Directed by Steve Oram.
Starring Steve Oram, Toyah Wilcox, Noel Fielding, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Lucy Honigman, Julian Barratt, Tom Meeten and Holli Dempsey.
I’m not sure…
A quick look at the detailed plot synopsis above won’t give away anything but it also says a lot about Steve Oram’s directorial debut, because Aaaaaaaah! – as well as having the most awkward title to say to somebody when they ask you what you are watching – is one of those films that needs to be seen because a description, however detailed or vague you want to be, will never do it justice.
This is because Aaaaaaaah! doesn’t really have a plot as such, but rather it has an approach that is entirely unique amongst films that aren’t nature documentaries. In a nutshell it is an experimental film that has human beings going about their everyday business (sort of) exhibiting simian behaviour and communicating in grunts and violent gestures. This of course alludes to the territorial and domineering behaviour of primates and the story – in the loosest sense of the word – centres around alpha male Smith (Oram) and his mission to oust Ryan (Julian Rhind-Tutt) as the alpha male from his position as the dominant male in his household. Ryan himself ousted the former head of the household (played by Julian Barratt), who lives in subservience with Ryan and alpha female Barbara (Toyah Wilcox) and daughter Denise (Lucy Honigman). Along the way we get to meet several other characters in animalistic situations, such as Noel Fielding getting his member bitten off and a photograph of Prince Harry getting jizzed on, and nothing really makes much sense. Except it does in a strange and satirical way, as the men are shown as being violent animals as they fight each other for power and the women are portrayed as being domestic(ish) and the recipients of the men’s primal sexual urges. The more things change…
Aaaaaaaah! is a hard film to sell and, in all honesty, a difficult film to try and dissect. Not a bad thing at all as being challenging is what pushes things forward and Aaaaaaaah! is surprisingly engrossing once you get used to the fact that the actors aren’t going to say anything legible and it isn’t an extended sketch from The Mighty Boosh. The film was shot in 4:3 frame ratio and the disc comes with some cast interviews – in English – and a couple of extended TV shows that the characters in the film watch, including a cookery show presented by a topless female chef who delights in having a crap on the kitchen floor (an act that Barbara recreates in her own kitchen during the film), so if the overall weirdness of Aaaaaaaah! enchants you there are a couple of opportunities to revel in some more delightful activites. Overall, Aaaaaaaah! is odd, offensive, disgusting, brave, funny, original and strangely watchable but it won’t be for everybody, which is probably the biggest part of its appeal.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★