A Python spin-off, owing much to the earlier 'Monty Python and The Holy Grail', Jabberwocky is a fine film in its own right, featuring a tremendous cast of British stalwarts, a regrettably high percentage of whom have since died. Harry H Corbett, John Le Mesurier, Max Wall, Bernard Bresslaw and Brian Glover all feature and none is still with us.
Disinherited by his father and therefore unable to win the hand of the appalling Griselda Fishfinger, who snacks on raw potatoes, gormless but optimistic Dennis Cooper (Michael Palin) sets off for the city to make his fortune. The city is somewhat under siege by the vicious Jabberwock(y), a beast influenced by Lewis Carrol's doggerel poem of the same name. Dennis, in the time-honoured tradition, is ultimately required to rid the city of the threat and accordingly claim half of King Bruno the Questionable's creaking kingdom and the hand in marriage of his beautiful daughter, notwithstanding the dubious but apparently lingering attractions of 'Greasy' Griselda.
The riotous succession of eccentric characters encountered along the way is what it's all about, of course, with a memorable string of ridiculous situations and occurrences and liberal spattering of mud and gore to be undergone. This film rewards repeated viewing, when previously unappreciated subtleties emerge. The Fishfinger family's changing attitude to Dennis, according to his perceived fortunes, Dennis narrowly escaping death or serious injury on a regular basis, Gordon Kaye appearing briefly, dressed inexplicably as a nun, the kingdom by degrees collapsing, there's a beggar who attracts charity by means of auto-amputation, street-racing merchants, the King displaying only intermittent episodes of lucidity, characters who step out of line are suddenly and brutally eliminated - it's all great fun.
Jabberwocky is less well known than the pure Python films, but none the worse for that.
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