Reviewed on 11/25/2018...
Oh, Doc Martin Clunes, what have you done? I remember as a child seeing your very first dignified acting role in the most excellent Doctor Who episode: Snakedance. And indeed it launched your career. And now This! What on earth be this! (Strangely enough, a childhood friend I grew up with resembles an identical twin of Mr. Clunes. It's always an odd experience for me watching anything with Martin in it.) Was also surprised to see Fay Ripley playing the house wife here (we've recently been enjoying her role as Detective Inspector Martha Bellamy in the British series 'Suspects'.)
Proper preparation was ensured for this title by brewing a couple cups of decaf Peet's Major Dickason's Blend out of the Ninja coffee bar, heavy cream added in. This was paired with some homemade keto chocolates sweetened with xylitol, erythritol, stevia, and bolstered with coconut butter, coconut oil, cacao butter which provided a nice chocolate twist on the bulletproof coffee formula.
I was a smidge apprehensive about viewing this, as a friend was over yesterday. She happened to see the title sitting out and observed: “Oh yeah, I remember seeing that years ago. It was just alright.” Upon pushing 'Play' on the remote, my feline family member meandered off for forty winks in her basket. The forebodings hung, precognitive in the atmosphere.
Fourteen minutes in the terror hit: “How's it hangin' Bogey boy! Bogey boy!” the refrain blaring like some sort of 80's rockabilly. Good lord, this wasn't about to transform into a deranged toddler's musical, was it? (Incidentally, Paul McCartney's “Bogey Music” was inspired by this tale.) Thankfully, this proved to be the only bit of cacophony marring the progression of events. Worry not!
This production is a combination of live action footage and CGI fantasy characters, which are well realized. Not sure there is much of an actual plot going on here. Most of the subject of this tale appears to be the existential crisis of the family father Fungus (which I suspect is a parodying of more heavy-hand English fiction), whose life consists of being disgusting and frightening humans. Daily duties include waking sleeping babies, scaring vicars in cemeteries, making things go bump in the night. Fungus' son Mould is having his rebellious phase, finding he prefers things cleaner than they should be, culturally speaking. Of course, eventually the Humans and Bogeys end up having an incursion with each other (the secret purpose of this I presuppose to present onscreen the cesspit-smeared visages of human children, which is sure to delight any parent, much like the fleeing triple-breasted Bogey females.)
Was astonished to see that this tale was based on a 41 year old children's book by Raymond Briggs, which is more like a comic strip encyclopedia on Bogeymen life, featuring such gems as:
Trousers which have been marinading overnight. “Mmmm! These really stink!”
“Ah! Nice cold filthy water! Good head of scum on it this morning.”
On the bathroom shelf there's “FemStench” perfume (real Eau de Toilette), "Pepsomuck" and "Eau de Colon".
Boils...dung...muck...all things revolting, slimy, putrid, and lavatorial. A bed time tale to make children gasp, fathers smile, and mothers vomit.
I'd previously become acquainted with Raymond Briggs' work from the animated film entitled “When the Wind Blows” which is also based on another children's book, albeit, a harrowing one! (Nothing like the impact of bureaucracy on the innocent in regards to nuclear annihilation as subject matter to acquaint younglings with the adult world.) “When the Wind Blows” is actually one of my all time favorite animated titles. I was pleasantly startled a while back to see it has been released on blu-ray. Evidently, there was also a prequel to “When the Wind Blows” called “Gentleman Jim” made in 1967, which appears to be completely absent from any sort of official media release, even Youtube. Whilst researching Fungus the Bogeyman, I did happen to come across several other Briggs titles to add to my wish list on site, much to my delight.
A new 3 episode adaptation of Fungus the Bogeyman was aired recently in 2015 on ITV in Britain. Appears to only be available so far in Region 2 dvd. It stars Timothy Spall and Victoria Wood, who I was rather saddened to see passed away a few months later from cancer, which she'd kept hidden from the limelight. I've quite enjoyed the many shows she did with main co-star Julie Walters throughout the decades, highlighting her comedic songwriting skills. One of my all time favorite British comedies was written and starred in by Victoria as well: “Dinnerladies”. A most unique soul was Victoria, and I'm most thankful I happened by chance one day to come across her work.