Wednesday, 17 November 2010

A Town Called Panic

Well now...this is absolutely bonkers! That really is the best way to describe this film. Just look at the trailer!

For those who live in the UK, there's a good chance that you will be familiar with the Cravendale milk adverts. For those who don't know: a pirate, a cyclist, a cow and occasionally a chicken I think (all toy, stop motion animated) run around being generally crazy shouting "MILK! MILK!" Thus:

The creators of these adverts are Belgian duo Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar. This creative genius has now given us A Town Called Panic.

In a nutshell: A cowboy called Cowboy, an Indian called Indian live together with a horse called, yup, Horse. It all starts because of Horse's birthday. (Spoilers!) Cowboy and Indian decide to build him a barbecue, and go online to order bricks (from Briquenet)! While ordering 500 bricks one of them comes back from the kitchen with a mug of coffee and puts one mug down next to the computer; of course the handle knocks the zero key and they end up ordering, well 50,000,000 is the figure quoted (I think), but there were more zeros than that! So, all these bricks are delivered, and having built a barbecue (which horse loves) Cowboy and Indian hide all the other bricks on top of the house in a giant cube (the Allspark?).

All is well at the birthday party, but that night the cube of bricks starts to crush the house! The trio escape, but the house is just a pile of bricks! So the next day they spend hours starting to rebuild the walls. Spending the night in a neighbouring farmers barn, they awake the next day to find that the walls are gone!

To cut a long story short, Cowboy, Indian and Horse discover the walls are being stolen by some underwater-fish-creature from the black lagoon type things (of which the main one is called Claude)! The adventures then include (but are not limited to) encountering a giant robot penguin controlled by crazed scientists who seem to be super strong; a very long fall to the centre of the earth (so far that they are able to play poker on the way down (Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey?)), an underwater restaurant; and an all out assault on the neighbouring farm involving lots of pigs and cows! While all this time, Horse is trying not to let down his new girlfriend: a music teacher horse called Madame Longrée! Like I said...bonkers!

I had feared that all the craziness might be a bit too much for 90 min, but actually it was just hugely enjoyable. I've not heard an audience in the cinema laugh that much since I saw In the Loop (though that was very different humour). A great film, absolutely bonkers (have I said that already?), well worth a look if you can find a local arthouse/picturehouse cinema to see it, and a brilliant antidote to Hollywood's obsession with 3D at the moment.