Mr. Accident (2000)

Rating:

Australia. 2000.

Crew

Director – Yahoo Serious, Screenplay – Yahoo Serious & David Roach, Producers – Yahoo Serious & Warwick Ross, Photography – Steve Arnold, Music – Nerida Tyson-Chew, Visual Effects – Animal Logic Film, Special Effects Supervisor – John Bowring, Art Direction – Kerri Ainsworth & Brian Edmonds. Production Company – United Artists (Mr Accident) Ltd/Serious Entertainment

Cast

Yahoo Serious (Roger Crumpkin), Helen Dallimore (Sunday Valentine), David Field (Duxton Chevalier), Grant Piro (Lyndon), Jeanette Cronin (Rikki)


Plot

The accident-prone Roger Crumpkin is a repairman with The Big Egg egg-processing company in Sydney, Australia. His hobby is dissembling things. Big Egg is forcibly taken over by the CEO’s ruthless nephew Duxton Chevalier. Duxton’s girlfriend Sunday Valentine walks out on him and moves into Roger’s apartment block. By accident, she walks into Roger’s apartment and the two are instantly attracted to one another. The unworldwise Roger tries to ask her out and appeals to her interest in finding proof of extra-terrestrial life. He believes that a hubcap he finds in a quarry is extra-terrestrial in origin in that it cannot be damaged in any way. However, Sunday walks out on Roger because of his accident-prone ways. Roger and Duxton realise they are both after the same women. As Duxton employs ruthless methods to get Sunday back and eliminate Roger, Roger decides to stand up against Duxton’s plans to market nicotine-laced eggs.


Australia’s Yahoo Serious [real name Greg Pead] is a quadruple creative threat, not only writing, directing and producing his own films but also acting as his own star. Serious first emerged with Young Einstein (1988), which proved a reasonable international hit with its surreally offbeat alternate world take on the life of Albert Einstein as a Australian surfer. Serious returned with his second film Reckless Kelly (1993), which offered a wacky modernised updating of the Australian folk hero outlaw Ned Kelly. Mr. Accident was Yahoo Serious’s third film and the last he has made to date.

Yahoo Serious is very much a like him or hate him director. Young Einstein was regarded likeably by many but Serious’s quirkily individualistic humour failed to translate particularly well across the Pacific, with the film receiving poor reviews in the US and American audiences simply not getting it. Neither Reckless Kelly nor Mr. Accident did much business outside of Australasia either. Yahoo Serious specialises in a kind of hysteric slapstick surrealism. His work suggests something of the visual slapstick of a Buster Keaton or a Charlie Chaplin combined with the kitsch silliness of a Pee-Wee Herman. However, his films often seem funnier to read about than they do in actuality. Watching them, they tend to bring an amused smile rather than an uproarious laughter. Even when making crude, not very funny innuendos, Serious’s films often have a childlike innocence to them.

Here Serious throws up some giddily surreal slapstick sequences – the opening scene in his apartment where everything goes wrong with water pipes exploding, he placing a clothes iron on his ear thinking it a telephone, electrically shocking himself, and the vacuum cleaner accidentally becoming a flamethrower as he tries to put a burning curtain out; or the sequence where he is pursued down several flights of stairs by hundreds of tumbling trashcans. There is the oddly amusing sight gag, like the image of the Sydney Opera House having been replaced with giant eggs. As a whole though, Mr. Accident, as indeed is the case with Yahoo Serious’s other films, a little too scattershot and unfocused in its humour. The final gag where the hubcap finally does take off into orbit is predictable.



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