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Gregory: Diary of a Nutcase 

Governor Wilkins brings rookie cop Lucille Bromley to see the imprisoned cannibal Dr Genghis in order to gain information about a serial killer. At the same time the extremely boring ... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Lucille Bromley
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Ghenghis
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Lieutenant Delaney
Sara Stockbridge ...
Helen
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Madman
Peter Richardson ...
Coroner / Madman's Brother
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Jed
George Antoni ...
Harry (as George Yiasoumi)
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Charlie
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Max (as Steve O'Donnel)
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Patsy
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Kate Robbins ...
Nurse Larkin
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Storyline

Governor Wilkins brings rookie cop Lucille Bromley to see the imprisoned cannibal Dr Genghis in order to gain information about a serial killer. At the same time the extremely boring Gregory Dawson,who is interested in serial killers,is building his own torture chamber and making a very mundane video diary about his life. However the two worlds are shortly about to collide. Written by don @ minifie-1

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serial killer | See All (1) »

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Comedy

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Release Date:

13 May 1993 (UK)  »

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Soundtracks

Two Faced
Lyrics by Keith Allen
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User Reviews

 
Works superbly on two levels as social satire and a parody of Hollywood cliché
7 February 2018 | by See all my reviews

Gregory Dawson (Adrian Edmondson) is a rather humdrum nerd who is obsessed with a movie revolving around a serial killer named, Dr. Ghengis (Keith Allen). So obsessed is he in fact that he has aspirations to model himself on the fictional psychopath, and he sets about creating a video diary where he records himself building his own torture chamber, with the intention of kidnapping his first victim and imprisoning her. Initially his plan is a success but inevitably his overenthusiastic incompetence leads to his undoing. Footage from his favourite movie, an obvious parody of; The Silence of the Lambs are interspersed between that of the wannabe serial killer's video diary.

With the sensational critical and cultural impact that, The Silence of the Lambs had back in 1991, and the predictable concerns that arose upon it's release, with the potential romanticism of the now iconic, Dr. Hannibal Lecter who Welsh actor, Sir Anthony Hopkins brought chillingly to life. It's of course no coincidence that, Gregory: Diary of a Nutcase swiftly aired the proceeding year of it's release as it capitalizes satirically from it's fame, notoriety and social impact. Having just put the eighties behind them which had seen the controversial backlash against the release of the video nasties. Grungy, low budget horror movies that fell foul of moral campaigner, Mary Whitehouse and the 1959 Obscene Publications act. Had it not been for the release of director, Jonathan Demme's renowned psychological thriller, it might have been that the Comic Strip team would have missed the boat on the subject of the glorification of violence and horror, and the alleged adverse effects on the viewer.

Enter Gregory Dawson; the quintessential embodiment of the geeky fanboy. Played with inane, tedious enthusiasm by Adrian Edmondson in a role not so far removed from that of the socially inept Dennis Carter in the teams full length 1985 comedy feature, The Supergrass. And as socially inept Gregory obviously is as serial killers tend to be, they are also disorganized, a fact which is utilized with proficiently droll execution. From his clumsy endeavor to construct a torture chamber in his living room, and his botched attempt at stalking his would be female prey in the dark while donning night-vision goggles; he's justifiably portrayed as a profoundly moronic misfit. Capturing his fiendish exploits via a video diary which he films via a camcorder, there's the added absurdity at that no matter what mishap befalls him he always has it in reach to record the calamity.

The overarching message that is is being bluntly hammered home however could not be any more eloquently put foward. Delusional, mentally unbalanced or just downright asinine fools like Gregory are to be held accountable for their actions and not the films that are purported to do so, which brings me rather nicely to the veritable film within a film with that has earned the pasty-faced "nutcase" his obsessive adoration. An obvious parody which one would hope is an affectionate one at heart; which acts as something of a commentary on the clichés and conventions that typify movie's of, The Silence of the Lamb's ilk. With this in mind; Gregory: Diary of a Nutcase can be valued on two separate levels as both a social critique on Hollywood's habitual propensity on relying on worn out tropes. With actress, Doon Mackichan inhabiting the role of FBI trainee, Lucille Bromley, a clear pastiche of Jodie Foster's portrayal of Clarice Starling, the film within a film chronicles her hunt for a serial killer labelled with the fanciful moniker of, Postman Pat. As a spoof of the lampooned source material it for the main follows it's story pretty closely as the gutsy and tenacious heroine consults with infamous serial killer, Dr. Ghenghis played by Keith Allen who aptly chews the scenery to chucklesome heights. It is after all a movie that is in no ways subtle in regards to it's satirical edge.

Writers, Peter Richardson and Pete Richens adhere to their own off-kilter style of comedy as they intrinsically spoon-feed comedic clichés via the veritable range of two-dimensional caricatures. From Nigel Planer's sordid, conceited and obnoxious Governor Wilkins to Hugh Quarshie's drolly derivative veteran police lieutenant Delaney; they adequately accentuate said caricatures. It also intriguingly and one might say astutely sends up the bizarre romantic relationship that develops between both Bromley and Ghengis, and is eerily prophetic given the controversial denouement of author Thomas Harris's 1999 sequel to, The Silence of the Lambs entitled Hannibal,

In terms of the production values, The Comic Strip the team certainly pushed the boat out with it's budget with the pseudo-film possessing a cinematic quality which diverges from the gaudiness of Gregory's video diary footage. The locations and sets ranging from the hospital for the criminally insane where Ghengis is institutionalized to the FBI headquarters and crime scene pathology lab are naturalistically realized.

It's safe to say however that with Gregory: Diary of Nutcase; that it's in your face style of comedy won't be to everyone's personal taste. Some may find it unbalanced giving they appreciate the scenes revolving around the eponymous title protagonist than they do the mock film, and vice versa. For those like myself who can admire both aspects of it's humor, it makes for a enjoyably indulgent piece of comedy excess. The Comic Strip however was always unavoidably hit and miss with the quality of it's output, with this decidedly being one of it's better effort's it's one to be admired; and draws sharp comparisons with, The Strike for it's comedic jabs at Hollywood.


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