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09 October, 2005

On the British Film Industry

So, here in the Brit-land, whenever its a bit of a slow news day and the cinema's filled up with American imports, the usual pundits sit up and start bemoaning the state of the British Film Industry. Sure we've had the odd success every now and then. Everyone points to "Four Weddings and a Funeral", and "Notting Hill" but come on, Richard Curtis does not a film industry make. You can add in the 'not quite so nice, but really good' films, like "Trainspotting" and "Lock, Stock", but we're still hardly talking multiple multiplex filling box-office smashes every season here.

Souddenly something happened, a flash of an idea entered my mind. What five things are undeniably cool, lift up any movie from great to amazing, and yet, sadly, aren't native to the British Isles?

Monkeys

Ninjas

Samurai

Jedi

Zombies

Now I'm sorry, but try to name one classic movie of the last fifty years that couldn't have been improved by the addition of a gratuitous Ninja sneaking through the storyline, being all cool, deadly and stealthy? We can all learn from the lessons that the Zombie-filled "Sean of the Dead" tried to teach us.

Can you imagine "Saving Private Ryan" with Jedi storming the beach, leading the charge toward the German pill-boxes, lightsabers flashing side to side so fast that they're just a neon blur? Come on, you can't deny that the film's already twice as great!

Only a small change here, but what if one of the members of the Ring Fellowship in "Lord of the Rings" had a pet monkey that did tricks in the background during the slow bits of the movie?!

Those were big Oscar winning films, now just imagine the effect that a swarm of the walking, brain-eating undead would have on the average dreary, depressing, 'ain't life hard in the North' Brit flick. Think of a group of unemployed coal miners deciding to strip flesh for cash? (I was going to think up a zombie themed name for this film, but couldn't think of any combo of "Full Monty" and zombies that didn't sound like a porn film).

Do I need to go on?

So my final word to the British establishment, start using a bit more prejudice when you're funding films, vote with your wallet, vote for Samurai, Ninja, Jedi, Zombies and (most of all) Monkeys!

PS Final word here, but if there's a Zombie Ninja Monkey in the script, don't even hesitate, just grab your pen and sign on the dotted line. It literally cannot possibly fail!

PPS Final, final word - some dude with a cutlass in his hand, a pistol tucked in his rope waistband, an eye-patch, peg-leg, a parrot on one shoulder and a monkey playing with his tricorn hat just grabbed me and whispered menacingly in my ear, "Don't forget the pirates, young Jim-lad. Arrrrrr." I was just happy he didn't bit my ear off. In reflection I hope that Keira Knightley and her pirate friends can be added to the list.