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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

All This and World War II, Part II

Did I mention I finally saw All This and World War II, a film I'd been obsessing about a little over two years ago? Let me refresh your memory on this one with a (currently live) YouTube version of the trailer:

I remember reading about this one during my Beatlemaniac days and always being intrigued. The soundtrack album is never difficult to find as it was a perennial cut-out bin favorite and isn't exactly worth much more today. The movie however, seemed to have fallen off the face of the Earth. From what I understand, it was yanked a week after it's debut and more or less buried until a copy showed up on the bootleg DVD market a few years ago.

I have a genuine affection for bad taste and bad ideas in cinema and the idea of marrying Beatles covers with World War II footage seemed like a classic. But, the more I read about this film (and since the appearance of the DVD, much has come out about it like this excellent article right here) and the more I put it into context, it just seemed like an excuse to release the soundtrack album, a deluxe box set, I might add.

Watching the film does little to change that opinion. The whole concept is so shaky and so half heartedly executed, you just can't help but feel the producers of this film felt a Beatles revival in the air and wanted to cash in before it passed. (Keep in mind, this film predated the Beatlemania musical and the infamous Sgt. Pepper's movie with the Bee Gees.)

Once the thoughts of "Wow, they really did make this movie" and "I can't believe I'm actually watching this" wear off, you will find yourself repeating the last statement not as a reference to the film's rarity, but to the gawking at a car crash quality of the film. Beyond the novelty of a jawdroppingly bizarre concept poorly executed, the film itself is pretty dull. It's a bit like watching the History Channel while listening to some Beatles covers. Try it yourself and see how long you last.

I'm glad I resisted the impulse to actually pay for a copy of this. All This and World War II is like so many other obscure relics of junk cinema: so much more interesting on paper than on the screen. Still, it's nice to have my curiosity satiated and, if nothing else, I can check another film off my to seek and see list.


Kevin P. said...

Perhaps the only film to which COZZILLA can be favorably compared . . .

I'm linking this article to my new review of that one - I'm going to see if I can't get in touch with the owners of the 35mm copy of it (an Italian home video company) to see if I can talk a telecine, theatrical screening, or something out of them. We'll see where that goes . . .

Kindest regards,

Kevin P.

Rob G. said...

Dude, I liked Cozzilla. If there was a better quality video of it, I'd say it's easier to watch than this.

AFAIK, there's been a few 35mm screenings of this in the last few years. I have a hunch that might have something to do with where the bootleg of this came from. So yeah, it's possible I'll bet. Keep me updated!