Dir: Paul Fenech. Australia. 2003. 97mins.
If there was an international festival for the grossest, most politically incorrect films of 2003, Fat Pizza would definitely be Australia's submission, and short-priced favourite for top honours. A spin-off from two seasons of a cult sitcom on SBS, Australia's multi-cultural television channel, and a national stageshow tour, this ultra-low-brow, ultra-low-budget feature will no doubt delight hardcore fans as much as it will dismay the unwary, which includes the rest of the known world. A healthy local DVD/video life can also be confidently predicted.
The Fat Pizza franchise is the creation of Paul Fenech, who here co-writes, co-produces, directs and plays the cheekily charismatic leading pizza delivery guy. Fenech's family heritage is Maltese and his cast reflects the mixed ethnicity of Sydney's 'Inner West': Lebanese, Italian, Greek, Turkish and Vietnamese. And yet the rampaging humour is definitely Australian, with anarchic anti-establishment roots going back through Priscilla: Queen of The Desert, Barry MacKenzie and the early Paul Hogan.
Linking sketches and comedy moments in a galloping Pythonesque fashion, a tenuous storyline emerges. Chainsaw-wielding pizza chef Bobo (Boxer) orders a Vietnamese bride (Le) via the internet and she arrives as an illegal refugee with a boatload of her family. Meanwhile, it is Davo Dinkum's (Jabba) first day delivering pizzas, so long-serving Pauly (Fenech) and Sleek (Nakad) guide him through gangland dangers, police brutality, copious drugs availability, rival fast food wars and a ceaseless parade of sex-mad women.
Fart jokes, shit jokes and vomit jokes share screentime with disabled jokes, midget jokes and murdering backpacker tourists jokes. Extreme violence erupts, blood pours, royalty is rogered, cockroaches get mashed into the pizza dough, while the audience winces in anticipation of the next outrage.
Minor Aussie sporting and showbiz celebrities make fleeting appearances; Annalise Braakensiek shows why Inside Sport magazine declared her Model of the Year. The throbbing soundtrack is packed with local bands recruited through classified advertisements in the Sydney street press. There's no doubting the wild, non-stop energy and commitment of Fenech and his cohorts. When it comes to 'gross out', they leave Ali G and the American Pie team gasping.
Prod cos: Fat Pizza Productions, Village Roadshow Australian Films
Aust dist: Village Roadshow
Prods: Fenech, Tanith Carroll, Jeff Purser
Scr: Fenech, Tahir Bilgic
Cinematography: Mike Kliem
Prod des: Sarah McCarron
Ed: David Rudd
Main cast: Fenech, Johnny Boxer, Paul Nakad, Jabba, Tahir Bilgic, Annalise Braakensiek, Tuyen Le