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Film / Gorilla, Interrupted

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Gorilla, Interrupted is a 2003 No Budget comedy-action film directed by Mike Stoklasa. It stars Stoklasa, Rich Evans, Jay Bauman and Garrett Gilchrist. The film was the first significant collaboration between Stoklasa, Evans and Bauman, who would later go on to form RedLetterMedia. The film was remastered with new effects in 2013 and released to DVD along with a retrospective making-of documentary called How Not to Make a Movie.

The plot concerns a Mad Scientist, a Killer Gorilla, a Quincy Punk with a nuclear guitar, and a Gentleman Adventurer, who all face off with each other as well as aliens and Satan himself. It's pretty random.

Gorilla, Interrupted features examples of:

  • Alien Invasion: Aliens arrive on Earth looking to steal the battle pack, destroy the planet, and then rule it, in that order.
  • Author Appeal: Rich, a Chicago native and Bears fan, wears his Bears jersey early in the film. He spends most of the film in a Bears T-shirt reading "Phuck Filadelphia."
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: An alien looks into the camera and presents a can of Crystal Pepsi to the audience, then pours it all over its face.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Dex can't express his feelings for Julie until the end.
  • Creator In-Joke:
    • The scene of Ray falling down the hill through brambles is a reference to another amateur film created by Jay Bauman in which Rich Evans falls down the same hill in a similar manner.
    • The rather pointless scene where an alien pours Crystal Pepsi onto its face seems to be a covert dig at actor Garret Gilchrist. Stoklasa was irritated during filming at Gilchrist's attempts to insert new scenes into the film, including one where his character has soda dumped on his head.
  • Flipping the Bird: Characters are constantly flipping each other off. To a bunch of 20-year-olds in the late 90s, this probably seemed pretty edgy.
  • George Lucas Altered Version: Ironic coming from a company who made it big mocking Lucas, but the version they put out in DVD is an example of this trope. The entire film was Re-Cut, though they discovered that the limited coverage they shot left them unable to make many significant improvements. They also redid many of the special effects, but attempted to keep them within their original DIY aesthetic so they wouldn't be jarring. Some major changes include:
    • The flying saucers are physical props rather than extremely crude CGI.
    • The background of Hell is a footage of a model landscape rather than static images pulled off of Google.
    • Jesus is depicted as a live-action person (played by Jack Packard) rather than by crudely animating the mouth of a static Jesus portrait.
  • Gentleman Adventurer: Jacob Spaulding is a stuffy British naturalist and hunter who wears khaki.
  • Killer Gorilla: Ray gets zapped by a nuclear guitar, which makes him turn into a gorilla when he's angry.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • People frequently describe the aliens as looking like people in really bad alien costumes.
    • Dex asks why hell looks like a bad special effect.
  • Mad Scientist: Dex is a brilliant inventor who makes dangerous weapons with super-science, but he's actually quite dim-witted.
  • MacGuffin: The villains want Dex's Battle Pack.
  • Meaningful Name: Sid is obviously named and styled after Sid Vicious of The Sex Pistols.
  • Middle Eastern Terrorists: Dex innocently mentions that a guy named Machmed has hired him to make a bomb because "he has an important building he needs to blow up."
  • Monster Mash: The film features a Mad Scientist, a Killer Gorilla, a Quincy Punk with a nuclear guitar, and a Gentleman Adventurer, who all face off with each other as well as aliens and Satan.
  • Non-Indicative Name: "Gorilla, Interrupted" means nothing to the film except for the fact that it contains a gorilla. The plot does not revolve around the gorilla specifically. The filmmakers settled in accident. While bandying name suggestions around, Stoklasa suggested Girl, Interrupted Part 2, but someone heard "Gorilla Interrupted," and they just went with it.
  • Pastiche: Jacob's dialogue, mostly supplied by Garrett Gilchrist, is an attempt to imitate Monty Python, and it really shows.
  • The Power of Love: The final villain is defeated by a declaration of love. Afterwards, Sid calls it a stupid cliche.
  • The Quincy Punk: Sid is an angry and irreverent British punk rocker with green hair and a studded leather jacket.
  • Running Gag: Virtually every scene on an alien ship ends with the aliens prying at the silver panels in the background for no other reason than to make it exceedingly obvious that it's just spray-painted cardboard.
  • Satan: He steals the Battle Pack from the aliens, forcing the heroes to go to hell to defeat him.
  • Shaped Like Itself: When Ray asks Dex what his Battle Pack is for, Dex replies, "I don't know. Battles?"
  • Shout-Out: Characters occasionally quote lines from movies, which other characters sometimes call them out on.
    • Jacob says, "Oh shit. There goes the planet!" This is a quote from the end of Spaceballs
    • In the end, Dex tells Julie, "You've met me at a strange time in my life." Julie replies, "Did you just quote Fight Club?" Dex answers, "I don't think so."
    • When the UFOs stop firing, Sid proclaims, "The guns... they've stopped!" This is a quote from the climax of A New Hope. Dex immediately asks, "Is that a Star Wars reference?" Sid answers, "I don't think so."
    • When a picture of Jesus comes to life, Ray shouts, "Jesus Christ!" Jacob follows up, "Superstar!"
    • The film's title is a reference to Girl, Interrupted. Aside from including a gorilla, the reference is meaningless.
  • Stylistic Suck: The alien scenes were intentionally filmed and shot with excessive laziness for humor's sake. The aliens are obviously just guys in masks wearing jeans and sneakers, the backs of their heads clearly visible in some takes. The ships are just silver-spray-painted cardboard backdrops with writing drawn on with marker. As a Running Gag, the aliens start pointlessly tearing down the cardboard at the end of several shots.
  • Team Power Walk: After getting a pep-talk from Jesus, the four major characters assemble and do a power walk down the street before confronting Satan.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Sid is really only concerned with himself and is partly responsible for things going as badly as they do.
  • Trash the Set:
    • Ray's house gets torn up throughout the film, leading to a culminating scene in which Ray trashes just about every object in the place. The house was actually Evans's deceased grandmother's house, which was about to go up for sale. All of the furniture was going to be discarded, leaving it free to be trashed, but Evans still got in trouble with his family for leaving the mess behind while finishing the film.
    • There's a Running Gag that the aliens will start prying at the poorly disguised cardboard sets and knocking things over at the end of various scenes set in a UFO.