Jabberwocky - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Jabberwocky Reviews

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½ July 17, 2016
Follow-up sequel to Monty Python and the Holy Grail is moody and more historically accurate. A must watch for Gilliam fans.
Super Reviewer
½ May 16, 2016
A film purely based around the unusual poem by Lewis Carroll which in turn is set within the 'Alice in Wonderland' story. So a sweet classic source is corrupted and transformed into a dank musty set olde England, a time in the middle of the Dark Ages.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe.
All mimsy were the borogoves, and the mome raths outgrabe.'

A stunning British cast of all stars and a style so obviously Gilliam mixed with classic Monty Python, all very familiar and reassuring when you watch. You know just what you're gonna get and you know its gonna be damn dark, grim, dirty, gross, unique and very creative. Gilliam is so good at creating Medieval/Dark Ages visuals with his sets, costumes, use of light, use of locations and wild imagination, plus without huge amounts of money. Yes it does look very much like 'Time Bandits' and 'The Holy Grail' which does seem a little similar/repetitive, but there are some many nice touches with that bleak eerie atmospheric look that you just can't help but enjoy it.

The characters do feel slightly cliched and again a bit too Python-esque but they are all fleshed out so well by the classic cast, helped along with brilliantly cheap yet effective costumes, props and sets. The story is your basic Prince Charming or 'knight slaying monster' type fable, with some wickedly devilish twists. I love how the Princess (Griselda Fishfinger) in this is a fat ugly female who doesn't like Palin's character at all...until he becomes the famous monster slayer and then she wants his ass. The fact that Dennis Cooper's (Palin's character) father hates him for being a wuss and the way Mr Fishfinger treats him like crap, until he becomes famous. The character names are brilliant aren't they...Mr Fishfinger, Griselda Fishfinger.

There are other clever distorted fairytale elements here too, the way wealthy town merchants don't wish to help the King fight the Jabberwocky because it brings them much revenue. The local Bishop is happy to let the terror continue as it brings in lots of donations for the church and a local skilled tradesman can't find work so he cuts off his foot to become a beggar. This proves so successful he cuts off his other foot also.

The film does feel a tad dull and strung out through the middle, perks up towards the finale obviously as we wait with baited breath to see the monster. Its all about the monster really isn't it, the quirky bits in between are fun if typically overused Gilliam type stuff but really you just wanna see how this creature will appear.

Some glorious gooey moments throughout are the highlight for me with some really nice makeup/effects using good old fashioned methods. The mauling and eating to death of a lonely pleasant in the woods at the start is fantastic stuff! very simply done but so effective and really gory. Love how Gilliam doesn't shy away from showing the gory remains. The Jabberwocky in the end is also nicely done, kinda like a large Muppet, the old man in a suit routine. Nicely designed but I'm sure will look hokey to some now.

The film is pretty dated now but its amazing how well it stands up today. Everything really does still look good and quite authentic in that typical Python-esque way. I adore the dark gallows humour in this film, I'm sure all Python fans will do so too, its a style that isn't really seen anymore...at least not in comedies. Its all so very Monty Python, I realise I say this a lot but it is! Gilliam never liked how his work is always compared to Python, sorry Terry. But kudos for creating a perfect gnarly misshapen fairytale of grimness n gloom.
May 1, 2016
This is not rated PG and it's not for children. It's somewhere between PG-13 and R.
February 21, 2016
This is a strange second attempt at a medieval fantasy spoof by two of the Monty Python crew, as if the two remaining Beatles tried to cover Abbey Road, Jabberwocky is a dull re-tread and seems both superfluous and vastly inferior in comparison to the Holy Grail.
February 1, 2016
I watched this as I thought it was a Monty Python film that I had never seen. It is closely related as Terry Gilliam's first foray as a director and includes Michael Palin as the protagonist. This film does not really go anywhere and evokes no interest from the viewer. I'm surprised this was released.
½ December 10, 2015
Monthy python in the dark ages, works out for me. Not that immensely focus on humor, thus means more story, in the action vein. Palin dosnt let us down with his naive innocent character tumbling through the dark ages with his spirit high. Mockery of the king(dom), chruch and the whole brassiere.
½ March 26, 2015
"Jabberwocky" is the first live action film directed by Terry Gilliam, without Python. Granted, some Pythons are in the film (including Michael Palin in the lead), but they aren't the writers, the stars, or in charge of the overall production. The movie is similar to Python's work at the time, specifically "Holy Grail", as it was made in between that film and "Life of Brian" and is set in the same medieval times (and it looks like at a lot of the same locations). This film is okay, but not nearly as good as what Python had already put out. I know that many of the Pythons weren't terribly happy with Gilliam as a director on "Holy Grail", as he was more focused on the visuals and not the jokes...and all the subsequent Python films were solely directed by Terry Jones. This is sort of like what "Holy Grail" might've been like had Gilliam had complete control over the Pythons...and the results pretty much showcase that the Pythons were right. Gilliam's best work was ahead of him, and when he moved slightly away from the Python style (in terms of humor) he became a much better filmmaker.
August 11, 2014
Not a terrible effort - considering it was the 70s, as special effects were limited - but if you look at what Gilliam's done since, he has definitely grown as a filmmaker! Palin is OK as the lead, but nothing really happens, just a bit of bumbling and some mildly funny remarks. It reminded me too much of 'Willow' (not really a good thing!) and tries to infuse too much of 'Monty Python & the Holy Grail', rather than anything original.
April 11, 2013
I thought this was pretty good Gilliam early on in his directing career. Python enough to appease that humor taste buds and it has that goofy Gilliam charm along with a cool looking monster.
April 8, 2013
not one of the greatest flicks ive seen from gillian/plain... better time spent rewatching LOB.
April 7, 2013
For once, a mediaeval odyssey as it would have actually looked--This early Terry Gilliam film is better than its reputation!!
Super Reviewer
March 7, 2013
Thankfully, Terry Gilliam went on to far better things...
February 18, 2013
Brilliantly weird or weirdly brilliant.
½ January 8, 2013
This was trying too hard to be Monty Python's Holy Grail, but fell short with appalling jokes that failed to raise more than a single smile. They could have been going for a 'so bad it's good' approach, but this was just bad.
January 5, 2013
Feels kind of like a story cobbled together from scenes that were too dark or not funny enough for "Holy Grail." Some of the gore effects are outstanding, though.
December 7, 2012
Would like to see at some stage.
½ November 11, 2012
It's clear that Jabberwocky was the beginning of Terry Gilliam trying to find himself away from Monty Python. Perhaps if I watched this again knowing what it would be I might like it better. But as of now, this is by far my least favorite. I feel like it's too scattered. I wanted to follow Dennis Cooper more. He's such an unfortunate fellow. He just wants the simple life and to be with the fat woman he loves, but he doesn't realize the world doesn't work the way it does in his head. Instead of following him we cut back and forth between his story and the town itself trying to deal with the deaths caused by the Jabberwocky. The old king tries to figure out how to cope with it. Dennis just happens to find himself in the middle of this story. Nothing really grabbed me, though. At the same time, there's nothing really bad in it either. The jokes work for the most part. Just the disconnect made it difficult for me to watch. I feel like Gilliam really began to find his heart and soul within Time Bandits.
½ November 11, 2012
You get two types of Terry Gilliam film. Firstly - Incredible visuals, over the top set pieces and a joy to watch. Secondly - great visuals, over the top set pieces and absolute garbage. This is the second. The plot is awful, the pace poor and the main characters seem like they really dont believe or care about what they are doing. Just an awful film.
½ August 29, 2012
not as good as Gilliam's other films
August 12, 2012
Its hard to believe that the legendary Terry Gilliam was attached to this unfocused film, considering that it lacks the intriguing oddness and general humor of his later works.
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