The film begins as Sunny Calzone (Hoge), the #1 son in a mafia family, has a passionate love scene interrupted by a bunch of assassins. After being shot repeatedly, run over, attacked by a raptor, and nearly blown up by a car bomb, Sunny ends up tripping over his shoelaces and knocking his head against a fire hydrant.
Cut ahead to Sunny's funeral, where we are introduced to the film's protagonist: Giuseppe "The Guppy" Calzone (Kevin McDonald), the family's #3 son. As his oldest brother is now dead, and the #2 son has been banished for committing an unthinkable act, it is his job to take up his ailing father's (Dom De Luise) position and lead the Calzone crime family into a new era. Along the way, he must deal with problems such as bankruptcy, the CIA, and a rival mafia family headed by the Rodfather (Rodney Dangerfield) that wants to bring the Calzones to their knees.
This film provides examples of:
- Affectionate Parody: To Mafia movies such as The Godfather.
- Credits Gag
- Rubber Dolly...."Elaine."
- Paraphrased: "No people were harmed during the making of this film...but we blew the s*#@ out of that cab."
- Cherry Tapping: How Sonny dies in the opening. He miraculously lives through an attack that would kill a small army, only to go down from tripping on his shoelace and hitting his head.
- Dating What Daddy Hates: Don Na initially agrees to date Guppy as part of the Rodfather's plan to undermine the Calzone family, but she ends up falling in love with him, much to her dad's chagrin.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Lampshaded when those exact words are used as the Frido's wife, Goldy, describes her job during the final scenes.
- No Fourth Wall: At one point, Guppy tries to talk the audience into buying "The Godson" merchandise to help solve his bankruptcy problem.
- No Kill like Overkill: When Sonny gets whacked, the Rodfather's men waste no effort in unleashing everything they have on him, from guns to explosives, and even running him down with a car.
- Not Quite Dead: During the funeral, it's revealed to the audience that the about-to-be-buried Sunny Calzone is still alive. He escapes in time for the final scenes...which occur six months after he was buried, having survived by feeding on the worms that got into his casket.
- Not So Above It All: Don Na presents herself like a haughty, angry, and entitled mafia princess, but when she dates Guppy, she gladly partakes in less sophisticated activities like mechanical bull riding, and even lets out a monstrous belch on their first date.
- Rasputinian Death: Sunny gets subject to punishment that no human being could possibly survive, such as being completely perforated with automatic fire to begin with, and all that does if leave his body with little more than a broken arm and some bruises before he accidentally trips and hits his head. Subverted in that he still survives, and lives off of the worms in his casket for six months before clawing his way out.
- The Unintelligible: Guppy's father is basically Don Corleone if he had even more of a wheezy lisp.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Bugsy...I mean, 'Alice'.