Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Rewind: Eat The Rich (1987)

The nobs are snubbing the snobs and the peasants are truly revolting in The Comic Strip's 1987 jollity pogrom!


Eat The Rich (1987, Peter Richardson)

Starring: Lanah Pellay, Nosher Powell, Lemmy, Ronald Allen, Robbie Coltrane, Koo Stark, Roland Rivron, Paul McCartney.

Tagline: ‘You are what you eat!’

Trailers: The Pick-up Artist, The Boy Who Could Fly, Nightflyers, Revenge Of The Nerds II, Maximum Overdrive, The Squeeze

Cherrypick: “Die, minge-eaters!”

"We must admit that history is enjoyable to a large extent because it enables us to pass judgment on the past" homilised Whippy-haired former Home Secretary Douglas Hurd a couple of years ago. Whilst many assumed Lord Westwell to be eloquently promoting the need for a newly galvanized Europe, he was of course referring - albeit obliquely - to the Ex Rent-Hell National Archives and, in doing so, specifically attempting to distance his Cabinet term from the semi-fictionalized events of Channel Four comedy troupe The Comic Strip’s 1987 big-screen jollity pogrom, Eat The Rich.
Arrow Arrow!
Loosely based on Alan Moore’s graphic novel ‘V for Vendetta’, Richardson’s piebald splattire follows Alex (Pellay), a sexless Chalk Farm rugger nun fired from upscale Yuppie eatery, ‘Bastards’, for being too common, too gay and too black, and summarily thrown to the mercy of the shark-infested jackboot factory of Thatcher’s Britain.

After an attempt to claim some dole money degenerates/escalates into fatal gunplay our nascent Revlon revolutionary is soon on the run - fomenting dissent across the breadth of Maggie’s Farm (read: riding a shire horse idly around Wiltshire with Big Ron from ‘East Enders’) and pricking the left ears of filthy/fruity fifth columnists Lemmy and truant ‘Crossroads’ Casanova Ronald Allen
'Going down to the Crossroads...'
Meanwhile, in another film entirely, beer swilling, signet ringing, royalty boinking Home Sec. Nosher Powell is busy dealing with Shane MaCgowan’s sea shantying IRA wastrel and Rik Mayall’s fingerpoppin’ trade unionist with all the subtlety of a bull in a Chinese shop. A couple of rabbit punches in the diplomatic ‘nads later and Nosh has his politically expedient sights set on crushing Alex’s rabble-rousing Robyn Hoodery/pony trekking weekend. The board is set; the nobs are snubbing the snobs and the peasants are truly revolting.

Achieving something akin to a proto photo-tableaux vivant by cross-processed Hogarth/class traitor Martin Parr and as similarly welcome as a red-headed step-child, Eat the Rich produces the visual equivalent of listening to long wave radio with an ice-cream headache and boasts a soundtrack muddier than a Somalian dockyard.
Nosher's got a red-top!
Inspirations are clearly Gilliam’s Brazil, Norman Tebbit's ‘On yer bike!’ speech and mushrooms from off of the municipal golf course, but denuded of the Thatch baiting, tin-pot Trotskyism of ‘Young Ones’ scribe Ben Elton - who, repugnant though he remains, knew at least one way to skin a cat - the filmmakers’ putative political potpourri falls flatter and faster than Del Boy in that wine bar.

The Strip had pissed in their silver screen chips. The following year’s TV series would, ironically, produce their best work with such febrile Brechtian lunacy as Mr. Jolly Lives Next Door, The Yob’s cosmic pithiness and, in The Strike, their one indisputable classic, but it was to be four years before they finally received cinematic probation, only to immediately re-offend with ‘91s deity-defeatingly execrable The Pop Must Die(t).

Nurse – the codeine!


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