Film viewing is usually a solitary experience. There are those who find going to a cinema alone to be awkward; but, essentially, there is no interaction with the friend who has accompanied you. This is because it would be rude and distracting – there are other patrons in the cinema who don’t want to miss important pieces of dialogue and information because of your chatting.
However, it can be hard to concentrate on some films where there is no clear plot present; leading to a build-up of a need to talk about what the hell is going on upon the screen. Thankfully, the joint forces of Brisbane trash-cinema king Kristian Fletcher and Comedy Commentary Cinema, audiences get a cathartic release from building cringe, with three comedians providing hilarious commentary to the worst cinema the world has to offer.
Taking its cue from cult hits ‘Mystery Science Theatre 3000’ and ‘Rifftrax’, the premise of Comedy Commentary Cinema is simply an audience watching a trashy film, with three comedians jointly talking over the top of it. Consider it a live version of the commentaries so popular on DVDs. Comedians Steve Morgan, Jasmine Fairbairn, and Christopher Martin use their sharp wits to discuss the 1991 trash masterpiece ‘Samurai Cop’, providing deeper and more cutting hilarity than just making fun of how awful the film is (and, believe me, there is a lot to make fun of in this film).
Jasmine Fairbairn and Chris Martin
The film itself is about a renegade police officer who has been transferred from San Diego to Los Angeles, to use his knowledge of Japan, acquired during his time training as a samurai there, to put a stop to a local yakuza dealing drugs. Of course, most of these plot points are dropped very quickly: drugs only appear in the start of the film; the policing passes the realms of legality, and; there’s very little about or featuring samurais, making its inclusion in the title of the film feel like false advertising. The production values of the film match the shabbiness of the storyline, featuring awful acting, cheap special effects, and no continuity whatsoever. The editing, while awful, does possibly have the distinction of possibly inventing the ‘jump-cut’ so frequently used by YouTube vloggers, with the vain teenagers who fill YouTube showing an Academy Award level of superiority compared to the editing in this film.
As can be seen, there is a lot of things to make fun of in this film. While some easy targets are hit (in comedy, you sometimes have to go for the obvious jokes for the benefit of the audience), the comedians commenting this disaster-piece give it the depth it’s so clearly lacking. The trio take a short amount of time to warm up (I should point out, the comedians have never seen this film before, basically making this a night of improve), but they begin to gel during an over-long and flaccid sex scene. The comedians end up having much more chemistry than the stars of the film.
The comedians have a very high hit-rate for their jokes, but it’s when they move from simply mocking the film to creating stories from small details where the group cut above the rest. From starting a count of the number of parking violations, to noticing the small number of locations chosen by the location scout, there are some great moments. One particular moment which stands out is when an observation about a lion’s head on a wall is made during a scene where the hero and his main romantic interest (he has a few) are conversing. From there, the trio riff off each other to the conclusion it’s actually the spirit of the love interest’s over protective father. This formula is nailed once again when the group realise the awkward background extras that seem to not know what to do with their hands probably believe this film will be their big break.
All-in-all, Comedy Commentary Cinema is a brilliant communal experience for those who struggle to remain silent during awful films. If you are the type of person who gets their fix from watching the latest holiday Garry Marshall has decided exploit, then change your prescription to Comedy Commentary Cinema.