Fabulous film, first released in 1969 and was the seed of much surreal comedy in years following. In fact, considering that the seed of what would become me was also released in March 1969, i have a soft spot for theis movie, although not, i confess, a damp patch.
Directed by Richard Lester and written by John Antrobus and Spike Milligan, it's set in post nuclear holocaust London where a handful of bizarre characters struggle on with their lives amid the ruins, amongst endless heaps of ash, piles of broken crockery and brick, and mounds of dentures and old boots. The timeline is the fourth anniversary of the minor accident which led to the Third World War, the shortest war in history with a length of two minutes and twenty-eight seconds. Radioactivity is everywhere, people are mutating into odd things and there are 20 people left in London, including the present monarch. As closest living relative to the Queen, the new Queen is Mrs Ethel Shroake of 393a, High Street, Leytonstone.
Amidst the madness, Lord Fortnum must try to reach Belgravia before mutating into a bed-sitting room, Penelope is pregnant with a child she's carried for seventeen months (to protect it from the world) and the Police instruct everyone to "keep moving" from the vantage of their hot air balloon while the sergeant mutates into a cocker spaniel.
Sir Ralph Richardson plays Lord Fortnum of Alamein, Sir Michael Hordern plays Bules Martin, Arthur Lowe is Penelope's concerned father. Penelope herself is played by Rita Tushingham and Peter Cook and Dudley Moore play the police inspector and sergeant respectively, Spike Milligan himself plays "mate", an even stranger person than everyone else and Jack Shepherd is excellent as an underwater vicar. Mrs Ether Shroake is played by Dandi Nichols who later became famous as the wife of the notorious Alf Garnett.
My favourite sequence consists of an army officer being given a large bomb with the words "'Ere, are you the bloke, er, officer what was in charge of the nuclear detergent in the last atomic war? Bad news - it has been returned to sender and there's three and nine to pay on it in Chinese dollars."
Get quite stoned and watch this movie. It is the weirdest thing you will ever see, i guarantee.
"God Save Mrs Ethel Shroake, Long live Mrs Ethel Shroake..."