Director: Steve Oram (2015)
Starring: Steve Oram, Holli Dempsey, Julian Rhind-Tutt
Find it: IMDB
Toyah Willcox, preparing a lovely dinner in the kitchen, pauses to take a shit on the floor. Dirty business done, turd disposed of into the bin, she resumes cooking. Minutes earlier, we watch as Smith (Oram) and best pal slash subordinate Keith (Tom Meeten) take a joint piss on a photograph of the former's ex wife. This done, Keith lovingly wipes Smith's bell-end dry with a piece of tissue. All the time, no dialogue - just a series of ape-like grunts and shrieks.
It's The Planet of the Apes in the most arthouse sense. Writer, director and actor Oram's Aaaaaaaah! (eight 'a's, counted aloud every time I type that title) depicts a world not unlike our own - save for the crucial difference that everyone in it talks and behaves like apes. Kitchen sink drama by way of David Attenborough, we watch fascinated/repulsed (delete as appropriate) as a narrative begins to form. Helen (Dempsey) is the heroine of the piece, trapped under the rule of Alpha Male Ryan (Rhind-Tutt). Enter Smith, whose gatecrashing of a party threatens to throw the whole family unit into disarray. The rest? You'll have to work that out for yourself, as half of the fun here is deciphering the story, relationships and the ways in which this world works.
Those familiar with British cult comedy should recognise most of the cast, from Sightseers' Oram (magnificent as ever, and curiously scary) to Green Wing's Julian Rhind-Tutt and The Mighty Boosh's Julian Barratt (plus Noel Fielding in a small but definitely memorable role). Oh, and Toyah Willcox too, who proves admirably game in the face of all this monkeying about. Its satire is offered without judgement, although the sad, weary expressions of the beleaguered womenfolk speaks volumes.
A divisive one, to be sure: a gonzo Shameless by way of Pink Flamingos, not everyone is going to be on board with 80 minutes of grown adults shitting, pissing and masturbating everywhere while screaming like monkeys in drippy Britain. Aaaaaaaah no, I certainly couldn't get enough. All that and the most poignant use of a battenberg cake in movie history, too.