How to describe the indescribable? Ideally, go see this yourself (there is a DVD version for those who prefer shiny tech), but here's a potted precis:
It's a tale of indescribable squalor and fin de decennie depression, at a time when the Swinging Sixties were swinging out of control, partly inspired by the director-screenwriter's own life and times with his dipsomaniac friend Vivian. It's a comedy in a peculiarly British style: black comedy rather than joke-a-minute farce, though the farce is never far away, even when it treads the fine line with tragedy (the original story, according to the novel, ends with Withnail committing suicide: this isn't in the film, but could be read into it). It's also the most quotable 'student' film you're likely to see.
Ob SF: the two leads have gone on to play the lead role in two separate productions of Doctor Who, and Richard E. Grant in particular has done a variety of bit-parts in rather mediocre sci-fi/fantasy movies, such as 'The Little Vampire' and the first 'Warlock' film. Still, it made his name in many other mainstream movies, so let us be thankful...
Referenced in Zool V, for the real hardcore OUSFGi.
I really enjoyed this movie. For some reason it makes me think of Robyn Hitchcock. I have no idea why. What follows is someone else's review. It made me laugh so I am posting it. --SDN
"Another one of those classic films that doesn't really make sense, yet evokes a strange feeling of happiness when you watch it. The Plot: Two failed/failing actors embark on a cross country trek, tailed by a fat gay bloke. Everything that can go wrong does. Richard E Grant says some stuff in an upper-class accent even though he's not British, and that stoned bloke who's also in Wayne's World 2 says some funny stuff about carrots. I've watched this film quite a few times and I still don't really see a proper plot. But that doesn't detract from the atmosphere the film is trying to create. 'I demand to have some booze' isn't actually funny, yet I can't help but laugh out loud whenever I hear it. Bizarre, yet an excellent film."
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