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:: The Heckler

So often hastily put together feature films who have relied on crowd funding to get made fall by the wayside. A lot become unwatchable films that are for the lack of a better word to use… a mess. Luckily The Heckler overcomes that kind of tragedy and while it does have the odd weakness here and there it is largely an enjoyable film that is guaranteed to raise a few chuckles out of its audience along the way.

With so many Australian comedians the toast of the world at the moment (think Will Anderson, Joel Creasey and Adam Hills) it is quite a surprise when you realise that there have never really been any films made that are shot revolving around Australia’s thriving comedy circuit. That is one of the reasons that The Heckler is such a welcome watch, the other welcoming factor is the fact that unlike most Australian comedies (I’m pointing my finger at you Big Mamma’s Boy and a range of other wog or bogan related comedy films) it doesn’t make you groan throughout.

Yes, despite the fact that director first time feature director Ben Plazzer and screenwriter, Steve Mitchell really should have done a couple of more rewrites on The Heckler’s screenplay before they went into production, this is a film that actually runs quite smoothly. The film avoids many of the pitfalls that other body-swap films have fallen into over the years and for the most piece this is a nice character driven film that manages to produce a few laughs along the way as well… and yes I even laughed at the ‘I’m your father, Luke’ line which just goes to show what a witty comedy writer Mitchell really is.

The film may have been more marketable commercially if it featured a known Aussie comedic actor such as a Josh Lawson etc but really on reflection both Simon Mallory and Chris Fortuna do great jobs. Mallory is likeable as the unlikable Steve while Chris Fortuna steals the show as he bogans it up to play the at-times repulsive Mike.

Kate Jenkinson, who has made a name for herself on television shows such as House Husbands and Offspring, also announces herself as somebody to watch out for on the big screen as she brilliantly plays the ditzy, Bree. Meanwhile fans of Aussie comedy will get a laugh out of seeing Australian comedy legend Tony Martin (from the D-Gen) popping up in a cameo, even though he is dangerously under used.

The Heckler may not win any comedy gongs this year but if you are wanting to see a movie that will make you laugh throughout while being entertaining to hold your interest you certainly won’t be disappointed with this little Aussie comedy.


DVD Extras

. Audio Commentary with Writer and Director
. Comedians in Bars Drinking Beer (Dave Hughes)
. Comedians in Bars Drinking Beer (Hung Le)
. Fist of Fury (short film)