FORGOTTEN GEM: “Haunted Honeymoon”

Gene Wilder was a comic genius back in the 80’s, a sort of Steve Carell – Will Ferrell equivalent nowadays. A not so known movie of his was “Haunted Honeymoon”, released in 1986; a horror-comedy spoof with a great cast accompanying him and the haunted house premise to play around with and create a mesmerizing story. He succeeded when the movie came out in the late 80’s. Nowadays, if you watch it, it is a bit silly and the gags do not seem as funny as one would expect.

“Funny enough to have a giggle, and scary enough to prove
to my friends that I am old enough to watch horror movies without being scared.”

I remember I watched this movie probably two or three years after it came out. Back in the VHS era, the local video-club was a haven of anything the local retailer would bring and offer the masses. Horror and comedy were always two of my favorite genders, and seeing the cover (Wilder and his wife Gilda Radner, with a drag queen version of Dom De Luise) it looked funny enough to have a giggle, and scary enough to prove to my friends that I am old enough to watch horror movies without being scared. After the movie finished, I realised I had discovered that a movie can be loved and it became the first movie to ever be in my Top Ten of all time (It made me realise I needed to find nine more to make it proper – so my quest started).

Though a commercial flop at the time of its release, only grossing $8,000,000 in America entering the box office at number 8, then slipping to 14 the following week, “Haunted Honeymoon” is film perfection for all its flaws. Having since become a cult classic, on revisiting a childhood favourite, its charm was once again immediately evident.

The story: Gene Wilder is getting married to his sweetheart. They both are successful radio actors (the movie was set in the ‘50s) on a very successful horror radio show – the ones with a lot of human made sound effects and cheesy dialogue.  Wilder’s character is scared of anything spooky, and before he gets married, he needs to overcome this so what should he do? Go to the spookiest haunted mansion where all his family are gathered for his wedding. And of course, scary things start happening, and Gene Wilder needs to overcome his fear in order to save his sweetheart and uncover what is going on.

And funnily enough, it works. The characters that Gene Wilder has created are unique enough but common at the same time for the viewer to feel immediately drawn to them in their characters own specific way. By the end, you want the bad guys to lose and the good guys to win. Tackling comedic, sometimes slapstick, elements with classic horror ones (werewolf, ghosts, ghouls etc.), and also creating the family characters as classic stereotypes it creates a great atmosphere where you easily get scared as you are easily laughing.

The stereotypical characters include: the mysterious magician, the classic film noir femme fatale, the loser cousin – which is usually the one that will get killed first, the butler who is loyal to their master, the hysterical maid and the list of usual suspects continues.

“A Forgotten Gem for all the wrong and right reasons.”

The direction is simple enough, and the photography is quite atmospheric. This is not an amazing movie of course, but it works in all the levels and does not feel it was put together on the spot. All actors play their parts well, with Dom DeLuise stealing the show as Gene Wilder’s auntie. Yes, he is in drag, when it was still politically correct to use male actors to camp it up. Despite his on screen charisma, DeLuise’s efforts were rewarded with the Razzie for Worst Supporting Actor.

For all it’s comedy gold, another reason that “Haunted Honeymoon” warrants celebration has a more tragic tone. Though unknown at the time, “Haunted Honeymoon” was to be Gilda Radner’s final screen appearance, with her premature death in 1989 at the age of just 42.

Overall, this is a Forgotten Gem for all the wrong and right reasons. Very old-fashioned nowadays, it does not fail to still entertain and to remind this generation why Gene Wilder was a comic genius. It is obvious how the current comedians have learned so much from him. A true inspiration.

Words: George Mathioudakis

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LIVE REVIEW: Gina Yashere

Glee Club, Birmingham
21.09.2010

A truly excellent evening! Gina Yashere bought real life scenarios into a hilarious moment which had me laughing out loud and falling off my seat!

The show was split into two sections with an interval in the middle, the second half seemed to be of made up of pre-prepared material, and even though it was funny i preferred the first half which was completed in an adhoc fashion and consisted of Yashere freestlying from audience material, this showed her at her best, revealing that actually not can she only tell a joke but she is a naturally gifted comedian.

The audience was slightly flat in Birmingham but even with that Yashere definitely worked the crowd. There were a few in culture jokes however these were well received.

Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Eleni Kypridemos

VIDEO: ALPARET “The Curse Of Molingo”

Theatre nowadays is having to think up novel ways of winning over new audiences. One performer who is prepared to take it to the new level is London based Alp Haydar, who combined with pianist Richard Link form Alparet. Haydar, who can often be seen trying out new material at London’s Cellar Door, has pulled out the stops for his latest theatrical venture. YouTube has gone crazy with his zany videos, though at The Kaje our favourite has to be…

 

If you like what you see, you can catch “Alparet: The Curse Of Molingo” on Thursday 12th August at the Battersea Barge.

The Kaje talks Latitude to Tommy Tiernan

Award winning Irish comic Tommy Tiernan has never shied away from public attention – be it breaking world records for the longest stand up comedy performance ever or being accused of anti-Semitism. However, the County Donegal comic has managed to ride the wave and is as popular today as when he first won Channel 4’s “So You Think you’re Funny”. With his universal popularity, Tiernan will easily prove one of the many highlights of this year’s Latitude Comedy Arena so we took a few minutes to find out about his plans.

When you think of Latitude what five words spring to mind?

Unknown, Sweet, English, Adventure, Laugh

If you could only see one performance at this year’s festival what would it be?

Ex President of America Jimmy Carter retyping by forehead the entire text of Finnegan’s Wake in original Hebrew surrounded by the surviving members of Bow Wow Wow singing the lost songs of Rolf Harris.

What five items will you be bringing to Latitude?

A Pool Cue, a Box of Vodka Lozenges, a map of my Id, a certain Je ne sais Quoi and Coleslaw.

Do you have anything special planed for your performance at Latitude?

Halfway through my set, a giant plasma lunchbox will be lowered on to the stage full of digital sandwiches for the entire world.

Latitude is five years old, how did you celebrate your fifth birthday?

I had my first cup of coffee and then learnt all the pauses in Harold Pinter’s plays off by heart.

NEWS: LATITUDE FESTIVAL 2010 – New Acts Annouced

Latitude Festival proudly presents…

Latitude Festival returns for an incredible 5th Edition on 15th-18th July 2010 set in the beautiful countryside of Henham Park Estate on Suffolk’s Sunrise Coast.

Dedicated to bringing the very best from the worlds of music, theatre, comedy, literature, film, poetry, dance, art, fashion and cabaret together for one glorious weekend, Latitude has once again, created a line-up like no other. 

Spread throughout the site in specially created arenas as well as using the beautiful outdoor spaces, the highest calibre of performers are now being confirmed. Building on its reputation as one of the most respected and highly anticipated events of the season, 2010 is looking likely to be an inspirational and entertaining, sophisticated and scintillating weekend; another spectacular slice of unadulterated cultural fun and adventure. 

 ~ ARTS ~

~ THE WATERFRONT STAGE ~

Latitude is bursting with excitement to proudly announce that Daniel Kitson and Gavin Osborn will be performing their trilogy of shows, ‘Stories for the Starlit Sky’, across all three nights of the weekend.

Three separate, but interlinked stories for three separate summer nights, each one starting at midnight and lasting a little over an hour. Voices will soar from between trees to paint tears on the face of the moon, words, like fire in the night, laughter exploding through the dark. The day not done, not yet, the air thick with magic on the cusp of tomorrow. The sky alight with stories of love, stories of hope and stories of the night.

~ CABARET ARENA ~

Mick Perrin for Just for Laughs Live and Miss Behave present: ‘The Crack’ – an explosive combination of stand-up, variety and side-splitting comic performance. Celebrating all that is funny, diverse and truly original in live comic entertainment and brought to you by crowd dominatrix and Guinness World Record holder Miss Behave, who is part of the team behind Olivier Award-winning sensation La Clique (Best Entertainment 2009), will be reigning in the chaos with trademark sass and sparkle, and spectacular stunts.

Lounge wizard and snake-oil salesman Paul Zenon is the UK’s leading comedy magician, with performances in around thirty countries and appearances as presenter and pundit on over three hundred television shows.

Naughty, nice and very highly skilled, hula-hooping sensation Kalki is at turns both comic and absurdly sexy with her hilarious take on rock star attitude. A lesson in entertainment multi-tasking, she does things with hula hoops, and a bottle of vodka that will have you crying with laughter and whooping for more.

 ~ POETRY ARENA ~

Over the past four years, the Poetry Arena at Latitude has grown into one of Europe’s leading poetry events in its own right, boasting the hottest slam poets, spoken word, storytelling, comedy sketches, rappers and much, much more.  Laugh, cry and become enlightened with the following poets just confirmed for the weekend:

Radio 1 Beatbox Champion and Channel 4 Talent Award Winner THePETEBOX is one of the word’s finest human beatboxers, crafting a whole new approach using his skills to make music. 

They join a line up that already boasts performances from: Wendy Cope, John Cooper Clarke, Blake Morrison, Luke Wright, Spoken Word All Stars, WordTheatre, Angry Sam, Brigitte Aphrodite, Byron Vincent, Chris Hicks and Clare Pollard.

 ~ FILM & MUSIC ARENA ~

 Straight from Boston, Massachusetts to Henham Park, Suffolk, The Kominas will be playing live in the Film & Music Arena following the screening of Taqwacore’s: The Birth Of Punk Islam.  This desi-punk outfit comprised of four brown sons of South Asian parents released their debut album ‘Wild Nights in Guantanamo Bay’ in 2008 causing the mainstream media to sit up and listen with their provocative and suggestive music and lyrics. With songs such as ‘Suicide Bomb The Gap’ and ‘Rumi Was A Homo’ they push boundaries and challenge stereotypes making them an important tour de force.

~ COMEDY AT LATITUDE ~

Latitude has earned a fierce reputation for presenting the searingly sharp edge of comedy and this year Latitude will not disappoint with an incredible wealth of talent throughout the bill.

Funny Women is at the vanguard of nurturing and promoting female comedy talent, both new and established.  Its annual talent competition, the Funny Women Awards, has introduced many new performers on to the comedy scene.  Now in its eighth year, the Awards make their debut at Latitude. 

Ex-Southend goalkeeper turned comic, Terry Alderton comes to Latitude this year. Hurtling through an ad-libbed riot of exuberant, loose-limbed physical comedy, full of extraordinary caricatures and acute impressions.

These new additions join such comic turns as the fantastic Emo Philips, Ardal O’Hanlon, Rich Hall, Tommy Tiernan, The Early Edition with Marcus Brigstocke, Andre Vincent and Guests, and Arthur Smith as well as many, many more in what is once again a huge and varied bill of comic splendour occurring all across the site.

~ MUSIC ~

 ~ OBELISK ARENA ~

 ~ LAURA MARLING ~ HOCKEY ~ CORINNE BAILEY RAE ~ HERE WE GO MAGIC ~ MUMFORD & SONS ~ SWEET BILLY PILGRIM ~ KASSIDY ~

The Obelisk Arena is the focal point for many of Latitude’s most memorable performances and with a line up that boasts some superb acts including Empire of the Sun, The Maccabees, James, The Temper Trap, Rodrigo y Gabriela and Frank Turner as well as the stunning headliners, Florence + The Machine, Belle and Sebastian and Vampire Weekend.  The following acts are a welcome addition to an already exciting line up:

Northumberland folk group The Unthanks are added to the Obelisk Arena. Previously called Rachel Unthank and the Winterset, until last year, their poignant and honest storytelling has set them apart from their peers and pricked the interest of the British consciousness.

 Pushing the boundaries of popular music, Welsh four-piece and fearless experimentalists, Race Horses join the Obelisk Arena line-up. Playing tracks from their debut album ‘Goodbye Falkenburg’ an album full of quirky, psych-pop reminiscent of fellow countrymen Super Furry Animals and Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, their performance will be a hand-clapping, catchy and entertaining set – a must for Saturday afternoon.

~ THE WORD ARENA ~

 With The National (Friday), The xx (Saturday) and Grizzly Bear (Sunday) announced as headliners for the weekend, and Charlotte Gainsbourg and The Horrors also confirmed, The Word Arena will once again boast an amazing set of alternative artists crossing genre boundaries seamlessly. You’ll discover a host of fresh and exciting acts from across the spectrum within The Word Arena.

 Flying the flag for late 60’s/70’s soul Jonathan Jeremiah’s debut album ‘Fool In Love’ is full of laid-back semi-acoustic soul with orchestral touches and a folk tinge. 

Elsewhere throughout the weekend, festival goers can enjoy exciting theatre and dance productions presented by the Royal Opera House, Royal Shakespeare Company, Bush Theatre, and Sadler’s Wells to name but a few, cabaret performances from Rich Fulcher, Idiot Of Ants and Laura Solon; BAFTA return to the Film & Music Arena with Q&As, discussions and workshops with award-winning director Paul Greengrass already confirmed. Over Latitude’s four dedicated music arenas Florence + The Machine, Belle and Sebastian and Vampire Weekend, Empire Of The Sun, The National, The xx, Grizzly Bear, The Maccabees, Rodrigo y Gabriela, James, Richard Hawley, The Horrors and Jónsi are all confirmed. With many more acts still to be announced, Latitude will provide the perfect  setting for the summer.

A place like no other; Latitude Festival is an intimate world away from reality that encourages you to be all that you’ve ever wanted to be, whilst indulging in the spirit of exploration and discovery. 

~ TICKET INFORMATION ~

Weekend tickets £155 including VAT, subject to booking fee

Day tickets Fri, Sat, Sun £65 including VAT, subject to booking fee

Weekend ticket prices include car parking and camping

Day tickets include car parking only

Credit Card line: 0871 2310846

Online: www.festivalrepublic.comwww.seetickets.comwww.latitudefestival.co.uk

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