. It was followed not by a sequel, but by a prequel. Chusingura (1.00am). Japanese classic about the forced suicide of a young lord and the Samurai warriors who decide to exact revenge against the feudal chief responsible. In Japanese with Chinese subtitles. Dog Day Afternoon (7.00pm). Incredible-but-true story of a loser (Al Pacino) who holds up a city bank to get money for his lover's sex change operation and sees what should have been a simple heist snowball into a nationwide incident. Sidney Lumet directed.