Scat’s en­ter­tain­ment

SFX - - Reviews -

re­leased OUT NOW! 1977 | PG | Blu-ray

Di­rec­tor Terry Gil­liam Cast Michael Palin, Harry H Cor­bett, John le Mesurier, War­ren Mitchell

There’s never been a scat­o­log­i­cal comedy as in­ter­mit­tently beau­ti­ful as Jabberwocky. In­spired by Lewis Car­roll’s poem, this grimy, ram­bunc­tious Dark Ages fan­tasy is brim­ming with bod­ily func­tions, but also stud­ded with mo­ments lit like a Car­avag­gio paint­ing.

Terry Gil­liam’s first solo flight as a di­rec­tor, it stars his Python com­rade Michael Palin as Den­nis, the in­no­cent who heads for the city as a fear­some mon­ster lays waste to the coun­try­side – and, after a series of ab­surd mis­ad­ven­tures, ends up pit­ted against it in bat­tle. A line-up of Brit­com ti­tans, in­clud­ing Dad’s Army’s John Le Mesurier and Step­toe’s Harry H Cor­bett, pro­vide ster­ling sup­port.

A tran­si­tional work for Gil­liam, it has mo­ments that feel typ­i­cally Pythonesque – like knights com­pet­ing to be­come the King’s cham­pion by play­ing hide and seek – but also show­cases the abil­ity to cre­ate an im­mer­sive world (here, one in­debted to pain­ters like Bruegel and Bosch) that would fully blossom in Brazil.

Ex­tras A chatty 2001 Gil­liam/ Palin com­men­tary; an ex­cel­lent new ret­ro­spec­tive (41 min­utes); an ef­fects artist in­ter­view on the mon­ster (15 min­utes); au­dio-only DoP in­ter­view; sketch to screen com­par­isons; a read­ing of the poem; UK ti­tles; trailer. Ian Ber­ri­man

Dudley Moore was set to play the crazy who be­lieves his rocks are di­a­monds; Gil­liam took the role when he dropped out.

He ar­rived to meet the king (and find a bet­ter hat).

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