HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Black Panther
Children's Hour, The
Mayhem
Sphere
Guyver, The
Night School
Loveless
Ragtime
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Murders in the Rue Morgue
Wound, The
Scalawag
Let's Get Harry
Girl with Green Eyes
Sunchaser, The
Tom Jones
Downsizing
Defiant Ones, The
Centerfold Girls, The
Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, The
120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Police Academy 3: Back in Training
Safe Place, A
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Cargo
Entertainer, The
Wing Commander
Look Back in Anger
Early Man
Killdozer
   
 
Newest Articles
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
Wash All This Scum Off the Streets: Vigilante Movies
   
 
  Funny Man The Last LaughBuy this film here.
Year: 1994
Director: Simon Sprackling
Stars: Tim James, Christopher Lee, Benny Young, Ingrid Lacey, Pauline Black, Matthew Devitt, Chris Walker, Rhona Cameron, George Morton, Jamie Heard, Harry Heard, Bob Sessions, Ed Bishop, John Chancer, Jana Shelden, Barnaby North, Steve Wright
Genre: Horror, Comedy
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Max Taylor (Benny Young) thought he was doing very well in this game of cards, but he went too far when he accepted the stakes of the only other player to be doing as well as he was. That man being Callum Chance (Christopher Lee), who placed the keys to his ancestral home on the table and was not best amused when Max won. But Max would be the one who really lost, for the country house was home to an evil spirit with a sense of humour all his own: the Funny Man (Tim James).

Before there was a renewed boom in British horror movies come the turn of the millennium, there were a few hardy souls trying to keep the movement alive, although too often they were judged to be more bowel movements than anything artistically satisfying. The first time filmmakers here were very much anti-establishment, working with such a low budget that it may have restricted them in some ways, but on the bright side they didn't have anyone telling them what to do other than each other, which in this case meant a typical sub-Freddy Krueger premise devolving into a series of off-colour gags.

The audience they were apparently aiming for was the opposite of pretentious: not for them the chin-stroking Jean Rollin fans or the kind of movie buff who thought David Lynch would never do as good as Eraserhead again. But what would you expect from a work that featured impressions of Jimmy Savile and Velma from Scooby-Doo as part of the merriment? The cast may have been lacking stars, with Scottish stand-up Rhona Cameron taking the cartoon character role, and Matthew Devitt from Melvin and Maureen's Musicagrams playing Max's aspiring rock star brother, but director Simon Sprackling did have an ace up his sleeve.

That was securing one day's work from horror icon Christopher Lee, whose appearance barely amounted to much more than an extended cameo, but saw his footage liberally sprinkled throughout to make it look more substantial than it was. However, the true star was Tim James, dressed up as a devilish Mr Punch and sporting makeup and costuming which belied the production's meagre funds. You got the idea that he was allowed to come up with whatever he could do to make this amusing, but the fact remained in spite of his irreverent presence he would have been better served by a tighter script which looked less like a late night TV sketch show.

Once Max's family reach the house, they are executed in lurid style by the Funny Man (adopting a variety of accents, not to mention outfits) and his brother brings a fresh bunch of victims with him in the shape of some none-too-clever hitchhikers, including a sorceress played by Pauline Black of band The Selecter who gives the bad guy what for, but not quite enough. The trouble with this was that it tried to apply daft humour to a slasher technique which by its design necessitated a lot of creeping around, fair enough for suspense but it didn't half drag when you were waiting for the next joke, humour that came across as going down better on the set than with most of the audience. There were some decent chuckles, mostly thanks to James' efforts, and the bad taste was determinedly stupid in a fashion that suggested they were on to something, but for too much of the time it rambled like a drunkard. Music by Parons/Haines, including a catchy end theme.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1172 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
   

 

Last Updated: