The British telly show, the League of Gentlemen, is one of the sickest and funniest shows to ever be broadcast. I have long worshipped at its altar. But when I first heard that the Gents were planning on following up their third series with a feature length film I was nervous. But then when I heard the plot synopsis of the proposed movie my nervousness melted into appallment. I was kecking (word of the day) I was so upset. The quick summary went something like this: "The small town of Royston Vasey is doomed! Only by stepping out of their fictional world into our real one can the bizarre citizens save their own lives." It was like an infinite amount of retarded monkeys were set to typewriters and told to get keyboard smashing, and this was the reluctant result. I thought that they had finally blown it. The League was giving up and just selling out. They were just going to make a stupid movie with the same really gay elements that everyone already hated from Arnold's Last Action Hero... I was so fucking wrong.
I really couldn't be prepared for what I saw in this movie. It started out with the greatest joke involving a cell phone ever, and then reintroduced us to three of Royston Vasey's most fucked up inhabitants: Edward, Tubbs, and of course Papa Lazarou. We also met one of the four real-life Leaguers (the guys who created and wrote all the characters in Royston Vasey), and then see his untimely (yet quite hilarious) plummet off a cliff. Bloody brilliant. I still wasn't sold on the idea of "reality meets fiction" that the movie was going for at this point, but I was definitely more open to it. After the opening we quickly get acquainted with the meat and potatoes of the plot. The signs of the apocalypse are painted on the walls of the basement of the church in Royston Vasey, and they're all coming true. The war memorial statue loses its arm, a giraffe spews baby-batter all over a group of elderly women, and soon the sky starts to rain fiery meteors. It turns out that Royston Vasey is being forgotten in Real World, and so it is being erased from existence all together. What is a fictitious town to do? Well, in this case Vicar Woodall sees and understands the signs, and calls together three more brave souls to venture forth into Real World in order to convince the real life League of Gentlemen to continue writing about them so that their universe won't end. Unfortunately the vicar originally chose Edward and Tubbs Tattsyrup, and Papa Lazarou to be the original ambassadors to Real World, and they seem to have accidentally killed the only Leaguer who really wanted to keep them all alive.
This is when the shit gets really crazy. Before Woodall can send her next group of Royston Vasey-ites to Real World, Butcher Hilary Briss, Geoff Tipps and Herr Wolf Lipp accidentally cross over and the mission to save everyone falls onto them. At this point in the movie I was back to questioning the already very questionable sanity of the League. See, Hilary, Geoff and Herr Lipp were the thinnest of the one-note characters in the original show. Hilary was the mysterious butcher who was married to a cow and sold a "special" meat to his hand-picked clientele, Geoff was just an angry businessman for whom nothing ever seemed to go right, and Herr Lipp was nothing more than a double-entendre spewing German teacher who loved the choirboys. There really wasn't anything more to any of them, yet here they were, now the leads in this multi-million pound film. How incredibly stupid were these writers?
Well, it turns out they weren't stupid, just even more fucked up than I could have imagined. What they did with these characters was (for lack of a better term) utterly brill-fucking-tastic! They actually made Hilary, Geoff and Herr Lipp into likeable people who were more three dimensional than most characters in equivalent Hollywood shit-out comedies. And the way that they choose to deal with their creators (i.e. the Real League of Gentlemen) is fan-fucking-illiant! The way that they think things through is perfect. The way the real life writers (and portrayers of the Royston Vasey-ites) interact with them is both cool (special effects wise) and hilarious. And the way they mix in yet another fictional universe by the end of the whole experiment is beyond words. They actually pulled off this bizarre plot, and they made me think that this was truly the only story that they could have told in order to end the saga that is Royston Vasey (Honestly, the story is told. Move on).
One thing that I have heard a lot of people say about this movie confuses me though. Lots of other reviewers and fans are saying that LoG's Apocalypse is the perfect starting point for n00bs to get acquainted with everything Gentlemenly. This is utter and complete bullshit. LoG's Apocalypse is basically the Gent's thankful and sloppy blowjob to their faithful fans. This is the end of Royston Vasey, anybody coming to town for the first time will be as lost as a one legged whore in the Vatican. Yes, this movie is filled with many precious things, but you need to already know the characters and their reasonings in order to understand the plot and get half the jokes. This movie is like the last ten minutes of any comedy movie ever made. If you skip the first hour and a half and jump right in to the grand finale where running jokes and characters smirking to lines or situations aimed at them soar right over your head in confusion. Imagine watching National Lampoon's Animal House just as the parade at the end starts up. Yeah, it's funny to see Bluto and the gang act all silly and cause all that destruction, but you won't understand why they're doing all that and what drove them to it. You won't even feel a sense of fulfillment when the evil frat guys and Dean Wormer get their comeuppance. You'll just smile and say, "That's silly. Me laugh now." Well fuck you, you lazy fucks! Why couldn't you watch the first 4/5ths of the movie?! Huh?!? It's the same with the League. Just watch the first three seasons, the Christmas special (with the best shadow-puppet theater EVER), then watch The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse. You will thank me for it. Or you are a retard.
I don't know what that was all about, but DAMN if it didn't have an unusually high amount of heads exploding and shit! Fuckin' A!
This is considered entertainment in the early 21st century? I had no idea what was going on till I remembered that time that Dr. Sphinx Gerbaine, the greatest inventor of my father's lifetime, came up with a way to make fictional objects and people from books and the cinema come to life by scanning them with the Sphinxtor Ray. The terror that was brought upon the universe with THAT device is epic to say the least. To give you an idea of the devastation, let me just show you some numbers:
15,000 people simultaneously brought Dr. Hannibal Lecter to life (granted, they were all members of the Lecter for Life cult, but still);
30,000 people brought to life various species of dinosaurs (none of them plant eaters) on the first day the Sphinxtor Ray was sold;
and 1,300,000,000 people brought forth separate deities in the forms of Yahweh, Allah, God, Zeus, "Weird Al" Yankovic, and that sexy, blue, 6-armed woman who likes to hang out with that elephant man god. I don't mean to offend, it's just that there were so many gods brought to life that day that trying to memorize them all in grade school was too much for me. Anyway, you get the point. It was mass chaos for 4 months before the batteries on each and every Sphinxtor Ray died out and the fictional characters all faded away from the destroyed world that they helped to ruinate. 1/3 of all humans were killed in one instant when 2 Yahwehs and 3 Gods got into an argument over the 5,000,000 Jesuses who kept drowning the moon in fishes, loaves and cheap wine. That day will live on in infamy as Don't Fuck with the Jesuses Day. Amen.