Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A Week of Gilliam: Time Bandits

Welcome back for more of the Week of Gilliam and we continue down the filmography of an insane madman/genius as we move into a cult classic beloved by many as a brilliant yet abtruse as pint-sized plunders and pillagers of the space-time continum. The first of the Trilogy of Imagination followed by Brazil and ending with The Adventures of Baron Manchausen. That being said we delve into our main movie. This is Time Bandits.

The Minotaur farted!!

Our story revolves around Kevin (Craig Warnock of Time Bandits and To the Lighthouse) a young boy with an resplendent imagination and an obsession with ancient Greece. His parents are completely unaware of his interests and they attend activities including acquiring nifty gadgets to keep up with the Joneses. One night Kevin is asleep when an armored clad knight on horseback crashes out his wardrobe so one can only assume Narnia has begun its invasion. The knight bolts deep into the forest where his bedroom wall was. After coming out of hiding he sees the wall has returned and his bedroom is perfectly fine except there is a photo on the wall depicting an identical forest.

Well beats ending up with Ian Holm.

Kevin fears not this strange and off the wall antics as he preps a knapsack of food, water and of course his Polaroid camera. Cause a compass, decent combat knife and a couple of canteens is just crazy talk. Just then six dwarves fall out of the wardrobe carrying an ancient and worn map as they are off to find an exit out of there. They invite Kevin to join them and he is reluctant until a giant disembodied head called the Supreme Being chases after them demanding the map back. Kevin and the dwarves leap to a void of space-time and into Italy during the Napoleonic Wars. Hey, don't give me that expression. Still more coherent than most latter Doctor Who episodes.

Kevin takes a breath from all the crazy and finds out his traveling companions' names. Randall the leader (David Rappaport of Mysteries, Time Bandits, The Bride, The Wizard, Peter Gunn, L.A. Law, and Captain Planet and the Planeteers) followed by Fidgit (Kenny Baker of Circus of Horrors, Star Wars, The Star Wars Holiday Special, The Empire Strikes Back, Flash Gordon, Return of the Jedi, Ivanhoe, Amadeus, Prince Caspian and the Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith), Strutter (Malcolm Dixon of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Black Jack, Flash Gordon, Time Bandits, The Goodies, The Dark Crystal, Return of the Jedi, Arena and Willow), Og (Mike Edmonds of Black Jack, The Empire Strikes Back, Clash of the Titans, The Goodies, The Dark Crystal, Men Without Hats: Safety Dance and Maid Marian and Her Merry Men) Wally (Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, The Dark Crystal, Return of the Jedi, Brazil, Labyrinth, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Oingo Boingo: Skeletons in the Closet and The Silver Chair) and Vermin (Tiny Ross of Black Jack, Flash Gordon and Time Bandits).

You are here and your travelers cheques are in Alpha Centauri.

Randall explains to Kevin that long ago the Supreme Being contracted out to they six for making repairs to the space-time fabric buUuUuUuuut Randall decided that the map would lead them to the greatest riches in the known world in all of time. Our hexad of hustlers lead Kevin throughout the halls of time including meeting Napoleon Bonaparte (Ian Holm of Alien, The Borrowers, The Return of the Borrowers, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, The Madness of King George, The Fifth Element, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings, Ratatouille and Alien: Isolation) Robin Hood ( John Cleese of Life of Brian, Fawlty Towers, Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl, The Meaning of Life, A Fish Called Wanda, Erik the Viking, Fierce Creatures, The World Is Not Enough, Mini Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Trolls) and King Agamemnon (Sean Connery of An Age of Kings, Marnie, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, Shalako, The Anderson Tapes and Highlander) as Kevin documents their trips with his Polaroid camera. Too bad he didn't have a digital cam, he could have gotten footage too.

Unbeknownst to our adventurers, Evil (David Warner of The Wars of the Roses, Straw Dogs, The Omen, Time Bandits, Tron, The Company of Wolves, Waxwork, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and In the Mouth of Madness) lurks from his dark domain, interested in the map of all space-time and will get it by any means necessary, using it to manipulate reality itself and shape it to his own idea and design. Apparently 40 species of parrots is most upsetting. Can Kevin and the bandits avoid Evil??? Will the Supreme Being dish out a wide sequence of slaps for the bandits???
Have I gone completely around the bend???

This being a “Cult Classic” that on a 5 million dollar budget that Time Bandits brought home $40 million in spite of being a fall movie and not a summer blockbuster nor a Christmas seasoned film. Co-written with fellow Python (allumnus...Allumni...Damn Latin co-respondence course) performer and writer Michael Palin. The film was backed by none other than the late Beatle George Harrison placing his song in the closing credits “Dream Away” along with American lawyer and business manager of George Harrison, Denis O' Brien. Both men founded HandMade Films production and backed this project as well as Monty Python's Life of Brian.

Yikes, the Wizard of Oz is pissed.