He wants to be Goering, but being Liberace would be 'tasteless'. PETER COOK, loveable curmudgeon and comedy doyen, is back, promoting an infamous video of Derek and Clive, the characters he created with Dudley Moore. DAVID QUANTICK undertakes the worst job he's ever had...
|Eyebrow, lowbrow...or just Lowenbrau?|
'We did this video for my company, Peter Cook Productions,' drawls Peter Cook over a deadly-looking cigarette and a Bucks Fizz. 'Not a company that did much. About as much as John Birt Productions, in fact...'
So here I am in a Hampstead faded-posho cafe with the great Peter Cook, one of the most important figures in British comedy, the man who went from playing in Beyond the Fringe to starting Private Eye and thence forward through the '60s and '70s in splendour - and he is here to promote Derek and Clive Get the Horn, a video redolent of dismalness to the max. Oh well. Let's talk and Derek and Clive for a bit. Those two warped variants on Pete and Dud have, after all, been very popular.
'We did them, for fun in '73 in New York and we got on to that tape which also included The Troggs Tape - remember that, 'We need a fucking 12-string'?' recalls Cook in a West Country bastard accent. 'There was David Dimbleby and Harold Wilson losing his rag and saying 'You wouldn't ask Edward Heath about his yacht', Orson Welles auditioning for the part of a frozen pea - a number of very funny tracks all on this bootleg cassette. And eventually Chris Blackwell [Island Records founder] put them out on an album.'
There were three Derek and Clive albums, and this film. Cook hadn't seen Get the Horn until he and director Russell Mulcahy (Highlander, lots of pop vids) got together to edit the copious footage.
'I was quite shocked, I'd forgotten some of it,' Cook admits. 'I don't play those records for recreation. At my age, you don't play Derek and Clive in the Vauxhall as a romantic background.'
Or, indeed, for laffs. No one sane can possibly enjoy the awful 'cunt-kicking' routine, can they?
Cook nods. 'That's the most horrible, but on the other hand, you can't re-edit it to fit in with fashion. It's like all those Bogart films where he's smoking...I'm not making the comparison, but it would be foolish to change it because it made you cringe a bit.'
The video is preceded by trailers for equally excellent product by Bernard Manning and Chubby Brown. It is worse.
'Filth...are we not under the sex education arm?' laughs Cook and then acknowledges the rampantly unpleasant misogyny of the whole thing. 'One of the bits that Dudley wrote was this awful scene where I'm with the inflatable doll. I wound up slapping her round the face. It's an inflatable doll, I'm not slapping a woman. But I'd forgotten I'd done that. When the stripper comes back, she says I'm awful - an actual woman comes in and we're so embarrassed. Eventually, I remember getting rid of her by doing an impression of the cunt-sucker and strangling her...I edited out the footage where I stab her and put her in a bin-liner and throw her in the canal.'
Stop, our sides have split. How drunk were you when this film was made? Cook looks aghast.
'Not at all. Not any more than Dudley was drunk in Arthur. A bit of red wine in the control room. They're very easy characters to portray,' he says, demonstrating by swearing and mumbling a bit. 'The number of people who come up to me and go 'My mates down the pub are funnier than you' - well, why don't they do a fucking record instead of talking to me?'
Quite. Moving on to happier topics, it seems Cook is playing a 'cruel Lord' in a remake of Black Beauty and has a curious ambition.
'I've always wanted to play an SS officer and I've always wanted to drive around in a jewelled tank,' he drawls, louchely. 'I'd like to be Goering, going round taking people's art, going round with this gigantic showbiz tank. I think I'd have silver filigree mirrors and Art Deco...
'And the uniform. I think he dressed too conservatively,' says Peter, warming to his topic. 'He should have veered a little bit towards the Liberace style. I loved Liberace. I saw him at the Palladium. He was wearing tiny little stars-and-stripes shorts and moving about on stage. He said, 'I can't dance but you have to admire my audacity'.'
Why not play Liberace then?
'Well, Liberace...you have to be careful because he's dead,' says Cook in an outbreak of tastefulness. 'And I don't want to speak ill of the dead.'
'Goering's dead,' points out photographer and accuracy man Derek Ridgers.
'I believe he is,' agrees Cook. 'I wasn't speaking ill of him, though, was I?'
We move on, a bit, to talk of Nazi film director Leni Riefenstahl, who Cook doesn't want to play, and then to 'Allo 'Allo.
'I mean, talk about tasteless,' says Cook. 'Occupied France under the Nazis...'
Does Peter Cook have any taste boundaries?
'I'm not sure I do. As I've said before, if I say down to write something to shock - which is a pointless exercise - it would be a lot more tasteless than Derek and Clive,' he declares. 'But why shock everybody? Absolutely no interest in doing it. Dudley wrote a sketch on Derek and Clive Come Again where he's wanking over a picture of his mum and dad, and his mum comes in, and Dudley says, 'Oh, sorry, mum, the doctor told me I've got cancer of the knob and I've got to get the pus out'. Shocking. That stretched my limits of shock to the full.'
And there we have it. Follow Peter Cook and his career wherever it may take you, readers, but don't buy any Derek and Clive videos.
FIVE GREAT PETER COOK MOMENTS
BEYOND THE FRINGE
Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Jonathan Miller and Alan Bennett. Bloody hell, or what? Cambridge Footlights type in Amazingly Funny Shock.
|Cig vicious: Pistols fan Cook|
There are no other magazines quite like it. 'I still own it and I still write for it,' says Cook, who can still be found contributing to The Secret Diary of John Major.
Dudley Moore is Stanley Moon, lovesick short order chef. Peter Cook is the devil, and bloody sexy with it too. The scene where Cook explains Lucifer's fall from heaven while sitting on top of a pillar box is without peer in the history of popular theology.
NOT ONLY BUT ALSO
Not only one of the greatest sketch shows of all time, but also the first programme to take the piss out of Gerry Anderson with the spleen-burstingly funny 'Superthunderstingcars' parody.
THE SEX PISTOLS
Taste, wit and anarchy presented almost weekly when Cook was the strange host of top punk rock TV show Revolver. 'I liked the Pistols above all the other stuff. I remember accusing Johnny Rotten, who he then was, of nicking a lot of his vocal style from Buddy Holly,' claims Cook. He also asserts that 'John Lydon said one of their songs was based almost entirely on that song from Bedazzled where I'm singing 'I don't care' an 'I'm so plastic'. I don't know which one, I was too pissed to remember.'
PETER COOK AND DUDLEY MOORE: Derek and Clive Get the Horn (Polygram)
The Derek and Clive LPs, produced originally as private tapes by Cook and Moore, were cult faves in the 1970s, largely - oh, sod it, entirely - because they were crammed with sweating, deviant sexuality and extraordinary offensiveness. They were funny if you were pissed, and sometimes they weren't even that.
|Pete 'n' Dud spot Jayne Mansfield and some lobsters.|
Derek and Clive Get the Horn is a film from 1978 containing material from Derek and Clive Ad Nauseam, little seen until now for fairly clear reasons. Virtually none of it is funny; Cook and Moore veer from rambling improvisations about school buggery and sex with one's mother to puerile monologues about giant bogies and thence into the merely unpleasant; one sketch ends in a description of 'cunt-kicking' and a song features a chorus about a 'nigger' who likes 'white chicks'.
Along the way, Richard Branson appears, a stripper strips, there is an inflatable rubber doll and a 'drug bust' by members of the Virgin Records accounts department dressed as policemen. This video is rubbish.
Cook and Quantick appear to be talking at slightly cross-purposes regarding the editing of the film, giving the impression that the material had been edited/re-edited fairly recently. In fact, the 1993 re-issue (and indeed the later DVD incarnation) was identical to the original short-lived 1980 release.
The film had been rejected for cinema distribution by the BBFC on 21 October 1980, and was therefore released on home video instead. At that time, before 'video nasty' hysteria took hold, video was an unregulated industry where material did not require the same certification. (By way of enticement rather than revenge, BBFC director James Ferman's letter of explanation for the film's rejection was cheekily printed as the blurb on the original VHS box. As a final gag, parts of the letter were scribbled out in thick felt-tip.) Therefore, when Cook talks about how he'd 'forgotten some it', it's possible he was talking about either (a) a recent re-acquaintance with the video itself, or (b) the experience of editing the footage circa 1980. The material, even at that stage, had been in the can for a while: the exact dates of the two Ad Nauseam sessions, only the second of which was filmed for Get the Horn, have never been confirmed, but some biographers claim that Cook's reference to his friend Keith Moon's death was a tastelessly topical one. If so, this narrows the recording down to September 1978.
Cook refers to Moore 'writing' sketches - since the items in question are clearly improvised, it's likely he's referring to Moore coming up with embryonic ideas. The premise of the 'Mother' sketch, which opens Get the Horn, has obviously been devised and agreed upon beforehand: 'Let's do 'Mother'... ' the pair are heard to mutter. This not only calls into question the whole 'Cook was the genius, Moore just sat there corpsing' canard, it also suggests that Moore's discomfort with the Derek and Clive project has been over-played. Moore does, after all, seem to be having more fun on Get the Horn than Cook.
Cook also shoots down another popular piece of Derek and Clive mythology - the assertion that the pair were drunk during the sessions. This is something that will probably remain forever ambiguous: Cook was an alcoholic but seldom looked/sounded drunk; Moore, meanwhile, was very good at acting drunk.
Naturally, we disagree with Quantick's assessment of Derek and Clive, but his refusal to jump on the 'Peter Cook was a fackin geenyus' bandwagon (not to mention his reluctance to let crypto-misogyny/racism go unchallenged, no matter how colossal the comedy god) is ultimately quite refreshing. Wouldn't happen, nowadays, etc. Truly, he was a Martin Cropper for the Slowdive generation.
A little bit of information, then, about Derek And Clive Get The Horn, taken from an assortment of press clippings.
The first mention of it is in an article by Paul Callan printed in the 29th June 1979 issue of the Daily Mirror - the article has the catchy headline, 'Peter Cook's wife lives upstairs and he has only Wiggins the cat for company. He's irritable and lethargic. But sometimes he thinks he's brilliant'. Less than a column into this interview with Peter Cook is the following:
For Peter Cook 1979 is a year of changes, both personal and professional. For one, he's producing his first film based on the irreverent, irreligious, four-letter-word-smattered dialogues he developed with Dudley Moore in their much-banned 'Derek and Clive' record.
'We're expecting an 'X' certificate, although I did hope for a double 'A'' he says blithely.
Financed by Virgin Records and called 'Derek and Clive - The Motion Picture,' it is bound to present a film censor with some disturbing moments.
Apart from the profanity ('I daresay there will be a four-letter word ration'), the much ad-libbed script bulldozes into such heart-stopping areas as masturbation, the Pope, and Jesus Christ.
'Yes, there's one bit about Jesus,' he says, ramming a cheese and tongue sandwich in his mouth, 'when Dudley and I discuss which part of Our Lord was divine and which was human.'
He continues munching his sandwich. His face remains quite serious and his eyes stare unblinkingly, giving him the expression of a chewing, slightly mad sheep.
29th June 1979
Less than a month later, some more information on the film - including how much footage was shot for it - was revealed in an article by Kit Miller in the 19th July 1979 issue of The Sun. Here in full is 'Why Cuddly Dud likes to play it nice and naughty':
WHO does Dudley Moore find sexier - Julie Andrews or Peter Cook?
This is the question posed by Cook over his partner's two films due for release in the autumn.
One is 10, in which Dud stars opposite the whiter-than-white Miss Andrews.
The other is Derek And Clive, in which the bluer-than-blue Pete and Dud star together.
The Derek And Clive album released a couple of years ago was so rude that it made Alf Garnett's pub-talk seem like the Queen's Christmas message.
Cook, 41, told me yesterday: 'The film will certainly be X certificate. In fact, the 93 minutes I've edited from 12 hours of footage were so naughty I worried Dudley might not like it.
'He has this new wholesome image, you know. But he flew over from America, saw the film and loved it.
'Now the audiences can decide who he find sexier - me or Julie.'
My spies tell me that Derek And Clive is an hilarious assortment of strippers, police raids and foul language.
Can't wait to see it.
Meanwhile, cuddly Dudley, 44, is about to start work on The Ferret, a Blake Edwards production.
Edwards, married to Julie Andrews, was the man behind The Pink Panther films.
19th July 1979
The next mention in the press of Derek And Clive Get The Horn was - what, you want to know what The Ferret was, and what happened to it? Well, okay. The Ferret was to be Blake Edwards' next franchise following the unexpected death of Peter Sellers, star of Edwards' current franchise The Pink Panther. The concept made it into Waldo Lydecker's gossip column Dish Night in the January 1979 edition of Take One:
MORE ON MOORE: Having just come from a literally million-dollar battle front over 10, Dudley Moore and Blake Edwards will re-team (five times) for a series of pictures based on a character called THE FERRET, a distant cousin of The Pink Panther. The Hanna-Barbera people have already made a licensing deal for Ferret objects and spin-offs, and now all that has to be decided upon is just what the Ferret is.
(You can read the rest of the gossip page here. )
The Sunday Express, in an article by Roderick Mann, commented on The Ferret's abortion in its 30th September 1979 edition. Here follows the entirety of the depressingly-titled 'Hope Dashed':
DUDLEY MOORE, the diminutive comedy actor who now lives here in a grand house on the beach and drives around town in an all-white, vintage Rolls which completely dwarfs him, has been standing by for months waiting to start work on a new film, The Ferret, for director Blake Edwards.
Now, much to his dismay, he has learned that the £5 million comedy project has been cancelled.
It is a big blow for Dudley, who had hoped that the film might cement his reputation with American audiences. For in it he was to have played the son of a famous Second World War secret agent who, called in to help when his father gets in trouble, proves to be a terrible bungler.
Dudley, of course, has already made a film for Edwards - 10, in which he stars with Julie Andrews. That film will be premiered here next month.
The trouble, I gather, is that the studio backing The Ferret grew disenchanted with both the script and the size of the budget. So they pulled out. Now Dudley - who says he only wants to play leading men parts from now on - is left high and dry.
'But I'm not too depressed,' he tells me. 'I feel sure we'll do the film some day...'
Incidentally, those stories about 10 turning Julie Andrews into a sex symbol - forget them. It wasn't meant to and, believe me, it doesn't.
30th September 1979
Also around this time Dudley Moore was hotly tipped to replace Sellers as The Pink Panther's Inspector Clouseau, but he had his reservations. Peter Cook, too, was tipped for the role, but shared Dudley's worries, telling Ian Woodward for an article printed in the 12th September 1980 edition of the Evening News called 'Coming soon - Peter Cook's church of knobbly knees', that 'I'm impressed by all this tipping, but I'm afraid I haven't been approached yet. I agree with Dudley that Clouseau's an impossible assignment, compared to which James Bond is a doddle. What I am tipped to take over is Jacques Cousteau's underwater television programmes if ever he perishes which he should do, being under water. I'm definitely a snorkel-and-flippers man'. Cook had just taken over Sellers' role in a series of four Barclay's Bank commercials. 'It's one of the quickest film-to-air commercials I've ever done,' Cook said in the above quoted article. 'Filmed on Monday and Tuesday, edited on Wednesday and Thursday, dubbed on Friday and shown on Monday'.
An article on this advert ran in the Daily Mail, 6th (?) August 1980:
Cook follows Sellers as the bank's con-man
By PAMELA HODGSON
COMEDY actor Peter Cook is taking over as star of the £750,000 Barclay's Bank TV advertising campaign, which came off the air when Peter Sellers died.
The bank scrapped the Sellers commecials - in which he played con-man Monty Casino - as a mark of respect to the late actor and then spent ten days seeking a replacement.
Peter Cook, 42, began filming the ads in Oxford this week and the first will be screened on ITV on Monday.
He plays the part of 'Arry Hodgers, a spiv whose prey is an innocent Oxford student.
Yesterday, during a break in filming, Mr Cook said: 'I enjoyed the script. I thought I could make a contribution. It attracted me as an actor.'
The story-line closely follows the style set by Sellers. Cockney 'Arry Hodgers tries to con a first-year student into spending his university grant on the most unsuitable accomodation ... but the bank steps in to save him from financial folly.
Mr Cook is believed to be receiving a £20,000 fee. Peter Sellers was paid £80,000 for making two commercials.
Peter Giltoes, the bank's advertising manager, said: 'The Sellers commercials were so successful that we decided we would have to pursue the same theme. We had to find a comedy actor who could portray the slightly fey, sinister character we wanted for the role.
'Obviously Peter Sellers gave us a brilliant performance, but I'm bound to say from what I've seen in this commercial, Cook will be every bit as great.'
6th (?) August 1980
What were we talking about? Oh yes, Derek And Clive Get The Horn. Our next stop is in the 2nd August 1980 issue of The Sun, where Peter Cook is again interviewed by Kit Miller for an article titled 'Marriage, Drink And Me By Peter Cook'. Miller ends the article with the following, an amalgam of earlier information:
After the lukewarm reception of The Rise And Rise of Michael Rimmer and The Hound Of The Baskervilles, Cook is due some acclaim.
He is undoubtedly one of our more inventive comic talents, but often goes beyond the cringe with offensive language.
An example is the recording Derek And Clive.
Although banned by radio and television it still sold like hot cakes and the public's enthusiasm encouraged the pair to make a film.
Almost 12 hours of uninhibited, frank, fearless and entirely filthy views on life were cut down to 88 minutes of film ready for release.
Cook says: 'I had a vain hope that it would get an A certificate over here. But an X is more likely.'
2nd August 1980
Note that the 93-minute running time as printed in Kit Miller's previous article has now been abbreviated to 88 - those missing minutes being the material mentioned as being removed in David Quantick's article, perhaps. The film obviously caused trouble in the editing room - five long months after the autumn release date cited by Kit Miller, an article on Cook printed in the 2nd December 1979 issue of the News Of The World ('If only life was more of a laugh says Peter Cook' by Ivan Waterman), 'he is currently putting the finishing touches to a Derek and Clive film which he made with Dudley Moore. It promises to be just as much of a shocker as the records'.
Ah, but what of Dud? So far all the quotes on the film have been from Pete's mouth. Dudley Moore finally commented on the still unreleased film in an interview with James Cameron-Wilson printed in his On Film section of the 1st February 1980 edition of What's On In London - the article was titled 'No Dud'. The relevant extract follows, having originally followed a piece comparing Wholly Moses to Monty Python's Life Of Brian:
Derek and Clive - The Movie though, due to be released soon, looks like being even more distasteful than the Monty Python film, if the Derek and Clive records (in collaboration with Dudley's long-standing companion, Peter Cook) are anything to go by.
'I think Derek and Clive - The Movie will be a weird document of two people who obviously have a great deal of fun together but who also get very pissed off which [sic] each other. I think it will be much funnier than the records.'
What's On In London
1st February 1980
As already explained in the BLOGCAA post, the film never did receive a theatrical release due to being refused a censor certificate, and went straight to unrated video. But was it ever really seized by the police as legend maintains? Here Peter Cook talks about the controversy over Derek And Clive Get The Horn in an article by John Hind printed in the 30th January to 5th February 1991 issue of Time Out, titled simply 'Cook Tease' - note that some of the production information divulged by Cook here directly contradicts what he tells David Quantick, notably about 'getting blasted' and Moore's unhappiness with the session:
It was through their creation in the early 1970s of 'Derek and Clive' (inspired on a bored day-trip by Cook and Moore to a recording studio 'just for fun') that the duo perfected the art of (as a buddy duo) not even needing an audience, and brought an extra dimension, or at least strength, to their material. Derek and Clive, perhaps, were the tyrants ticked within themselves; certainly the character's excessiveness seemed like a reaction against, and total liberation from, the restraints put on them previously as the nation's cuddly TV comedy stars (having said that, their film 'Bedazzzled' (1968) had been a vehicle for their 'evil' sides). 'Derek and Clive Live', and its two follow-up albums and one video, made comedy shockingly funny again, unsettling liberals on the issue about which they are most vulnerable - censorship. Derek and Clive were men-on-the-street turned iconoclasts - powerless reactionaries spouting obscenities as a reclaimed folk language. They made fun of everything, from the Queen Mother to Jesus, from their mothers to Russia, from dead Popes to Derek Batey, from masturbation (lots of it) to cancer to death to nothingness and beyond. Copies of the video ('Derek and Clive Get The Horn'), meanwhile, were seized by the police, but - interestingly - no prosecutions ever occurred.
'I think that was close to the edge of prosecution,' Cook considers.
'The Board of Film Censors advised us we could be prosecuted for obscenity and certainly blasphemy.'
It's comedy that is 'likely to deprave or corrupt?'
'One, indeed, a muddle-up in the record company's distribution department meant that a few hundred people (some children presumably) got 'Derek and Clive' when they thought they were getting 'Black Beauty'. To which I replied 'It would be equally alarming expecting us and getting 'Black Beauty''... But as far as I can tell, much of it's still obscene - and if it isn't I'll have to have another go. I think if I was setting out to make an offensive record I could be a bloody sight more offensive than that!'
What did the 'Get the Horn' video session involve?
'As always - just getting blasted and going to the studio. Only I'd arranged three cameras, and Dudley wasn't keen. In fact that was a very bad night for us, because I was rather cross that Dudley wasn't eager and he was being moody in return. That we came up with what we did says, I think, a tremendous amount about our relationship.' (Cook notes that only recently he has realised 'just how much I bossed Dudley about'.)
Is it true that Dudley later stopped the video's release in America in case it damaged his career?
'Ummmm... well, I don't know whether it was released...' (A pause.) 'I really don't know about that... It was re-released in Britain, with special specs, so you can get the full 2-D experience. I haven't watched it for a while actually. But, by God, that was fun to do!' (Cook swells with enthusiasm now.) 'Just to sit down and be that unpleasant was such fun.' (He adopts a critic's voice.) ''Oh, what a shame. To see Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, the sophisticated wits, reduced to this!''
30th January - 5th February 1991
Peter Cook may not know if Dudley Moore wished the film to go unshown in America, but we do. Peter McKay wrote an article for the 7th October 1981 issue of the Daily Mirror - titled 'Brooke makes Dudley more wealthy' - which spreads believably the rumour of Dud's worries. This article also tells us the month in which the video was first planned to be put out - two years after its proposed autumn 1979 theatrical release:
DUDLEY MOORE is to receive around £1 1/2 million for a new film with BROOKE SHIELDS, the heavily-exploited 16-year-old American actress.
It will be a re-make of the 1957 Gary Cooper-Audrey Hepburn sex comedy, Love In The Afternoon.
How fortunate that Dudley's old partner, Peter Cook, does not have a jealous bone in his body.
While Cook is enjoying modest success playing a butler in a Hollywood TV series, The Two Of Us, Dudley has no fewer that three feature films lined up, including his romp with Miss Shields.
Only one small anxiety clouds the mind of Dudley as he reposes by the Pacific in Venice, California.
That concerns a little-known enterprise with his old partner Cook - a film called Derek And Clive Get The Horn.
This work is an uninterrupted stream of gross obscenity - a description accurate enough, I would judge, for the distributors to make use of on billboards.
There are plans to bring a video version of it out this month in Britain.
But, what about America, where our heroes have now established themselves as light comedians acceptable even in the Bible Belt?
I hear that Dudley has asked for, and received, cast-iron guarantees that Derek And Clive Get The Horn will never be shown there in any shape or form.
7th October 1981
A worthless promise, as Derek And Clive Get The Horn had been shown six months earlier at the Filmex film festival in Hollywood. (Love In The Afternoon, incidentally, never got made.) Shown at the Aquarius Theater on the 12th April 1981, this 16mm, 88-minute print - naturally unrated by the MPAA - was reviewed by 'Cart' on page 30 of the 22nd April 1981 edition of Variety:
If the Guinness Book of Records cared to create a new category of Most Obscenities Uttered By Two Men In 90 Minutes, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore would certainly take the cake ad eat it too for their sputterings in 'Derek And Clive Get The Horn.' More a rehearsal film than a concert pic, effort presents these two gifted comic partners of some 20 years standing improvising their heads off at the Town House Recording Studio, and is likely to find its only truly appreciative audience among appreciative comedians curious as to how these two wits develop material. Despite star names, commercial potential is marginal.
It's difficult to imagine what exactly possessed Cook and Moore to release this poor excuse for a film, other than to offer a record of the dynamics of their collaborative technique. For the vast majority of the running time, pair is presented sitting at microphones with headphones on, with time out only for Moore to make short excursions to the bathroom, the piano for a couple of bawdy numbers, or to consort with a blowup plastic sex doll.
'Get the horn' is just their way of saying 'whatever turns you on,' and at one point team tears into an occasionally funny, often blasphemous account of the things that do it for them. Free association dialog is about as dirty as any talk can get, and some of it is downright nasty, as any conversation can become if it is pursued to the end of its tether.
To be consistently effective as comedy, pic would have to be cut down to about a half-hour, as failed gags, grasping for funny lines and repetition, bloat the remainder. Surely few films have been cheaper to make, as the cameras were merely turned on with Cook and Moore in front of them.
22nd April 1981
Excellent findings, Squidy.
So, hang on... the 1981 cinema screening ran at 88 minutes, even though that's the duration of the video (88'48" to be exact)? Given that you lose a few minutes on VHS, that must mean they screened a shorter edit. Although they still issued the full-length cut on tape. Is that right?
Was the '2-D specs' edition the one Cook was plugging on Clive Anderson Talks Back circa 1992? I remember he held aloft a copy of the poster - same plain blue design as the original video. I remember looking out for it in shops to no avail. A year later, the orange-cover edition appeared.
Not sure I buy the '12 hours of rushes' thing...they're probably talking about the audio rushes for Ad Nauseam rather than the film footage. Get the Horn looks like it was all shot on the same night.
I'll have to chase up my source for the 'They only filmed the second session' claim - not sure if it was Harry Thompson's biography or Publish and Bedazzled. Wasn't there a third session planned, but Moore didn't turn up because he was pissed off at Cook? Or is that another urban legend a BFI micro-jacket will squash flat?