Jabberwocky is a 1977 British fantasy film co-written and directed by Terry Gilliam. It stars Michael Palin as a young cooper who is forced through clumsy, often slapstick misfortunes to hunt a terrible dragon after the death of his father. The name is taken from the nonsense poem "Jabberwocky" in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass.
The movie contains examples of:
- Ax-Crazy: The guy with the "diamonds", aka a bunch of rocks.
- Black Comedy: Mild-mannered Dennis allows himself to be sent off to defeat the monster and succeeds, winning the hand of the beautiful princess who adores him, but he does it all for the love of ugly, greedy, unpleasant Griselda who is barely aware that he exists and who only notices him when it's too late. Well, it's a Terry Gilliam film.
- Black Knight: The city merchants hire one to ambush the king's champion, and winds up fighting the monster himself.
- Bloody Hilarious: The jousting scene. We never see the impact of the combatants, only the royal box and its inhabitants (the King, his chancellor and the princess) getting increasingly splattered with gore.
- Also the monster's method of killing people which leaves just a horribly grimacing head attached to a skeleton, exactly like the remains of a fish eaten by a human.
- ...The whole film, really.
- The Cameo: Terry Gilliam himself shows up as an Ax-Crazy guy who thinks he's found a diamond mine (really, he's just found a pile of rocks). Terry Jones turns up as a trapper who's the first on-screen victim of the Jabberwock.
- Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Mr. Fishfinger and his family are very rude to Dennis after he saves them from bandits
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: The merchants of the city think the monster is the best thing to happen for business, so they'd rather it not be killed.
- Dolled-Up Installment: It was released in some areas as Monty Python's Jabberwocky, despite half of the group having no involvement.
- Although Neil Innes, sometimes called the seventh Python, does appear.
- The Dung Ages
- Funny Background Event: while the princess is fawning over Dennis, thinking he's a prince come to rescue her, an actual prince tries to climb up to her tower, only to fall to his death as soon as he gets to the top
- Jerkass: Griselda, Mr. Fishfinger, the merchants
- Nothing Is Scarier: the monster is never seen until the very end
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: One of the king's heralds doesn't use overly complicated words, but does use something like 20 words when 5 would suffice. The king eventually has him summarily executed out of pure annoyance.
- Toilet Humor: Dennis gets pissed on several times over the course of the movie.
- Too Dumb to Live: When the king discovers that his land is threatened by the Jabberwock, he holds a contest to find the strongest knight in the land, by having all the knights battle each other to the death. Simply putting all his knights together into a single army, with all of them alive, apparently just wasn't done back then.
- Visual Pun: The knight selected as the King's champion who is killed by the Black Knight before he can fight the Jabberwock has a red fish on his helmet. In other words, he's the Knight of the Red Herring.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Dennis' dad takes the opportunity of being on his deathbed to tell Dennis how much he despises him.
Dennis: Dad's delirious, I'm afraid.Neighbour: No he's not!
- Wholesome Crossdresser: One of the princess' nuns is apparently a man in disguise. No explanation is given for this.