The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse
|The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse|
|Directed by||Steve Bendelack|
|Music by||Joby Talbot|
|Edited by||Tony Cranstoun|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse is a feature film spin-off of the British television comedy series The League of Gentlemen. Starring Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith, the film was written by the cast with Jeremy Dyson, and directed by Steve Bendelack. Also featuring in guest roles are Michael Sheen, Victoria Wood, David Warner, Alan Morrissey, Bruno Langley, Bernard Hill, Simon Pegg and Peter Kay.
The film was due for a UK release on 22 April 2005, but the release date was moved back to 3 June. Over 20 minutes of footage was deleted in the final cut.
One night, Jeremy Dyson calls the other members of The League of Gentlemen to talk about a new series idea he's had, in which everyone in Royston Vasey would wake up with a tail, but the other writers no longer wish to write the series and are keen to move on to new projects. Suddenly he is confronted by three characters from the series; Papa Lazarou and the Tattsyrups. Dyson tries to run, but falls off the edge of a cliff.
At the church in Royston Vasey, the local vicar, Bearnice Woodall, tells fellow residents Pauline Campbell-Jones and Mr. Chinnery that there are signs of The Apocalypse occurring.
Hilary Briss has escaped from prison and is on the moors near Royston Vasey. He finds Herr Lipp there and holds him hostage. Briss uses Lipp to steal a car, driven by Geoff Tipps. Fleeing fireballs, Briss leads them through a door in the church crypt, and they emerge a half-century later in the real town of Hadfield, Derbyshire, the setting for Royston Vasey in The League of Gentlemen television series.
With the situation explained to them by Lazarou and the Tattsyrups, Briss, Herr Lipp and Geoff Tipps travel to London. Lipp pretends to be his creator, Steve Pemberton, and goes home, where he discovers that Pemberton has been neglecting his family.
Briss and Tipps read through The League of Gentlemen's new project, a historical horror called The King's Evil. While Tipps continues to read, Briss chases after an escapee Pemberton and re-captures him, but when they return to the hideout, Briss discovers that Tipps has written himself into the plot of The King's Evil as the hero.
Lipp meanwhile has become deeply attached to Pemberton's family, in particular his children. He looks through some of Pemberton's personal belongings in order to find Pemberton's notes.
Briss takes Pemberton up to Hadfield, where Pemberton telephones Reece Shearsmith to tell him what has been going on. Shearsmith does not believe that Pemberton has been captured and thinks that Briss is playing a joke on him, so Briss comes to the phone. Shearsmith initially believes that Mark Gatiss is joining in on the "joke" when he opens a door and Gatiss is standing right in front of him. Shearsmith and Gatiss find and capture Herr Lipp, and they travel up to Hadfield.
They enter the dimensional door, go back to 1950s Royston Vasey, and swap their hostages, but Pemberton is killed by a stray gunshot. Dr Erasmus Pea tries to convince Briss to leave Royston Vasey and join him, but Briss refuses. Pea kills his fellow characters and turns them into a gigantic homunculus, which Briss fights. Shearsmith and Gatiss climb up the wall of church in order to escape, but Shearsmith falls to his death.
Briss kills the monster, but he himself is stabbed in the back by Pea. Before he dies, he tells Tipps that he is the only one who can save Royston Vasey. Tipps fights with Dr. Pea, while Gatiss tries to return to modern world. However, he is stopped by Herr Lipp, who holds him at gunpoint. Tipps manages to kill Pea using part of the homunculus, but the chaos still goes on. In the church, Lipp says he will kill Gatiss. The other characters try to dissuade him, as they believe that once all the writers are dead, Royston Vasey will cease to exist and all of them will die. Lipp claims that they will in fact be better off, because as long as they're being controlled by someone else they have no free will and can never change for the better. Tipps tells Lipp that because he managed to save the day and can therefore change, Lipp does not need to kill Gatiss. He persuades Herr Lipp to hand him the gun, only for Tipps to accidentally fire it and kill Gatiss himself.
With all the writers now dead, the residents of Royston Vasey prepare for the worst, but instead, everything calms down and The Apocalypse ends. The characters realise they now have free will. Herr Lipp adopts some orphaned children, the vet, Mr Chinnery, finds a rabbit and is able to take care of it without killing it, and Bearnice now believes in God. Tipps leaves the church, waving goodbye to Edward, Tubbs and Papa Lazarou. It appears that Royston Vasey can continue to exist independently of its dead creators.
However, Dyson is still alive and in a coma after falling off the cliff. Everyone else in the world now has tails.
Nearly all of the action involves the characters Herr Lipp, Hilary Briss and Geoff Tipps, played by Steve Pemberton, Mark Gatiss and Reece Shearsmith respectively. Other characters such as Mr Chinnery, Pauline Campbell-Jones, Mickey Michaels, Barbara Dixon, Reverend Bernice Woodall, Tubbs & Edward Tattsyrup and Papa Lazarou also feature. The actors also play themselves, as well as three other characters from their new project, a 17th-century gothic horror entitled The King's Evil. Visual effects are used to show several characters played by the same actor interacting at once. The fourth member of The League of Gentlemen, Jeremy Dyson, who is not an actor, is played by Michael Sheen.
- Mark Gatiss as Himself / Matthew Chinnery / Hilary Briss / Mickey / Sir Nicholas Sheet-Lightning
- Steve Pemberton as Himself / Tubbs / Pauline / Herr Lipp / Lemuel Blizzard
- Reece Shearsmith as Himself / Edward / Papa Lazarou / Geoff / Bernice / Father Halfhearte / Red Devil
- Michael Sheen as Jeremy Dyson
- Emily Woof as Lindsay
- Danielle Tilley as Dahlia
- Bruno Langley as Damon
- Alan Morrissey as Johnny
- Liana O'Cleirigh as Claire
- Victoria Wood as Queen Mary II
- David Warner as Dr. Erasmus Pea
- Bernard Hill as King William III
- Simon Pegg as Peter Cow
- Peter Kay as Simon Pig
- Liam Cunningham as Director
- Rachel Rath (uncredited) as Homunculus
The film premiered to generally positive reviews, with review-aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes shows that 83% of critics gave the film a positive review, with an average of 6.8 out of 10, based on 8 reviews.
- Track listing
- "Apocalypse Theme"- 1:47
- "Little Brown Fish"- 3:45
- "Leaving for London"- 1:03
- "Meteors"- 2:25
- "Pig Funeral"- 0:52
- "Storm Over Royston Vasey"- 1:21
- "Stripped Down Theme"- 0:57
- "Have You Seen Me?"- 1:33
- "Dr Pea"- 2:00
- "Into the Crypt"- 1:21
- "An Humunculus"- 4:30
- "The Kings' Evil"- 1:55
- "Herr Lipp in the Attic"- 1:32
- "Herr Lipp Unmasked"- 2:21
- "Arise Sir Geoffrey"- 1:19
- "Back in Royston Vasey"- 3:54
- "Hilary Versus the Humunculus"- 3:09
- "It's a Miracle"- 3:02
- "End Titles"- 3:26
- Official website
- The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse at the Internet Movie Database
- The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse at Rotten Tomatoes