IMDb member since November 2000
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Away from It All

Dead on parody
Dead-on parody of the appallingly deadly dull travelogue short films that invariably accompanied the main feature in UK cinemas. Starts off 100% convincingly with stock shots of exotic locations while the narrator waffles on about where in the World one can find peace and tranquility. About the time that the narrator notes "these happy, smiling, dancing peasants would quite happily attach electrodes to your genitalia" - the light dawns - Cleese is the narrator! The narration becomes increasingly desperate in the same manner as the Pythonized BBC idents that ended their TV show The final observation on gondolas brought the house down as I recall. Indeed, where can one find this brilliant short?

Phoenix Rising

Porno variation of "The Crow"
Phoenix Ripley and her boyfriend are killed by local kingpin Dragon. One year later she is resurrected and begins her revenge. Porno hodge-podge of "The Crow" and bits of "The Terminator" thrown in for bad measure. Acting and directing are fairly dire, but Gwenn Summers in (or out) of her leather cat suit is suitably restful on the eye.

Cry Wolf

A Comedy of Transformations
In this odd mix of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde and The Wolfman, Dr. Jack Russell accidentally takes his own potion and after the customary thrashing about on the floor becomes a werewolf...well not exactly a werewolf, his name should give you the clue.

This short film is the UK's answer to Young Frankenstein, it is a loving recreation of 40's horror movies, with perfect casting, acting and especially beautiful cinematography by veteran Robert Krasker. Alas where the film slips up is that it is simply not funny, even if it does predate Rob Schneider's The Animal for its punch-line. One of the better UK cinema Short Subjects nevertheless.

Futtocks End

British Seaside Humour "Silent" comedy
A weekend get together at an English Country Manor House. It's a "silent" comedy in that nobody says anything, but that doesn't stop the soundtrack being over loaded with wheezes, grunts, groans, and the whole gamut of sound effects. This is the first of three such outings from Ronnie Barker (followed later by The Picnic and By the Sea). It has the advantage over these later efforts in that it is much ruder and lacks Ronnie Corbett, and does have Michael Hordern.

Barker's lecherous, befuddled dyspeptic Lord of the Manor staggering from Quail shoot to drunkenness to attempted amorous liaison is a genuine comic masterpiece matched by Michael Hordern's equally lecherous butler.

The Morning After breakfast is a gem with amplified Rice Crispies upsetting the delicate heads of the revelers. Can someone release it as an antidote to "Gosford Park" please?

Murder by the Book

Not to be missed by Agatha Christie devotees.
Interesting and offbeat look at Agatha Christie and her decision to 'murder' Poirot, who is on hand to question her motives. Not as good as it sounds, but deserves viewing by the faithful. Ian Holm's interpretation of Poirot fits somewhere between Albert Finney and David Suchet's definitive performance.

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