Saturday, March 1, 2008

Down Among the Z-Men

This is the Goon Show Movie. Sort of. It stars Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan, Harry Secombe, and Michael Bentine, but it's awful. It wasn't written by the people who wrote the Goon Show (namely, Spike Milligan) and it fails in many important respects.

The worst part is probably Bentine's character, which is a "wacky professor" with a fright wig, buck teeth, and a funny walk taken directly from Charlie Chaplin. No, wait; the worst part is the plot, which is paper-thin, if that. The only good parts are when the movie stops completely to allow for a dance scene by this twelve-woman dance troupe. There's also a scene where Bentine drops character completely (thank god) to do an elaborate monologue where a weird-looking prop takes fifteen or twenty roles. I mean, the monologue isn't funny (at all), but I did like the number of different ways the prop was used; just when you think there's nothing else it could look like, he turns it in a new way and you think, "Hey! It does look kind of like a key!".

Oh! The worst part is the way Peter Sellers is deployed in a completely noncomedic role. What the hell is that all about?

Also, I'm not saying the director was a hack, but from 1936 through 1938, he directed twenty-seven movies. Yow.

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