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REVIEW: Cinema Fiasco

Words by James Zarucky

Comedians Geoff Wallis and Janet A. McLeod are the trash-movie buffs behind Cinema Fiasco, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival show presenting the absolute worst that film history has to offer.

For six years, the duo has been hosting screenings around Melbourne, providing live commentary to accompany the artless guilty pleasures on the big screen. As part of this year’s Comedy Festival, Wallis and McLeod are presenting a season of their show featuring screenings of legendary travesties including Beyond The Door and Houseboat Horror.

The premise behind Cinema Fiasco may be nothing short of a nightmare for some: handing a microphone to a pair of comedians as they riff their way through the entirety of a film. However, last week’s showing of Troll 2 proved to be an enjoyable experience, with the long-time friends providing a steady stream of amusingly camp and flippant observations on the film in question. It’s not as though you’re missing much anyway, given the atrociously poor quality of the titles selected. In fact, hosts Wallis and McLeod are of great assistance, pointing out some of the more ridiculous absurdities that might otherwise have gone unnoticed by the audience.

Cinema Fiasco already has an established cult following. Here’s hoping the Comedy Festival can help them grow that audience.

Cinema Fiasco is on at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival at Cinema Nova on the first three Fridays in April.