Shame, the ape man of the jungle, is aghast when his woman, June, is kidnapped by a gang of giant penises. They take her to their queen, Bazunga, a bald woman with fourteen breasts. After ... See full summary »
Broad satire and buffoonery presented as a series of movie trailers. Among the titles and subjects are: "The Howard Huge Story", "Skate-boarders from Hell", "The Invasion of the Penis ... See full summary »
Royce D. Applegate,
Low budget comedy sketch series purporting to show the programming of a low key regional television service. Written by Eric Idle of 'Monty Python's Flying Circus' fame. A popular feature ... See full summary »
Rutland Weekend Television takes a look at the Pre-fab Four: Dirk McQuickly (Eric Idle), Barry Wom (John Halsey), Stig O'Hara (Ricky Fataar), and Ron Nasty (Neil Innes); better known as the Rutles. This documentary follows their career from their early days in Liverpool and Hamburg's infamous Rat-Keller, to their amazing worldwide success. A parody of Beatlemania and the many serious documentaries made about the Beatles.Written by
Alexander Lum <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Eric Idle claims on the DVD commentary track that George Harrison and Sir Ringo Starr at one point discussed starting a band with Idle and Neil Innes, based on The Beatles' and Rutles' shared and imaginary histories. But if he was correct, then this never came to pass. Harrison and Starr also surprised him and Innes one day by singing a version of "Ouch"; two of the Beatles singing a Rutles song to two of The Rutles. See more »
As the Rutles get off the Bognor Express train, a cameraman with a 1970s movie camera is seen following the Rutles out. This recognized as a mistake by Eric Idle on the DVD Director's commentary, where Idle also identifies the cameraman as Gary Weis (co-director and chief cinematographer). See more »
If you're a fan of the Beatles or of Monty Python's Flying Circus (and I happen to be both), it's hard to dislike this classic take-off of the Beatles phenomenon masterminded by Python's Eric Idle and composer Neil Innes that lampoons the Fab Four so precisely that the attention to detail for Beatlemaniacs will be even more impressive than the wit.
Some of the gags are priceless ("Their first album took twenty minutes to record. Their second took even longer."), but that's nothing compared to Idle's spoofing of familiar Beatles set pieces: the John & Yoko chaacters press conference for peace held in a shower, the Rutles looking "shocked and stunned" in their reaction when told of their manager's demise, and the playful banter with the media (Q: Do you feel better after seeing the queen? Rutle: No. You feel better after seeing the doctor. Rutle: Not my doctor, you don't.) And, in the traditional Python style, it's a documentary that spoofs documentaries. In one scene, narrator Idle finds himself chasing after a tracking shot that goes speeding away without him.
But the thing about it is that really satisfies on the level of the obsessed Beatle fan who knows absolutely everything there is about the Beatles' story. The Kaiserkeller is referenced as the Rat Kellar, an old hotspot crawling with rats, the Beatles' detested music publisher Dick James gets a dig ("a music publisher of no fixed ability"), the thievery going on at Apple, Ringo's fascination with the I Ching, and even Allen Klein appears (John Belushi, wearing Klein's trademark turtleneck sweater). Amidst all that, the true highlight (as was the case with the Beatles' movies themselves) is the music. Neil Innes' parodies of Beatle songs are dead-on in style and substance without ridiculing or plagiarizing them ("A Girl Like You" is close to "If I Fell", but not quite). He also gives a more-than-credible performance playing the John Lennon character. On the negative side, I thought Idle kind of glossed over the disintegration of the band- a period ripe for comic parody, and the bit about Idle in New Orleans interviewing old blues singers who supposedly inspired the band is a total throwaway. Besides, weren't the Beatles inspired by R & R pioneers like Chuck Berry and Little Richard rather than Muddy Waters? I think that's Idle's one slip-up to Beatle history.
This movie will be compared, perhaps unfavorably, to This Is Spinal Tap. I think they're about even. But for the definite word on Beatles (or Rutles) commentary, this is it. And the songs are even better than the jokes.
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