Damn you people. I had already seen plenty of bad movies in 2016, and now I’m starting to catch up on bad movies I missed, just for the benefit of this column. Am I a masochist?
If so, I’m a pretty reluctant one, because I lost my patience with Batman V. Superman after about half an hour, and started watching The Brothers Grimsby instead. Which means that this week’s column is about …
THE BROTHERS GRIMSBY
… And you know what? I enjoyed it! Oh sure, it’s crude, disgusting and stupid, but I laughed like crazy and enjoyed myself all the way through. Shame on both of us, Grimsby!
This flick is an action comedy about an international super-spy (Mark Strong), who winds up on a life-or-death adventure with his long-lost brother, who is a basic buffoon (Sacha Baron Cohen). Hijinks ensue. The reason it’s on so many “Worst of 2016” lists is because it’s completely vulgar. Cohen bounds into the film with a lit firework up his ass, and things just gets grosser from there. Toilet humour abounds, people. ABOUNDS.
Why did I like it? I honestly couldn’t tell you. Normally, gross-out humour doesn’t work on me, but this flick is so gleefully, whimsically vile that I just embraced it. And don’t think that I automatically give Sacha Baron Cohen movies a pass — despite the man’s comic talents, he is fully capable of making a dud. This one just works — and Mark Strong has turned out to be an amazing straight man.
THE BEST BIT
I’m tempted to say it’s the part where they give Donald Trump AIDS, but come on … if we’re going to single out one scene from this explosion of bad taste, it’s going to be …THAT scene. Yep, those of you who have seen Grimsby know what I’m talking about. The “worst” scene is kind of also the “best” scene. It is impossible to ignore, or forget. And I’m going to describe it now, which is a huge SPOILER, so if you want to experience the year’s grossest belly-laugh with innocent eyes, the way the filmmakers intended, then for heaven’s sake, stop reading now.
Okay, so our heroes are in the plains of South Africa, trying to hide from the bad guys.
Seriously, stop reading now.
The dumb brother remembers something he learned from a nature documentary, and the two siblings conceal themselves inside an elephant’s vagina. (Fun fact: they can accommodate 25 cubic feet!) This scene is insane. The film studio actually built a fake elephant … er, “interior”, and filmed an unforgettable scene in it.
The ruse works, but then a gentleman elephant comes a’courting, and the brothers soon have to deal with a giant elephant penis intruding on their privacy.
Cohen brought this scene to the Jimmy Kimmel show, but since it was too vulgar to broadcast, they simply filmed the audiences reactions to the scene. The crowd went NUTS.
Wait, there’s more. In the bonus materials on the DVD or Blu-Ray disc, we find out that the production manufactured 14 tons of fake elephant semen for this film. If that sounds like a lot more than they used in the one-and-a-half minute scene, that’s because an extended version of the scene is also on the disc. This time, an entire parade of male elephants line up to have their fun, and the scene goes on for three minutes, as the brother’s hiding place fills to the top with seminal fluid, becoming a drowning hazard, until the duo get rescued by Oscar-winning actress Gabourey Sidibe (from Precious).
The disc is covered with warning labels about the unrated bonus material. Legend has it that they originally made an 8-minute version of the scene, that was too disgusting to show to any audience. The mind boggles.
Next week and the final week: Batman V. Superman. For realsies, this time. Maybe.
John Tebbutt is the Video Vulture. He has been writing about obscure and ridiculous cinema since 1997. You can keep up with his nonsense on his website, Facebook and Twitter. You can also watch Volume 1 of his new series produced for NUTV here.