After appearing in the web seriesThe Proxy, famous YouTube reviewer-man Dr Stuart Ashen wanted to harness the talents of the crew who worked on it to do his own bidding... He talked with the director, Riyad Barmania, about the possibilty of producing his own feature film.The result, announced on Ashen's channel in March 2013 and released on 8 August 2013, is Ashens and the Quest for the Gamechild (or "GameChild", or "Game Child"), an indie comedy adventure film starring Ashen as himself, as well as YouTubers such as Chris Kendall (Crabstickz), Dan Tomlinson (of Guksack) and PJ Liguori (KickthePJ). It also features the actors Robert Llewellyn, Kerry Gilbert, Millie Reeves and Warwick Davis.The movie is about (as the name implies) the protagonist Ashens going on a quest to search for a Game Boy rip-off called the Game Child. He meets his Old Friend Geoffrey "Chef" Excellence, who encourages him to do so. On the way, he encounters two ex-girlfriends, his old university professor, his improvisational jazz musician neighbour the Silver Skull, and his annoying nemesis, Nemesis.When the movie was announced, Ashens asked fans to donate funds for the movie via the crowdfunding website Indiegogo. The accumulated funds raised are about US$74,000 (£49,000), about $24,000 (£16,000) over the goal; $100,000 (£64,000) had already been contributed by the online production company ChannelFlip.The film is available to watch for free online—here. It is also available for purchase on DVD and Blu-ray.
This film contains examples of the following tropes:
Ashens: Well that was bloody obvious, wasn't it? There's nothing worse than a preachy claymation.
Dressing as the Enemy: Subverted, then played straight. After Ashens and Chef Excellence capture two security guards, Ashens suggests that they use the same method as Luke and Han in ''A New Hope'. They then dress up as Stormtroopers, and are found out by security. They go back in security uniforms.
Evil Inc.: The Terrifically Good Company treats its employees like crap, sells chemically-enhanced junk food to kids and was run by Ashley's dad who wanted to get his hands on all the Game Childs because they were smuggled nuclear bomb components in disguise
Foreshadowing: At the start of the story Ashens is hunting for an intrinsically worthless toy, but rejects the one offered because it's actually the genuine toy and therefore not worthless tat. He throws away the Game Child at the end of the film because it turns out to be part of a smuggled nuclear bomb and tremendously valueable, and therefore not worthless tat
Fun with Subtitles: Subtitles are used to "translate" the Norfolk dialect in the pub scene into Standard English; a lot of it is understandable anyway.
My Little Panzer: The Game Child was recalled because it was "frying kids' eyes and burning their fingers". Later on, it's revealed that they had been packed with smuggled plutonium and nuclear bomb components, and the one remaining unit in the wild was the trigger.
Mysterious Note: In the magazine Ashens receives; we later learn it was put there by Ashley.
Present Day Past: The flashback to 1991 looks exactly the same as present day (barring Ashens and Nemesis dressed in outrageously exaggerated outfits), mostly noticeable with all the cars in the background. Obviously for budget reason.
Race Lift: The original Chef Excellence on the Stay Fresh bags was a stock photo of a white guy with what may have been red hair, whereas Dan Tomlinson has a darker skin tone and black hair. The Chef Excellence puppet Stuart's been using has a very dark skin tone and black hair, so the film's character was probably based on that rather than the stock photo.
Rapid-Fire Typing: Ashens on the ORACLE and Chef Excellence on the Terrifically Good Company system.
Riches to Rags: Both Chef Excellence and Chef Brilliance were the face of the Terrifically Good Company's products; the former was fired, and the latter demoted to security.
Silver Skull: I'm dying here! I can quote whatever I like!
The opening to the film has a very similar style to the ones seen in James Bond films.
The ORACLE vault door scene is a major shout out to the "play the bones" scene in The Goonies, down to Ashens' dead-on impression of Andi.
The asylum scene where Ashens gets advice from Guru Larry has cameos by That Guy With The Glasses contributors Film Brain and Mike J. Film Brain is actually credited as "himself", while Mike J. is credited as "Crestfallen Man".