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FAT PIZZA VS HOUSOS Flat Bread And Media Circuses

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Directed by Paul Fenech

Starring Paul Fenech,  John Boxer, Elle Dawe

 

There is little denying the popularity of Paul Fenech’s brand of comedy. Both Fat Pizza and Housos ran for multiple seasons (five in the case of Pizza) and garnered their own big screen outing. All this is not even touching on his other shows such as Swift And Shift or the reality TV of Bogan Hunters (which both briefly appear in the film). It’s safe to say that Fenech has seen a niche and capitalised on it, giving us a dose of larrikinism. Fat Pizza Vs Housos is like a Best Of album, combining all those things that have worked before and frantically throwing them at the screen again. If you are a fan this should have you jumping for joy, if not, it will make you wish for a convenient pizza oven to crawl into.

After 15 years in prison for a disagreement with a health inspector (involving a chainsaw), Bobo Gigliotti (John Boxer) is out and looking to make pizza again. With the aid of his beloved Mama, he sets up shop in the less than ideal location of Sunnyvale. The question is can the new Fat Pizza survive the junkies, bogans, bikies, and brewing gang war of this suburb?

Fat Pizza Vs Housos is every bit as frenetic and loud as its small screen counterpart. In fact it is exactly the same thing, just longer. There is little in the way of story development or even a consistent flow. It is just a series of skits loosely hung together, on the barest framework, never afraid of heading off on some pointless tangent in search of a laugh or two. Editing, camera angles, and music are all as rough and ready and as over the top as the characters – all of whom return, for a cavalcade of fan favourites.

Despite all the racism, sexism, and ableism, there is a genuine sense of satire here. It is even-handed in the way it dishes it out, and everyone gets a good serving. At times it even makes a good point, cutting close to the political bone in saying something absolutely untoward but entirely correct, the way only comedy can. Sure, it isn’t subtle in this; Fat Pizza Vs Housos achieves this by casting a wide net and then hammering away in an almost maniacal fashion, but it does land a few pertinent points at times. The question is if this trade-off is worth it, for the majority of the times those jokes don’t land, only appealing in the most base way possible. So basically tits, violence and making fun of some minority – all in as deliberately offensive a fashion as it can muster.

For fans this is the half and half that had to happen. That morning after pizza that you forgot you had, but needed to tide you over, a slice of the good life. For the rest of us it is that 2am dodgy reheated pizza that has been sitting under the servo warmer for at least a day. Tastes like regret.

 

DAVID O’CONNELL

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