Sunday, 19 March 2017

Yellowbeard (1983)

"Three farthings for a lump of shit please..."

This film is, well, not all that good which, considering that two of its three writers were Peter Cook and Graham Chapman, is rather bewildering. But it just isn't much good. And it killed Marty Feldman.

That isn't to say that there are no laughs at all, of course, nor that it isn't a pleasure to see the talents of those in them tags down there, plus Spike Milligan, Nigel Planer and even an eyebrow-raising from a very Let's Dance era David Bowie. But the whole thing never really takes off, perhaps partly because the script isn't great but in large part, I suspect, to a rather flat directorial style with no comedic timing or flourishes. Also, I have to say, the constant rape jokes don't exactly make for comfortable viewing.

Still, Graham Chapman is good, as is Marty Feldman in his last film, although Peter Cook is somewhat wasted in a straight man role. And the character of El Nebuloso is superb, with the scenes of Cheech and Chong, the acid pool and the torture device being the closest the film gets to being Pythonesque. But the film as a whole is a bit of a damp squib and worth seeing only for Monty Python or Peter Cook completists.

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