safe to say that Whitehouse, big-spectacled Dame Edna Everage lookalike
and self-appointed guardian of the nation's morals and TV and film
viewing during the 1970s and 1980s, would be a tad unhappy to know
that The Hunt For The Yorkshire Grimace had hit the silver screen
in Bradford - or anywhere, frankly. After all, it's pretty disgusting...graphic,
lewd, rude, distasteful, revolting, repellent, sick-making and gross.
classic in the making, in other words.
be frank the film is a bloody mess. Really bloody. Bloody and messy.
Messy and bloody. From the first scene, there are literally bucketloads
of the stuff emanating forth from the screen - along with what I'm
hoping is merely an awful lot of offal in lieu of the special 'FX'
we've come to know and yawn at in the average Hollywood blockbuster
at yer average thirty-screens-but-nothing-on Film-O-Rama.
other words, the brains behind this slapstick celebration of ultraviolence
- Bradford's Julian Butler, Gus Bousfield and Bob Priestley - have
created a film sufficient to make anyone, and I guarantee that I
do mean ANYONE, turn away from the screen at some point during proceedings.
In fact it'd give you a crick in the neck for a fortnight after
'enjoying' its filmic treats.
to the bone (literally): Gary and Dougie
Hunt For The Yorkshire Grimace tests to destruction filmgoers' taste
for the distasteful , but - and bear with me on this one - that's
the point. It was one of the highpoints of Bradford's Fantastic
Films Weekend. In a VERY strange sort of way. You'd be watching
it thinking, 'Ugh, I could BE anywhere else but this! The local
abattoir for instance!' or,"I could be DOING anything else
but this! Wearing a hair shirt for instance." But you STILL
watch it from start to bitter, beaten and bloody end.
film, obviously made on a budget of less-than-next-to-nothing, follows
the adventures of foul-mouthed comedians Gary Rivers and Dougie
Rhodes (co-directors Priestley and Butler) as they hunt for their
son, a lad afflicted with Tourette's Syndrome who's been kidnapped
and held to ransom. Featuring death, grotesqueness, 'wheelchair
stunts', more grotesqueness, reptilocide and a script so blue it's
almost aquamarine, The Hunt For The Yorkshire Grimace was claimed
by the Fantastic Films Weekend's bumph to be 'low-grade British
cinema at its very worst, unapologetically offensive...This one
has to be seen to be believed.' And it really did live down to these
emphasise enough that if you are of a nervous disposition, offended
by 'bad' language (and I mean any or all of the four-letter words
you might hear bandied gaily about by the happy-go-lucky chaps and
chapesses down any West Yorkshire city centre of a Friday or Saturday
night), if you're likely to faint at the sight of blood or internal
organs made external, or if you're just likely to be distressed
at what is undoubtedly the worst taste film of all time, please
do never go and see this film. I repeat, if you fit into any of
the above categories DO NOT EVER WATCH THIS FILM. (Unless you are
one of the above AND a masochist. In which case, enjoy!)
Sweeney have nowt on Gary and Dougie's powers of detection...
the rest of the adult population (seriously, this REALLY ain't for
the kids), you WILL be shocked. But remember that The Hunt For The
Yorkshire Grimace is supposed to be funny! Think back to the the
last - and darkest - series of The League Of Gentlemen and then
multiply that by a very large number. Then you might be somewhere
in the vicinity of understanding just how darkly dark this blackest
of black comedies is. I'd call it tongue-in-cheek, but I'm afraid
these filmmakers might take that as the basis for their next 'feature'.
Even those hosting the film at the National Museum Of Photography,
Film and Television (NMPFT) put their hands up and admitted this
was one big screen treat that wouldn't be for everybody. Tony Earnshaw,
the Museum's Head Film Programmer, said: "The NMPFT has a tradition
of championing low-budget filmmaking and many of the people whose
films have played here in the past have gone on to big things. Hunt
For The Yorkshire Grimace is not to everyone's taste but this is
exactly the kind of no-holds barred combination of over the top
bad taste and low-grade horror that made people like David Cronenberg
a legend in the 1970s. It is undeniably targeted towards a specialist
audience - horror buffs who appreciate black humour and visceral
gore. It is not for the fainthearted, but fainthearted folk rarely
form the audience of the Weekend! People have a clear choice - if
they're easily offended, 2001: A Space Odyssey is on in Pictureville."
this film with caution...
if you're STILL not convinced that this was a film worth seeing,
it also features the 'tragic' demise of West Yorkshire's very own
yellow peril, the eternally catatonic and terminally annoying Sooty.
That'll be the last time HE gets Sweep and his weirdo furry pals
into trouble. A nation rejoices.
In summary: Brrr. Feel that shiver down the spine as more blood
spurts and squirts on screen. Feel that frisson as yet another series
of flat-vowelled profanity is uttered without consideration for
the tattered morals of a nation. The Hunt For The Yorkshire Grimace
is British film at its best, but treasure it while you can before
PC Political Correctness and his do-gooding chums come crashing
in to make this world a 'better', cleaner, more boring place.
if you do ever see it, remember...in Bradford no-one can hear you