Inspired by the seven-verse nonsense poem by Lewis Carroll, Terry Gilliam’s directorial debut feature is an uneven mix of medieval tomfoolery and crude Monty Python humour.
Fellow Python Michael Palin plays the humble, innocent peasant hero, Dennis, an apprentice cooper who, to prove his worth and win the hand of a fair maiden – actually, Griselda Fishfinger (Annette Badland), a fat, slovenly wench only interested in food and scratching the wrong places at the wrong time – sets out to kill the fearsome “Manxome foe”.
The production design is stunning, and the look of the Jabberwock is based on the illustrations that Sir John Tenniel created for Carroll’s original book.
For all that, Gilliam’s grim fantasy only periodically raises itself above the tiresome.
King Bruno the Questionable
John Le Mesurier
Harry H Corbett
Man with Rock