Blu Ray Review: The Comic (1985) Arrow Video

The Comic is so bad it is literally painful to your soul to watch. For some reason, the good folks at Arrow Films have decided to remaster this mess of a film. I can only imagine it is for the cult fans, let’s get into it…

Stand-up comedy can be a cut-throat business, but in Sam Coex’s world, it’s downright murder… In a dystopian police state reality of indeterminate time and place, orange bouffant-haired comedian Coex is eager for his big break. Realising that desperate times call for even more desperate measures, he slits the throat of his rival Joey Myers, leaving the way clear for him to carve his own niche on the comedy circuit. But success can be a fickle and fleeting mistress, and Sam soon finds his career on a downward turn when he falls foul of the powers that be.

An issue with The Comic is that it isn’t even laugh out loud funny bad. It is just a dull flaccid of a film that. It would almost be a redeemable asset to the film if it tried to be the fun type of bad film. There is no possible enjoyment obtainable from this film and that is something that I didn’t think was possible. From the sets, to the acting to the story, this is a piece of cinema that would be best if it was forgotten…

I used to work in a cinema that would showcase High school and University end of year short films and honestly, next to nothing compares from those student films as with The Comic. It is on another level of bad. A further example is that I remember seeing a short film at a local festival that had characters walk to a Chinese takeaway, talk in the Chinese takeaway, walk home and eat the takeaway while discussing next to nothing. That at least had intrigue in their world-building, I mean where was this Chinese located?

We have a film that is set in the future, for absolutely no reason. There is no plot advancement reason for having the film set in the world it is in other than to use large empty rooms as sets to save money on set decorating and then fill it with smoke to give the allure of dystopia…

Also, it appears that Director/writer Richard Driscoll was a massive fan of Shakespeare as there is a multitude of callbacks to Macbeth and Hamlet, whether purposeful or not, it falls flat here and just continues to cause bewilderment to how I am watching it in 2020. Speaking of callbacks we even return to scenes at the start of the film that I assume are meant to bring us around have a realisation of the situation. These just do not work and causes even more frustration than originally thought possible.

Is this a UK Grindhouse film? Not a clue, could this work in a group setting for people who know it is a shocker? Possibly, but this isn’t on The Room levels where you can have fun with the nonsense. It is a frustratingly poor film that I am sure only Richard Driscoll knows how it was intended, but even to that, I have my doubts.

The absolute worst part of all of this? It is the fact that there is so much room for a potentially good film. A film set in a dystopian world where comics are still trying to make it? A poor comic murders his way to the top to become the most famous of comics before his inevitable downfall? There is a lot of room here to make something good… Yet here we are with this supposed film. Watch it if you dare.

LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS

Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative

High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation

Original uncompressed mono audio

Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

Brand new introduction with actor Steve Munroe

Newly-filmed interview with actor Steve Munroe

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by The Twins of Evil

EXCLUSIVE O-card with alternate design by The Twins of Evil

Disc wise there is next to not too much to go with here as I would have hoped for at least a commentary, especially for a film that is bad, to see that the people who made the film had fun. We are left with just material from Steve Munroe, which is okay in the grand schemes of things.


Horror | UK, 1985 | 15 | Blu Ray release 31st August| Arrow Video | Dir. Richard Driscoll | Steve Munroe, Berderia Timini, Jeff Pirie