"Eat hot lead, Fritz!"
— Winston Churchill
June 1940 — England's darkest hour. The entire British army has surrendered at Dunkirk
. A demoralised Winston Churchill
is planning to retire in a few days. Chris the farm labourer can't join the army because his hands are too big
to fit inside a trigger guard, and The Vicar
is keeping his beautiful daughter Daisy
at arms length. Meanwhile Those Wacky Nazis
have an Evil Plan
— dig a tunnel under the English Channel to London, capture Churchill and end the war in one stroke! Mustering what little forces he has, Churchill orders a retreat to Scot Land — a wild and uncivilised country populated by savage warriors
with huge hands, lead by the legendary Braveheart
. As Churchill's Ragtag Band of Misfits Hold the Line
at Hadrian's Wall, Chris must go on a lone quest to seek out England's last hope, and the reason for his massive mitts.
Unfortunately any story this epic has to be scaled down, say to about 1/6 size. That's right — this is the UK's answer to Team America: World Police
. Your Mileage May Vary over whether it matches that movie for laughs, but it has its moments particularly if you're a fan of British World War II
movies. Or if you're Scottish.
The movie contains the following tropes:
- Actor Allusion
- Amazon Brigade: The FANY's, and that "wild pack of bloody Bavarian bitches!"
- Anachronism Stew: The German army that attacks Hadrian's Wall advance in Roman testudo formation and have motorbike-mounted Battering Rams. Their opponents make use of catapults, Napoleonic uniforms and muskets, German weapons captured by La Résistance, and a WWI biplane.
- Artistic License - History: Listing every instance would be an exercise in futility.
- Apathetic Citizens: Chris makes a Rousing Speech and calls on everyone to help save Churchill. They want to go to the pub instead.
- Battle Cry: The Scots shout "Och aye!" as they're charging the Nazis.
- Biggus Dickus: It's implied that not only Chris' hands are big...
- Big "NO!": Fiske shouts this when the brave Brit rushing to start his plane gets killed.
- Blatant Lies: Loudspeakers declare "THE GERMAN ARMY IS YOUR FRIEND!" as said army guns down civilians in Trafalgar Square.
- Boom, Headshot: Bet you never thought you'd see one happen to a puppet!
- Break Out the Museum Piece
- British Teeth: Seen on General Montgomery, among others.
- Commie Nazis: US volunteer pilot Fiske appears to be generally confused as to which ideology he's fighting. He also thinks Mr Churchill is a President and his Praetorian Guard are Indians. Which they are, actually.
- Day of the Jackboot: Obviously.
- Double Entendre: Loads of 'em
Monty: (after the tunnel opens) "The Nazis are coming right up our behind!"
- Drag Queen: Adolf Hitler dressed as Queen Victoria. Wielding a diamond-covered Luger, no less.
- Drill Tank: Literally — it's a panzer with a drill stuck to its front.
- Dutch Courage: When the Vicar gets drunk and starts insulting the advancing Germans, Churchill orders the barrel to be rolled out.
Vicar: "Come and fight me — my God against yours!"
Soldier: "Sorry sir, he must have found his way back to the bottle."
Vicar: "Sausage eating wankers! (echo) WANKERS! WANKERS! WANKERS!"
Churchill: "Let us take example from the Church. Double the ale ration, two pints per man!"
- Fake Scot: It is rumored that legendary Scottish warrior Braveheart is actually Australian.
- Fake Ultimate Hero: Suggested with Captain England.
- Fun with Acronyms: The letters on the sides of the Spitfires are UFO (the O being the RAF roundel) and, on Fiske's plane UFOK. The FANY's are the butt of several jokes, but this is true even of the real First Aid Nursing Yeomanry.
- Gasmask Mooks: Who breathe like Darth Vader.
- Gondor Calls for Aid: Beacon fires are lit to signal the invasion.
- Gorn: Yes, it is possible to do this with marrionettes.
- Grim Up North: Scot Land is an uncivilised place full of murky woods, the wreckage of Lost Roman Legions, impaled skeletons, and bloodthirsty blue-faced savages with huge hands.
- Here There Be Dragons: The excessive detail of the map of Britain stops abruptly at the Scottish border, which shows no towns or roads at all.
- Heroic Sacrifice: The Nazis jump out of the Hindenburg when it starts falling.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Ewan McGregor, Rosamund Pike, Richard E. Grant, Timothy Spall, Richard O'Brien and Richard Griffiths.
- Historical-Domain Character: Many. Billy Fiske was a real RAF pilot, although he was likely less of a Cloud Cuckoolander in real life.
- I Am the Noun: Chris bemoans the fact that he's not allowed to join the military because the government says his hands are too big. Winston Churchill declares "I am the government!"
- Ink-Suit Actor: Chris looks an awful lot like Ewan McGregor.
- Kick the Dog: The evil zeppelin commander flies past Captain England and targets a baby carriage instead. Fortunately a gust of wind deflects the bomb onto Captain England anyway.
- La Résistance: Gaston, who is quite the ladies' man.
- Not If They Enjoyed It Rationalisation: A Scot drags a screaming German blonde into his tent.
German: "Nein, nein, nein!"
Scot: "Take that!"
German: "Oh ja!"
- Man in a Kilt
"So, the stories are true. Men in skirts!"
- Meet the New Boss: The Scots throw the Germans out of England, then take over the country themselves.
- Million Mook March: The German army puts on a victory parade in London.
- Monumental Damage: Those German swine blow up Nelson's Column and the Cenotaph. And 10 Downing Street...eventually.
- Moses in the Bullrushes: Chris as a baby.
- Music for Courage: Daisy starts singing the hymn "Jerusalem" as the German army advances.
Churchill: "That's it: Sing! Sing!"
Everyone: "And was Jerusalem builded here, upon those dark satanic mills..."
- Praetorian Guard: Churchill's loyal Punjabi bodyguards are the only British army unit that wasn't captured at Dunkirk.
- Puppet King: Averted as the King of England is thrown in the Tower of London by the Nazis. Of course, you might say he was a puppet king in the first place.
"You fools! Don't you know I'm ¾ German?"
- Ragtag Band of Misfits: Elite Punjabi guards, gun-toting FANY's, an American volunteer in a biplane, and a Home Guard made up of men of the land — are all that's left between England and Nazi domination.
- Ramming Always Works
- Retraux: Presented in glorious Panzervision.
- Rousing Speech: Frequently spoofed.
Churchill: "Never, in the field of human conflict, was so much, buggered up, by so few, for so many!"
- Shout-Out: Spoofs Stiff Upper Lip war movies set in World War II and earlier, as well as more recent films like Lord of the Rings and Braveheart. Also Churchill in a pin-stripe suit, wielding a drum-fed Thompson submachine gun, is from a famous WW2 photo.
- Sole Survivor: Fiske is the last remaining member of The Few.
- Stiff Upper Lip: They don't get any stiffer!
- The Vicar, who's also a Badass Preacher with hints of Sinister Minister.
- X Meets Y: Described as "Team America: World Police crashing headfirst into Inglourious Basterds."
- Zeppelins from Another World: The Hindenburg makes an appearance, apparently none the worse for having exploded. It's armoured now however.
- Zerg Rush: The German army when attacking Hadrian's Wall. But then again, it's difficult for marionettes to do anything else.