Take a Drink: for the appearance of each belovedly fucked up character
Take a Drink: for potty humor
Take a Drink: Alles Klar!
Take a Drink: for animal cruelty
Take a Drink: every time something utterly bizarre and disgusting (bizgusting?) occurs
Take a Drink: for every gay innuendo Herr Lipp (mistakenly?) utters
Do a Shot: for Papa Lazarou (Hello Dave!)
By: Henry J. Fromage (Three Beers) –
My wife recently introduced me to the BBC show The League of Gentlemen, which is a sketch program whose characters are all played by the ensemble of Steve Pemberton, Reece Shearsmith, Jeremy Dyson, and Mark Gatiss, and also happens to be the most utterly fucked up comedy show I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing. I love my wife.
The League of Gentlemen’s Apocalypse picks up after the show’s third and final season (which plays like its own brilliant, self-referential three hour movie) and goes all meta. The end of times is coming to Royston Vasey (the mythical hamlet of debauchery where the show takes place) and it’s up to Hilary Briss, Geoff Tipps, and Herr Lipp to travel to another dimension and save it. That dimension is our own, where they come face to face with their creators, The League of Gentlemen (except for Dyson… who is played by Michael Sheen for some reason), and try to convince them to write more of he show and keep them alive.
There’s no proper way to describe the humor of The League of Gentlemen. It’s dumb, corny, disgusting, bizarre, sincerely fucked up, and utterly hilarious. What makes it transcendent is how the four actors/writers are able to completely embody their strange characters and make them oddly believable… and then build and subvert them with soap operatic plots. This was the genius of Season 3, and the take it a step further here.
Who didn’t’ shed a tear at the saga of Pauline and Mickey dear? (Ah, the ol’ cross-cross dress).
In Apocalypse they find a way to meet their Frankenstein’s monsters, and cleverly play off that dynamic and the whole idea of creation, free will, and personal growth. Yeah, heady stuff for a movie featuring giraffe ejaculation.
While this meta plot has its pleasures, leaving Royston Vasey sheds the strongest part of the show- the feeling that this in entire community is so utterly, indescribably wrong. They do a decent job choosing three of the best characters (plus Papa Lazarou, Edward, and Tubbs, who also make it to the real world), but it’s a bit of a disappointment not getting to see more of the rest of the town.
The detour into another story The League of Gentlemen are writing has some great moments, but feels a bit tacked on, especially in the end when it’s pretty much to blame for the kinda boring (action-packed?) climax boasting some truly shoddy CGI.
No, the claymation doesn’t help.
The League of Gentlemen’s Apocalypse is a thoroughly bizarre, but loving send-off to one of the most singularly twisted TV programs ever made.