Tag Archives: 1993

Beyond weird: Phil Collins’ noir short film Calliope

You couldn’t make it up. And I haven’t. On a lazy YouTube Saturday (you know how they go), I happened across this genuine oddity starring Phil Collins (‘Sussudio’) as Jackson Dover, an unctuous thriller writer who creates a character – femme fatale Calliope – only for her to “come to life” and start blowing away his critics. Martin Jarvis (who I’ve only recently worked out is the spitting image of Geoffrey from Rainbow) gamely supports as Dover’s suave, Lego-haired, dickie-bowed agent.

It’s a kind of weird, wish-fulfilment, meta-noir that never quite manages to vault Collins’ innate smugness, and gets in a bit of a fangle towards the end due to its own clever-cleverness. But, you know what? It’s actually kinda fun (and keep watching to the end for a couple of great cameos, one of which connects it to Robert Altman’s The Player; a film it superficially resembles). Apparently it was made in 1993 as part of a film course at the Royal College of Art by director Alun Harris.

Credit to YouTuber (and massive Phil Collins fan, if his playlists are anything to go by) bastidiaz for the upload. Enjoy:

Top 6: Clips from National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon 1 (that I could find on YouTube)

Why? Because. That’s why.

1. “Shoot him!”

Why it’s great: Because when I bring the subject up at dinner parties, surprisingly few people know that it’s based on this completely fucking outrageous piece of acting from Ice-T in New Jack City.

2. Gratuitous beaver shot

Why it’s great: Because look at Jon Lovitz’ (and everyones’) clothes.

3. “Wilderness Girls!”

Why it’s great: Because just listen to the way Tim Curry says the word “quota”.

4. Leary, Shatner and the fish

Why it’s great: Because of what William Shatner does at the fish tank.

5. Charlie Sheen’s ridiculous cameo

Why it’s great: Because of the line “Got anything larger?”. And look at Emilio Estevez’ hair.

6. “The right! I meant stay to the right!”

Why it’s great: Because the editing is world class.

In conclusion: Absolutely one of the most underrated comedies of the 1990s, in my humble yet almost certainly correct opinion. Also brilliant for the way in which Emilio Estevez unhinged performance pretty much predicted how Mel Gibson would end up in real life. So, so good. They don’t make them like this anymore.