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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday September 15, 2020 

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Bobo the pizza chef (Johnny Boxer) is about to be married to his mail-order bride Tuyen Le (Lin Chow Bang) who is sneaking into the country as a refugee. But Mama (Maria Venuti) doesn’t approve. In the meantime, the delivery boys are hard at work. Pauly Falzoni (Paul Fenech) has started a war with the Ronnie Macdoggle hamburger chain, Sleek the Lebanese rapper (Paul Nakad) is being stalked by a gang of fat chicks, and new guy Davo Dinkum (Jabba) who has a drug problem, runs into a gang of bikies.

Review by Louise Keller:
In total bad taste, vulgar, irreverent, politically incorrect and very funny, Fat Pizza is an over-the-top, high-energy rocket ride of insanity. Paul Fenech, whose fascination for pizza began 15 years ago, when he was a pizza delivery boy in Leichhardt, has written, directed and produced a rip-roaring broad comedy of slapstick that’s blatantly offensive, filled with obscenities and fart jokes, but delivers plenty of good humour. First the TV show, now the movie. Fenech wrote the script in one week and shot it in five – the result is one big, spoof that is strung together with skits, sight gags and one-liners. The simple premise is simply an excuse to jumble together crazy, cool characters that do crazy, uncool things. The ideas never stop coming, although the film does run out of steam towards the end, and the multi-wedding sequence falls a little flat. Fenech holds the plot together with an appealing narrative, and the ensemble cast of Johnny Boxer, Paul Nakad and Jabba is terrific. The skits are short, the editing is sharp and the use of music inspired. The characters are colourful enough to explode any colour palette: they are a mix of revolting and appealing (think Ali G, Benny Hill), and include the clever casting of voluptuous singer/actress Maria Venuti and good humoured crooner (‘Why Are You So Unkind?’) Kamahl. Venuti nails the big Mama character with a refreshing lack of vanity and is very funny indeed, while Kamahl’s competing Phat Pizza kitchen owner is a wonderful surprise. There is no mercy for anyone: the disabled, little people, overweight, homophobic, elderly, bible bashers, transvestites, hari-krishnas, Elvis clones, bikies, windscreen washers, druggies, dingoes, backpackers and every ethnic group you can imagine. And then there are those really, really bad taste issues –what can you say about references to September 11, the Woomera detention riots, boat people bashing, axe murderers and Lebanese boys’ girl-exploits shown on the internet? There’s a running gag involving magician David Cockerfield (Tim Ferguson, excellent) and his scantily clad blonde fitness-instructress squeeze Claudia Macpherson (no prize for guessing which two models she is based on) seductively played by Annalise Braakensiek. If you want to be offended, Fat Pizza has it all. Oh yes, there are some chuckles when the health inspector inspects the kitchen and finds (shock, horror!) cockroaches, condoms and other no-nos. You may not be in a hurry to have a pizza, but you will have laughed away many of life’s bigger problems by laughing at them – after all, isn’t that how we cope with life’s loads? 

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Fat Pizza is to Australian comedy what Ali G is to British, only less stupid. Only slightly less stupid. And slightly less gross. Slightly. We’re talking antimatter sized differences. And style differences. Paul Fenech’s Fat Pizza is a darned sight more likeable than Ali G’s In Da House. There’s a shallow sincerity and a hard-assed comic instinct for the jugular about its humour that makes it more bearable for those outside its direct target market (like me). What’s more, it has incredible energy that is maintained throughout its running time. And that’s its downfall: running time. Snip 15 minutes off and it’s a hotter (if thinner) pizza, guys. I know this isn’t intended to be Cinema Classics, but that’s exactly why it should be shorter and sharper. Lots of clever stuff goes on, some of it obvious, some of it not. (I’m not accusing it of subtlety, please!) And it also reminds me of one of my favourite live comedy routines on record, when the great Don Rickles took to the stage in Las Vegas many years ago. His style was ‘offend the room and everyone in it’. He picked on Jews, Arabs, Irish, waiters, visitors, regulars, young lovers, old farts, anyone seated within his eye-line. He would insult them to their faces and with jokes that would be regarded as racial vilification. But he did it to everybody, and nobody took offence. The room roared with recognition laughter. He was accurate. Fat Pizza does that, too; you can accuse it of overstaying its welcome and you can say it’s offensive – but you can’t take offence. (And if you do, you can’t take a joke and you shouldn’t be in Australia. You stooge.)

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MARIA VENUTI interview


CAST: Paul Fenech, Johnny Boxer, Paul Nakad, Jabba (J. Davis), Tahir Bilgic, Rob Shehadie, Annalise Braakensiek, Maria Venuti, Tuyen Le and Kamahl

PRODUCER: Paul Fenech, Tanith Carroll, Jeff Purser

DIRECTOR: Paul Fenech

SCRIPT: Paul Fenech


EDITOR: David Rudd

MUSIC: not credited


RUNNING TIME: 97 minutes



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