Blake's Junction 7 / 'Ant Muzak' / World of Wrestling
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Quirky, heartfelt and flamboyantly deadpan, Tim Plester and Ben Gregor¹s acclaimed trilogy of short comedy films features a host of charming performances from the cream of British comedy; including Mackenzie Crook, Martin Freeman, Mark Heap, Raquel Cassidy, Kevin Eldon, Kris Marshall and Johnny Vegas, as well as offering tantalising cameos from former Adam and The Ants bass-player Gary Tibbs and Blake¹s 7s voice-of-the-computers Peter Tuddenham.
This DVD is released to coincide with the 30th anniversary of Blakes 7 - the BBC cult sci-fi series and forms a key part of the London Short Film Festival's opening night at the ICA in January 2008.
Special features include: Behind-the-scenes features on all three films; commentary on Blakes Junction 7 with Paul Darrow and Mark Heap; "The 2 Avons" - exclusive interview with Paul Darrow and Mark Heap; Mackenzie Crook interview; Peter Tuddenham recording session; trailer; unused footage; commentary on World of Wrestling with filmmakers Ben Gregor and Tim Plester.
Imagine a twilight world in which the colourful icons from the 1980s might find themselves marooned in modern-day suburbia at 2am in the morning. Imagine New Romantic popstars Adam and The Ants browsing the aisles of a 24-hour supermarket (Ant Muzak). Envisage sci-fi freedom-fighters heroes stopping off at a motorway service-station (Blakes Junction 7). Then picture old-school wrestlers Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks bumping into each other on the night-bus home (World of Wrestling)
About the films:
2002, 10 min, colour, Super 16mm; written by Tim Plester; directed by Ben Gregor; cast includes: Nick Moran, Mackenzie Crook, Steve Oram, Tim Plester, Tom Meeten, Gary Tibbs and Mark Heap (voice).
Nick Moran (Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) and Mackenzie Crook (The Office) star in this documentary-style comedy about New Romantic punks Adam and The Ants making an eventful late-night trip to their local 24-hour supermarket. Cruising the aisles like some kind of bizarre family-unit, the flamboyantly dressed band-members are thrown into crisis when one of their two drummers suddenly goes missing. Its a charmingly off-kilter tale of tinned vegetables, consumer culture and the fickle nature of fame, shot over a single weekend on borrowed Super 16mm equipment, and also featuring a tantalising cameo appearance from former Adam and The Ants bass-player, Gary Tibbs. Even cult Eighties popstars need to shop
"Demented fun that truly stands and delivers."Hot Dog Magazine
"A gem. Unmissable."-- Zoo Magazine
"Piss funny. I was on the floor."Adam Ant
Blakes Junction 7
2004, 15 min, colour, 35mm; written by Tim Plester; directed by Ben Gregor; cast: Mark Heap, Martin Freeman, Raquel Cassidy, Susan Earl, Peter Tuddenham (voice), Mackenzie Crook and Johhny Vegas.
Imagine the kind of twilight world in which the characters from a bygone British-made space-opera, might find themselves making a much-needed pit stop at a Motorway Service Station at 2:45am on a non-descript Tuesday morning... Blakes Junction 7 is a totally unofficial but affectionate 15-minute comedy inspired by the BBC's cult classic sci-fi series Blakes 7. A sequel-of-sorts to Ben Gregor and Tim Plesters first short film, Ant Muzak
"Surreal"-- Daily Mirror
"Sly. Smart. Outrageous. A short break well worth stopping off for."-- The Guardian
World of Wrestling
2007, 12 min., colour, Super 16mm; written by Tim Plester; directed by Ben Gregor; cast: Mackenzie Crook, Kris Marshall, Jonathan Ryland, Wtewart Wright, Patrick Baladi, Justin Edwards, Kevin Eldon and Miranda Hart. The third and final part of Tim Plester and Ben Gregors critically-acclaimed loose trilogy of short comedy films.
While most of us sleep, the heroes and villains from the Golden Age of British wrestling must grapple against the odds to make it home safely from a night out on the tiles. Set predominantly onboard an iconic red double-decker bus, this is a journey into a colourfully skewed world of oversized men, ill-fitting leotards, Boston-Crabs, Half-Nelsons and the unforgiving whims of the British public transport system.
"Hilarious, surreal genius."-- Fighting Spirit Magazine
Top customer reviews
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Blakes 7 - This is truly funny and you need to watch it several times to really get McKenzie Crook as Servelan but its worth the effort, the humour is there people! Orac drinking beer and Jenna's little accident, hilarous! All done by the original Orac, sadly no longer with us, Peter Tuddenham. (B7 fans, get this disc for the behind the scenes recording session with Peter, its a must, must, must have fan clip, missing you already Peter!)
Ant Muzak - For me a bit of a miss but can see the humour of Adam and the Ants hitting a late night Supermarket.
World of Wrestling - If you remember Giant Haystacks or watching it on Challenge then this will tickle your funny bone. Full on wrestling with all the costumes on a night bus. VERY funny!
The subject matter of the crew finding themselves at a service station in the early hours of the morning, even on the limited budget, I feel, could have been a little better. There are some amazing scenes in it! Avon and Blake meeting in the toilets, and Servelan and Travis discussing where they should be (whilst the storm troopers sat by are drinking soft drinks through a straw in their gas masks) are brilliant and well executed. Also the late Peter Tuddenham reprising his roll as Orac was ... well brilliant.
As for the other films Ant Muzak was entertaining and amusing, but I don't think I actually laughed out loud once. World of Wrestling on the other hand I found very funny, especially the security camera footage on the bus!
Overall entertaining but sadly... not the genius I was hoping for!
An interesting concept [hopefully I've explained it adequately] which results in three highly entertaining movies.
Blakes junction seven has the characters from cult sf show blakes seven visit a motorway service station in newport pagnell in the middle of the night.
Ant Muzak has pop group adam and the ants shopping in an all night supermarket.
and world of wrestling has wrestlers from itv's wrestling show of the 70's that was on saturday afternoons at 4pm catching a night bus in croydon.
If you're familiar with the originals then there's enough here to make you laugh and ring some bells in your mind. as will happen if you only have a passing familiarity with them. If you don't, then you may still find it funny anyway.
The extras are actually of a longer running time than the films.
for blakes junction seven there is:
a commentary from mark heap, who plays avon, and paul darrow, who played the character on tv. doesnt quite work this commentary as paul darrow is a better and more enthusiastic talker and mark heap's contributions aren't as good.
there's an interview with the two of them which is stronger.
There's ten minutes worth of behind the scenes footage of the film being made, which is quite fascinating to watch, to see how much work goes into a short film.
There's a five minute feature from the bbc news interviewing one of the actors and the writers. this is a decent little chat.
And footage of peter tuddenham's recording session. he provided the voice of super computer orac in the original, and returns to do so here. it's fascinating to watch a very talented voice artist at work. if you watch this on a pc move the pointer to the left and another logo will light up. click on this and it will show you film of him singing let's all go down the strand. presumably this can be brought up with a dvd remote control as well but I've not found out how.
Ant muzak has a short trailer for the film, and just like blakes junction seven, footage of it being made.
world of wrestling has a commentary from the writer and director of the three films, which is interesting listening and does have some good facts in it.
It has behind the scenes footage like the other two.
a montage of the wrestling footage used in the film.
and some unusued footage of the wrestlers proclaiming how good they are. something that the originals always did on tv. this is hilarous and well worth watching.
the disc contains english language subtitles.
Three great films, and a very good package for them. great stuff.
The only funny part is the meeting between Avon and an overweight Blake in the lavatory.
Sorry to those of you who have actually bought this DVD.
I think she appeared for approx 3 seconds.
apart from that disappointment, this has got to be the least funny thing i have ever seen. EVER.