It was sometime, sometime on a trip to Uranus. Saturn, Pluto, Mars, who could blame us? Maybe sometime when the moon, no longer feels the pull of the Earth, we’ll be there at the new planet’s birth, and you and I, we will kiss! A supernova born of our bliss, for light years it could happen like this. A galaxy we could call home.

Year Released : 1999hv-1
Director : Martin Clunes
Cast : Martin Clunes, Neil Morrissey, Jane Horrocks, Mark Williams, Ben Miller, Danny Webb and Esther Coles.

It’s not often that I say this but quite frankly I would be astounded if anyone who reads this review will have ever heard of this film. There are many reasons for this, including the fact that at the time of writing it only has 212 rating votes on IMDB, barely averaging over a rating a month since it’s first appearance on British tv in 1999. That first appearance was also, as far as I am aware, the only appearance that it has ever made on TV.

I am pretty certain that this is the lowest profile film that I have reviewed so far. With such a low number of ratings and the very fact that the poster on the right looks completely unprofessional (just look at that font) and yet it’s the only one on Google Images. Ignoring the cast, if I saw that as the poster without knowing anything else about the film, I would avoid the film like the plague. All of this combines to make a fantastically obscure film lead by two of the best comedy actors of 1990s British televison.

This film came right at the end of the successful TV show, Men Behaving Badly, starring Clunes and Morrissey, and it uses their chemistry excellently, even though they are portraying different genders. There is something great and enjoyable about Clunes and Morrisey as a pair, and if you ever get a chance to watch Men Behaving Badly, I would seriously recommend it.

Anyway, enough of the Men Behaving Badly.

Plot

Over a decade after The Venus Hunters had a one hit wonder, Simon Delancy (Clunes) has turned to a life of crime. He regularly evades the police after robbing pensioners of their money and he celebrates one such escape by checking into a hotel run by Cassandra (Horrocks) and Jacqui (Coles). Much to Simon’s surprise, they know who he is having been obsessive fans in the 80s. They also know about his criminal record and blackmail him into getting the Venus Hunters back together.

Simon reluctantly agrees to find his old band members, none of whom actually like Simon due to various reasons. First on the list is the band’s singer, Charlie (Morrissey). Charlie’s parents claim that he is dead and the trio give in, only to then run into Charlie, who is now earning a living as a singer in a bar. All three are left stunned though as they soon realise that Charlie was so difficult to locate because he has had a sex change and now goes via Charlotte.

After initially refusing, Charlotte is convinced to join the reunion and this goes a long way to convincing the other members, nearly all of whom try and attack Simon upon sight.

hunting-venus-banner

 

So it’s a 80s music tribute?

Yes, you could say that. If you love British music from the 1980s then I get the serious feeling that you will love this. This is due to many reasons, including the very 80s influence on the song when you do eventually get to hear it, and best of all, the cameos from a plethora of familiar names.

This give you an idea of the dedication to the feeling 1980s nostalgia, here is a list of some of famous names that you’ve probably heard of that make a cameo;

Gary Numan

Phil Oakey

Simon Le Bon

Yasmin Le Bon

Tony Hadley

Midge Ure

and Jools Holland

It is definitely a fan service to those who lived through the 1980s, which leads me onto an interesting point as I loved it, even though most of the above names meant nothing to me growing up. I was born in September 1984, so I was only five years old when the 80s ended and even though a lot of my favourite films are from that decade, ultimately it means little to myself as a period of time.

That is my only real concern with this film, it appeals mainly to those that loved the 80s and whilst that is great, if you’re not actually overly bothered about that decade then you might struggle to get enthusiastic about it when you initially look into it. I would however seriously recommend giving it a fair chance. Even if you’re not overly a fan of British movie from the 1980s, you have to be impressed by how the they made a song with such an 80s vibe in the late 1990s. The below is the song from the end of the film and I have loved it ever since I heard it and it regularly features on whatever form of music player I am using.

Away from the 80s tribute, this is still a fairly enjoyable film and gives a great representation of England in the late 1990s. This is one of the great advantages of using actual locations rather than sets (for the most part), it gives a laid back feeling to the film and this eases you into the comedy, which is very subtle. British comedy is often very different to American comedy and it does take a bit of getting used to, as does Jane Horrocks’ accent.

The chemistry between the actors is what you would expect given that they had known each other for years, especially Clunes and Morrissey after their spell together on Men Behaving Badly. Clunes and Morrissey work so well together and although neither have quite shaken off their characters from Men Behaving Badly, both have gone on to have some very successful roles across a whole variety of genres. Clunes in particular has been a surprise, turning from a comedy actor to a dramatic actor.

Clunes has that fantastic ability to be deadly serious one minute and messing about the next. He reminds me a lot of my brother in law in that sense and I find this type of personality to be exceedingly likeable. Even though his character in Hunting Venus is not a particularly likeable person, but Clunes brings something that makes you want the character to do well. It’s not often that you want a character with villainous qualities to do well and in many ways, he is an antihero.

I unfortunately can’t write a particularly long review for this film as there isn’t really a lot to say, I’m struggling to find images to use and I am finding it difficult to say anything else about it.

Ultravox-Vienna---On-Hunti-135295

Summary

Hunting Venus is a generally enjoyable comedy that is unlike anything else that I have seen before. It is completely unique and that is something that I crave. I love seeing something that I haven’t seen before and this is definitely the case.

Don’t get in expecting it to be like an American comedy, it’s about as British as it can get and that is definitely a good thing.

Now normally I wouldn’t do this but as there is no actual trailer for this, I have decided to post the film below. Someone has uploaded the film on Youtube over 7 different parts, so I figure I would share this as it is one of the few (and even then I’m being generous) places that you can view the film. It’s not on iTunes, it’s not on any On Demand service, the last time I checked it wasn’t even on Amazon, so yeah, here it is if you’re interested.

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Comments
  1. Collette says:

    I watched it when it aired on ITV – loved it and have been searching for it ever since – nobody seems to have heard of it!!

    Like

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