Tackle Happy
King of the desert. A drive across the outback puts Simon in a Priscilla homage...
dir Mick Molloy
with Simon Morley, David Friend, Darren Chow, Richard Molloy, Stephen Curry, Mick Molloy, Tony Martin, Andrew Denton, Amanda Keller, Peter Grace, Paul Hester, Lisa Hensley
release UK Apr.01 laff
00/Australia 1h15
2 out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
This amateurish documentary only works because its subject matter is utterly outrageous: A group of guys take their Puppetry of the Penis show on a tour of Australia. Yes, wearing only glittery capes, they use their genitalia to create very silly performance art installations. It's fairly impossible to describe in print, but on screen (and, presumably, even more so in person) it's rather hilarious. as Morley and Friend take their show on the road it all looks pretty hopeless--playing to small houses, getting banned by local authorities and wondering if their battered VW van will even make it to the next city. Then a national radio presenter takes up their cause, interviewing Morley in each town and trumpeting the offbeat nature of the show. Soon they're a roaring success ... and a world tour beckons.

Much of the comic value lies in the sheer audacity of what these guys are doing--nudity is such a taboo in Western society that their pure non-sexual childishness comes across as unthreatening, innocent and shockingly funny (tellingly, an audience in a nudist colony isn't shocked at all, and doesn't find it very funny either). The overreactions of the authorities, therefore, come as a surprise. And the guys seem genuinely amused that anyone at all wants to watch them. Sadly, this documentary is an inside job, so it only brushes against the issues involved, never gets any telling audience reactions (they're merely hilarious) and pretty much ignores the obviously huge tensions between Morley and Friend. It's also very badly produced on home video. But the subject matter is so jaw-dropping that it holds our interest--and there are some nice touches along the way to keep us chuckling.
nudity, language cert 18 10.Apr.01 London Australian Film Festival

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2001 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall