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Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)

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Director – Stephen Herek

Writers – Chris Matheson, Ed Solomon

Ever wondered what various famous historical figures would make of our world today? Well, wonder no longer, as Bill S. Preston Esquire (Alex Winter) and Ted ‘Theodore’ Logan (Keanu Reeves) take you on an excellent adventure (it must be, because it says so in the title, and in this case it’s actually true!) into the world’s past to help them pass their history report set by Mr Ryan (Bernie Casey), to appease Ted’s drill sergeant of a police officer dad (Hal Landon Jr.) in order for him not to send Ted to military academy, ultimately bringing balance to the universe (or something). The Wyld Stallyns (that’s their dysfunctional band name) take to the tubes of history with the nimble assistance of Rufus (the inimitably cool George Carlin) and whirl through the time eddies bumping into Napoleon Bonaparte (Terry Camileri), Joan of Arc (Jane Wiedlin), Billy the Kid (Dan Shor), Sigmund Freud (Rod Loomis), Socrates (Tony Steedman), ‘Bob’ Genghis Khan (Al Leong) and Abraham Lincoln (Robert V. Barron), to name but a few famous historical personages. It’s a whole heap of nonsense, but an incredibly enjoyable popcorn romp.

Party on, dudes!


Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Directors – Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam

Writers – Terry Jones, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Graham Chapman, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin

From the irregular opening credits you know that you’re in for a wild, quite unusual time. If you enjoy Medieval English history, Arthurian legends, strange folklore, swallows, and laughing at one or all of those things, then you will probably enjoy this film. But that’s not all. It’s much more than that. Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a film that takes its subject matter and format apart and messes them about, as all good things Python should do. The purportedly heroic knights are far from it, and it is their pompous stupidity that leads them into humorous, unforgettable situations. The Trojan Rabbit, The Black Knight, the insulting French soldiers, The Knights Who Say “Ni!”, The Killer Rabbit (rabbits seem to be a theme, for some reason), Castle Anthrax, The Prince in the Tower, and so much more indelibly etch themselves into the funny corner of your brain to emerge at unspecified moments later in your life and cause you to titter in uncontrollable fits. Even the incidental characters, such as Tim the Enchanter, Roger the Shrubber and Dennis the Political Peasant, are gut-bustingly hilarious, while some of the best moments were caused by the necessity of budget constraints, like the use of coconuts instead of real horses, and the knitted chainmail.

This film turns epic adventure upside-down, rewrites the rulebook, throws it out of the window and into the moat where it’s ripped apart by wild gerbils, which then gets spat out in a psychedelic medieval kaleidoscope of joy that will get you laughing like the demented village idiot all the way to the peculiar ending.