Posts Tagged ‘Hollywood’

Banjo Chutney and John Le Baptiste go to Hollywood

January 20, 2013

So you all know, of course, that Banjo Chutney and I went to Hollywood to make a film? Well we did. And what’s more, we collaborated on a story about it, which you can read here:

‘Our Trip to Hollywood’ by Banjo Chutney and John Le Baptiste

When we awoke in our twin-bed hotel room, the air conditioning said ‘ming’. The big cars were honking and the maids were speaking in a secret language. Banjo said it was called Spanish.

We put our tiny white penises and tiny white bottoms into our tiny white underpants. And we did so shamefully. For was not the sin of Adam upon us?

Then we got a callback from the agent saying that the meeting was scheduled for 11. He said that the producer was excited about the project. That made us happy, but then we realised we would only have 45 minutes for breakfast, so that made us worried.

All of the waitresses in the breakfast diner were curling their mouths upwards at the ends and presenting their teeth. They called us y’all and wanted to be our friends.

I had biscuits and gravy. When I peeled back the sickly sauce there was a sad-looking spongiform beneath it. So it ate it and tried not to cry. Banjo ordered a sausage. Its legs were still attached.

After vomiting in the alley behind the diner for half an hour, Banjo and I caught a taxi to the studio. Our eyes were bleary and our knees were trembling but Banjo opened The Braveness matchbox and let The Braveness crawl around on the car seat for a while. It fed on a discarded crumb from a child’s food-unit then it did a little happy click. Then it got back inside the matchbox. We felt a lot Braver after that.

The taxi driver was humped, boweeviled, jerry-cocked, through with all that shit, he said. We shrugged and he said ain’t that the truth.

The taxi pulled away and the driver said shall I careen all over the road or career? Banjo said could he Kareem and the driver shot a finger-pistol full of respect-bullets our way.

We pulled up in front of a monolithic temple of success. It was where the big boys make their big boy pretend pictures. I got out and sucked the free air but Banjo just doubled over in a pool of whimper-fear. I took out a slice of marble cake I’d stowed in my cardigan and he came round enough to fall onto the pavement.

We hallooed the rentacop at the gate and showed our labels on our shirts, proving we were who we said we were. Tough times, he said. Damn if it ain’t.

The cobwebby forest of shame was all around us. We sure felt puny. I pulled a floral kerchief with a flourish, aiming to look emboldened as a cabinet. No, hissed Banjo. These types are wise to us. But I parped regardless. For clarity.

Banjo bucked back, the smell of wickedness in his nostrils. His hooves hammered as he twisted in his hackamore. Whoa boy, I said. Whoopsy daisy, said Banjo.

For two days we rode in silence through the pine-whiny glades. We’d stop now and then to share a cereal bar or take off our hats and dust the flies from our maws.

On the third day we came to a grove called ‘reception’, where a woman brought us coffee, hot and black and steaming from a plastic thermos. Don’t you be fooling none, said Banjo. I ain’t fooling none, I told him.

Could I have been fooling none?

Soon the hot, black coffee was snarling in our stomachs and we were on our way to see the Wizard of Oz. That’s what the receptionist said. I didn’t understand the reference. We walked down the hall of fame. Signed pictures of all of the greats were there. There was Philip Hardcastle, Steiner and Moobuck and, best of all, Old Blind Manhandle: The Talking Hobo. Banjo saluted as we walked past and Old Blind Manhandle saluted back, sort of.

At last we reached our journey’s end. It was the office of the producer. He offered us a Fillet o’ Fish. He confirmed that the o’ stood for ‘of’. You’ve got balls son, he said, pointing at my shoulder. He took Banjo by the cheeks and said, Welcome Home, Son. Banjo looked at my eyes, but my eyes looked away.

Excuse me, sir, said Banjo. We’re here to make a picture. And not just any kind of picture. Not the kind of picture, for instance, that you might find on a porcelain saucer. A picture of a smiling Jack Russell, for instance, on a porcelain saucer. No sir, not that kind of picture.

The producer tried to speak but Banjo caught his words using his special Bluegrass Claw. No sir, said Banjo, we want to make a moving picture. You can call it a filmic yarn if that helps you to understand it better. What kind of moving picture you ask? (The producer hadn’t asked, because his words were still spinning in Bluegrass Claw purgatory, like the souls of a trillion Anabaptists.) What kind of moving picture you ask, said Banjo.

It’s a simple story about a little boy who wanted to be a human, summarised Banjo. It’s a silent musical. It’s an inert action film. It’s a heartwarming horror. It’s got thrills, chills, banjo fills, and none of the above.

Did you boys write it, said the taxi driver, who had followed us into the office. Yes, I said, we wrote it together.

How? said the taxi driver.

I don’t know, but we did, I said.

The taxi driver sent for his lawyers, who brought round some contracts, which we ‘signed’ using short tubes of ink. The studio gave it the green light, and we went into production the next day.

So I guess by now you’re probably wondering when you can see the film that Banjo and I wrote. Well, the chances are, you’ve already seen it. For, here it is.


Cecil B. DeMille’s Samson and Delilah

May 13, 2010

Beefy Landers and Slanket Wurzel in 'Samson and Delilah'

I have not seen Cecil B. DeMille’s ‘Samson and Delilah’ as I am not a member of its target audience (deranged 1950s fruit loops living in nuclear bunkers with corned-beef breath). Nor do I intend to review it. Instead, I have copied and pasted the following extract from Harry Pudlinger’s seminal biography of DeMille, entitled ‘16mm Jesus’. Here it is:

Cecil B. DeMille is sitting in a Hollywood office fellating a veritable Big Bertha of a stogie. “Nyeah” he says. “Nyeah. Bring in the next one.” The assistant shouts: “Samson number 13, please enter Mr DeMille’s office.”

A stooped-up dumpling pads in on a sad set of thunder thighs. This rough-edged hunk of Christmas chicken has seen better days (only slightly better days, mind).

“Turn round” says DeMille. The hopeful thespian obliges, revealing a slope of back-fat and a muff of greying hair spilling out of the seat of his trousers. He twitches his neck, causing his permed mullet to cascade about his shoulders like a dismal car wash manned by a blank-eyed mouth-breather. “I had it done special” says the actor.

“Read out these lines” says DeMille, passing the poor sap a segment of script.

“What have you done with my hair, you odious, hoofed frump?” the would-be-Samson intones with an ululating trill intended, no doubt, to emulate the furious passion of a cuckolded booby, but sounding, in actual fact, like a pubescent fishmonger at the midday market.

“You stink” says DeMille, “get outta my head you grizzly fuck”. The oaf obliges, impassively. “Next” he cries.


Two years later, DeMille is overseeing the shooting of the final scene of his Biblical epic ‘Samson and Delilah’. A bald, blind Teuton of a pseudo-Jew practically grooves the living Moses out of a polystyrene pillar, causing 20kg of cardboard temple to rain down on the heads of a multitude of under-paid Philistines. “Breeeooorgghhh. Barurgle. Graaarrrr” he exclaims, “Damn you Delilah you inconstant fatty. I should have left you at the auto-shop you tuppenny frowser. Curses upon the mother that popped out such a duplicitous pig. Curses upon the father who stumped up a Poundland Piggy-Bank of a dowry to be rid of such a bad egg.”

The set implodes, the philistines weep. Samson continues to bleat and huff in the wreckage, invoking the great Jehovah like a cat trapped in a duvet.  “Cut” shouts DeMille, and everyone – Philistines and Israelites, stars, extras and supporting actors – climbs out of the spongy ruins of the phoney temple. Everyone cheers and everyone claps wildly. Then there is silence. All eyes are on their captain. Everyone is looking at DeMille. But DeMille is staring at the sky.

“Beat that God you B-Movie Bastard” he screams.

Furia de Titanes

April 13, 2010

Financed and produced entirely in Latin America, this new epic saga from French director Louis Leterrier makes the unusual decision to focus on Ancient Greece. Devotees of that cruel mistress History, however, need not fear, for the film is historically accurate and what’s more is a thoroughly gripping yarn to boot.

El Krakeno, played by Tony Hart's Morph in 1981

Attempting to cover the full plethora of Greek mythology (mythology is the same as history, right?) would be a foolhardy and impossible task and only a mad Frenchman with a budget of $125million would be crazy enough to try. Which is handy. Indeed Leterrier achieves just that, covering every single episode found within Hans Christian Anderson’s Greek Myths and Other True Stories and a few more tall tales that no one knew about an’ all.

All good documentaries need a hero and Furia de Titanes has them in spades. There is none more heroic , however, than Ricardo Miguel Perseuso, played by Sam Worthington  –  a man with a name so unbefitting of Hollywood it is a wonder he wasn’t physically drummed out of the Actors Guild by a bunch of thespians brandishing a Big Book of Names.

Sam Worthington on set of Furia de Titanes

For reasons that are never properly explained in the film (perchance they are lost in the mists of time) Perseuso has to travel around fighting monsters in a dress. Since he has to cover large distances his mode of transportation is a bus. That is until he runs into Pegasus the flying horse, voiced here by Liam Neeson. Pegasus serves not only as a more equestrian alternative to the vengabus employed by Perseuso previously, but he also provides the comic relief in what is otherwise a heavy and blood-encrusted thriller. This is in no small part thanks to the talents of Neeson, who infamously cut his chops on the stand up circuit of Lima, Peru. It was here that he acquired his now famous Latino accent that has made him so much cash and bagged him so much gringo tang.

Ralph Fiennes has the somewhat daunting task of playing all the women in the film (in a stylistic nod to the custom of the time), but it is one which he hurls himself into with such vigour that this scribe quite forgot that twixt her silky legs, Hera was in fact in possession of a titan of her own.

Jason Flemyng turns in a decent enough performance as Jose Hernandez, king of the gods and he is amiably supported by Danny Huston as Jose Maria Moreno, god of the sea; Leonard Nimoy as all of the Roman gods (about the only time the celluloid version differs from the Greek original); and finally a nice pair of trousers, which phones in a performance as Hades, god of the underworld.

All the usual suspects are also present and correct: Maria Lopez, the gorgon with snakes for hair; Senorita Aphrodite the whore of Babylon; and el Krakeno, a sort of big South American octopus with a bad attitude. Since this is a remake of the 1981 stop-motion plasticine classic (starring Wallace and Grommit as Zeus and Hades) we all know what happens at the very end  –  i.e. a giant singsong on mount Olympus, located at the heart of the Andes.  But suffice to say that the climactic final battle, populated by countless CGI Mexicans, a realistic chupacabras and employing some 900 million Inca extras, was so breathtaking I genuinely pebble-dashed my pants right in the middle of the cinema from sheer joy. Or at least I would have done had I gone to see it.

I give this film 12 tasks of Hercules.

Frank – Above the Lollipop

August 11, 2009

Monsieur Fett here. I don’t know if I really saw this film or just dreamed it. I’ve had pig flu for the past few days so I’ve had a bit of a fever. I’ve also watched some really bad films. So I think the following mess is the result of the combination of pig flu fever and a steady drip-feed of very bad films. It’s about a lollipop man called Frank.

Frank – Above the Lollipop

Frank Wallopsworth was an honest man. He was also a lollipop man, but mainly he was an honest man. He’d always chase people down the street if they’d dropped a crown. Sometimes if they’d dropped a shilling. But anything over that was his.

What’s right is right, thought Frank. No point piddling about, he’d follow it up with. I mean brass is brass and if they’re daft enough to… well, anyway the point is, for the most part, Frank H. Wallopsworth was a champion of the common man and a knight in shining armour for the children he helped across the road every day. Unless they gave him a bit of lip. Then he’d clip their ear-holes and shake his fist at them.

Anyway, we’ve established that, morally, Frank was a monument to justice, honour and Werther’s butter-mints, right? Well, mainly the butter-mints, but he was quite interested in the subjects of honour and justice. And half-pints of mild at the club. And keeping women out of the crown green bowling club. But apart from that he was exactly like Batman. Or Rambo.

So this one time, Frank was patrolling his patch, stopping the traffic with his Magical Lollipop of Justice when… hang on, no… the first time we see Frank he’s building a shed. He’s building a shed from Homebase WITHOUT READING THE INSTRUCTIONS. Because he’s like this pillar of truth and justice, so he doesn’t need mundane things like instructions for his shed from Homebase. He just whacks it up, with his vest off. Er, maybe he’s got his vest on actually. He’s quite an old chap and he might catch cold. But he gets that shed up in under two hours, which is pretty impressive.

Then we see him doing some weeding, but he’s doing it like a ninja. He’s doing somersaults round the garden, plucking weeds out with this crane-style three-finger attack. You know like Cruel Pai Mei does in Kill Bill when he whips that mermaid’s eyeball out? That’s what Frank’s doing with his leafy spurge.

After that he’s going down the Post Office to send some letters. There’s quite a queue but he still lets this old lady go in front of him. Because he’s a monument to truth and justice.

And then he visits some really old people at the retirement village. He’s brought them some cakes and is helping some of the nearly-dead ones to eat the cakes. Because he’s a pillar of… look, we’ve established his heroism, yeah? Right, so this time when he was on a stakeout at the crossing, helping the infant school kids get across a really deadly patch of road known as THE DEVIL’S DOGLEG, he sees this suspicious character. Squinting, and gripping his Magical Lollipop of Justice, Frank decides to follow the suspicious-looking man. He’s not black or anything, because Frank gets on great with black people and they love him too. It’s a different kind of suspicious-looking. Like, a generic suspicious-looking bloke that you might see in, say, a Steven Seagal film.

Anyway, turns out the suspicious-looking bloke leads Frank on a trail of corruption that goes right up to the Mayor’s office. And I mean the Mayor with the big hat and the spangly-dangly chain, not the council leader type of mayor. Oh and there was a bomb. But Frank stopped it from going off by throwing it up in the air, then whacking it with his Magical Lollipop of Justice. It looked a bit like he was serving a ball at Wimbly, except the ball exploded in space.

And there were some kung fu bits in the Mayor’s office, when all the Mayoral aides ran in to defend him, but Frank used his Magical Lollipop of Justice as a big kung fu stick. Then he sat down and had a cup of tea. What a day, thought Frank, good job I’ve got me trusty old Magical Lollipop of Justice.