The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse
|The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse|
|Directed by||Steve Bendelack|
|Produced by||Greg Brenman
|Written by||Jeremy Dyson
|Music by||Joby Talbot|
|Editing by||Tony Cranstoun|
Tiger Aspect Pictures
Hell's Kitchen International
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Release date(s)||3 June 2005|
|Running time||92 minutes|
The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse is a feature film spin-off of the popular British television comedy series The League of Gentlemen. Starring Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith, the film was written by the cast with Jeremy Dyson, and directed by Steve Bendelack. Also featuring in guest roles are Michael Sheen, Victoria Wood, David Warner, Alan Morrissey, Bruno Langley, Bernard Hill, Simon Pegg and Peter Kay.
The film was due for a UK release on 22 April 2005, but the release date was moved back to 3 June. Over 20 minutes of footage was deleted in the final cut.
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (January 2009)|
The League of Gentlemen have decided to work on a new project and stop working on their creations set in the town of Royston Vasey, the location of their TV series. One of the writers, Jeremy Dyson (played by Michael Sheen), does not want to do the project and keeps coming up with weak ideas in order to keep them alive, such as giving all the characters tails. After failing to convince the other members of The League, he is horrified to find one of the Royston Vasey characters, Tubbs Tattsyrup, in his bathroom. He runs for help, but is stopped by Edward Tattsyrup, who try to prevent Dyson from destroying them. Jeremy escapes and runs to the edge of a cliff. He pretends they do not exist, only to find out that they are real, when Papa Lazarou appears from behind and throws him off the cliff to his apparent death.
Back in Royston Vasey, the local vicar, Bearnice Woodall, tells fellow residents Pauline Campbell-Jones and Mr. Chinnery at the church that there are signs of The Apocalypse occurring. She tells them that she sent Tubbs, Edward and Papa Lazarou through a secret door into another dimension in order to stop it. Having heard no word, she assumes they died during the mission, and so they plan to go through the door.
However, in the moors near Royston Vasey, Hilary Briss has escaped from prison. He finds Herr Lipp on the moors and holds him hostage. Hilary uses Herr Lipp to steal a car, driven by Geoff Tipps. Hilary leads them to the church and through the door to the other dimension, before Bernice, Pauline and Chinnery do so.
When Hilary, Herr Lipp and Geoff come out, they are in Hadfield - the town where The League of Gentlemen is filmed. They have entered our dimension. They meet Papa Lazarou, who takes them to where he, Tubbs and Edward are hiding out. They explain that Royston Vasey is in fact a fictional place created by a troupe of comedians called "The League of Gentlemen". They know that they no longer want to continue Royston Vasey, so they were sent to prevent the writers from destroying the town. After throwing Jeremy off the cliff, only three of the writers remain: Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith. Hilary, Herr Lipp and Geoff are sent to persuade them to continue to write for Royston Vasey.
Hilary, Herr Lipp and Geoff travel to London. After sneaking into an office where Gatiss, Pemberton and Shearsmith are working, they discover the new project they are working on. However, Lipp bumps into Pemberton. Geoff knocks Pemberton unconscious and kidnaps him. Hilary and Geoff take Pemberton to their hideout (The Overlooked Hotel), while Lipp is mistaken for Pemberton. Lipp pretends to be his creator and goes home, where he discovers that Pemberton has been neglecting his family.
Hilary and Geoff read through The League of Gentlemen's new project, a historical horror called The King's Evil, in which a group of Catholics work together with a black magician called Dr. Pea (David Warner) in order to kill the Protestant King William III (Bernard Hill) and Queen Mary II (Victoria Wood) using a poisonous monster called a "Homunculus"(Rachel Rath). While they read, Pemberton escapes. Hilary chases him while Geoff continues to read. Hilary re-captures Pemberton, but when they return to the hideout, Hilary discovers Geoff has written himself into the plot of The King's Evil as the hero.
Herr Lipp meanwhile becomes deeply attached to Pemberton's family, in particular his children. He looks through some of Pemberton's personal belongings in order to find Pemberton's notes. He then becomes angry when he realises that he was created as a "One-joke character" and is depicted as grotesque. Meanwhile, in the plot of The King's Evil, Geoff is captured by Dr. Pea and his friends, where he's tortured by them to reveal all of his knowledge about what has been going on, including the writers.
Hilary takes Pemberton up to Hadfield, where he telephones Shearsmith about what has been going on. Shearsmith does not believe that Pemberton has been captured and that he is playing a joke on him, so Hilary comes to the phone. Shearsmith initially believes that Gatiss is joining in on the "joke" when he opens a door and Gatiss is standing right in front of him. Shearsmith and Gatiss find and capture Herr Lipp, who then travel up to Hadfield.
They enter the dimensional door and swap their hostages. When they exit the door, they have entered Royston Vasey, which is now in chaos. Hilary explains what has been going on, with the residents of Royston Vasey coming up with their own ideas. Just as Pemberton is about to create one of his own, he is killed by the characters from The King's Evil. They have managed to enter in Royston Vasey, along with Geoff who apologises for what has happened. Pea tries to convince Briss to leave Royston Vasey and join him, but Hilary refuses. Pea kills his fellow characters and turns them into a gigantic homunculus, which Hilary tries to fight. Shearsmith and Gatiss try and climb up the church in order to escape, but Shearsmith falls to his death as he climbs.
Hilary kills the monster, but he himself is stabbed in the back by Pea. Before he passes away, he tells Geoff that he is the only one who can save Royston Vasey. Geoff fights with Dr. Pea, while Gatiss tries to return to real world. However, he is stopped by Herr Lipp, who holds him at gunpoint. Geoff manages to kill Dr. Pea using part of the homunculus, but the chaos still goes on. In the church, Herr Lipp says he will kill Gatiss. The other characters try to dissuade him, as they believe that once all the writers are dead the Royston Vasey will cease to exist and all of them will die. Herr Lipp claims that they'd be better off that way, because as long as they're being controlled by someone else they have no free will and can therefore never change for the better. Geoff tells Herr Lipp that because he managed to save the day and can therefore change, he does not need to kill Gatiss. He persuades Herr Lipp to hand him the gun, only for Geoff to accidentally fire it and kill Gatiss himself.
The residents of Royston Vasey prepare for the worst, but nothing happens. Instead, everything calms down and The Apocalypse ends. Also, with the writers gone, the characters realise they now have free will. Herr Lipp adopts some orphaned children. Chinnery finds a rabbit and is able to take care of it without killing it. Bearnice believes in God. Geoff leaves the church, waving goodbye to Edward, Tubbs and Papa Lazarou. It appears that Royston Vasey can continue to exist independently of its dead creators.
However, Dyson is still alive and in a coma after falling off the cliff. Everyone else in the world now has tails.
Nearly all of the action involves the characters Herr Lipp, Hilary Briss and Geoff Tipps, played by Steve Pemberton, Mark Gatiss and Reece Shearsmith respectively. Other characters such as Mr Chinnery, Pauline Campbell-Jones, Mickey Michaels, Barbara Dixon, Reverend Bernice Woodall, Tubbs & Edward Tattsyrup and Papa Lazarou also feature. The actors also play themselves, as well as three other characters from their new project, a 17th century gothic horror entitled "The King's Evil". Visual effects are used to show several characters played by the same actor interacting at once. The fourth writer, Jeremy Dyson, who is not an actor, is played by Michael Sheen.
- Mark Gatiss as Himself / Matthew Chinnery / Hilary Briss / Mickey / Sir Nicholas Sheet-Lightning
- Steve Pemberton as Himself / Tubbs / Pauline / Herr Lipp / Lemuel Blizzard
- Reece Shearsmith as Himself / Edward / Papa Lazarou / Geoff / Bernice / Father Halfhearte / Red Devil
- Michael Sheen as Jeremy Dyson
- Emily Woof as Lindsay
- Danielle Tilley as Dahlia
- Bruno Langley as Damon
- Alan Morrissey as Johnny
- Liana O'Cleirigh as Claire
- Victoria Wood as Queen Mary II
- David Warner as Dr. Erasmus Pea
- Bernard Hill as King William III
- Simon Pegg as Peter Cow
- Peter Kay as Simon Pig
- Liam Cunningham as Director
The film premiered to generally positive reviews, with review-aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes shows that 83% of critics gave the film a positive review, with an average of 6.8 out of 10, based on 6 reviews.