I’m a long time fan of PFFR, the musical collective who moved in to tv and have made some of the strangest comedy yet seen, and also some of the daftest, most subversive and crude. It normally works because it’s just so crazy and playful, and they have a real knack at creating beautifully absurd language that’s also shockingly funny and then combining it with the kind of imagery that will stay with you for years. Their most recent series, the anthology show The Shivering Truth, was basically The Twilight Zone on every drug ever made all consumed at the same time, and even that doesn’t really describe just how delightfully screwed up it was.
Now they’ve turned their attention to The Bible, or two of them have at least as this is the work of just John Lee and Kytten Janae, and it’s a slightly disappointing piece. In this episode we have brief snippets from Deuteronomy, Genesis, Ezekiel, Leviticus, Matthew, Exodus and a couple of others, all of which are examples of just how The Bible is such an extremely weird read, but it’s lacking their trademark messed up word play as it uses the stories from the New International Version of the good book, which basically modernises Bible tales so that idiots can understand them and though the dialogue has it’s moments a lot of the time it’s by the numbers and I found myself wishing they’d put their unique spin on in it.
That’s not to say it’s by any means terrible and it’s definitely entertaining enough, some of the stories are so bizarre they can’t fail to amuse, the example from Genesis being the best of these where two daughters get their father drunk so that they can screw him and have children and carry on the family line, while one from Two Kings sees a man mocked by kids screaming “Get out of here, baldy!” and after asking the Lord to curse them a bear comes along and kills forty two of them, and who doesn’t enjoy young men being ripped apart by wild animals in increasingly imaginative ways? Well, their parents I suppose, but they’re no longer alive so fortunately can’t complain.
There’s also a beautifully animated sequence where Jesus meets two demons who beg him to transfer their souls in to pigs, and when he does so the pigs commit suicide by diving in to the water, and a lovely bit from Leviticus featuring a man eating a big old bunch of birds and being struck by lightening each and every time for his pleasure. You even get to see God’s arse thanks to one tale from Exodus, so it’s something that I imagine at least two people will attempt to masturbate over, which is, er, well, up to them quite frankly.
So sure, it’s mildly funny in places and the animation is deliberately skewed stuff so that there’s a good few laughs to be had from strange facial reactions and the various unusual things taking place. The problem for me though is that PFFR are known to be wildly original and for what might be the first time in their careers they’ve produced a show which isn’t. Taking some of the odder stories from The Bible and mocking them is something an enormous amount of comedians have done, and okay, it’s not often been shown visually in the way it has been here but the joke is “Hey, let’s laugh at these mental Bible stories” and that’s been done time and again, and this time PFFR haven’t added anything new or innovative to the concept.
If you’re not familiar with people doing such a thing you’ll probably enjoy it more than I did, but I couldn’t help struggle with the fact that they were going over such hackneyed ground, and felt disappointed with the use of the New International Version translation which is fairly bland compared to the ones which use more archaic language. It’s fine as a one off, but I hope that’s all this is as a whole series would become tedious all too quickly and be a real waste of PFFR’s many, many talents.
Previous PFFR reviews:
The Shivering Truth – Fowl Flow
The Shivering Truth – Tow and Shell.
The Shivering Truth – Constadeath.
The Shivering Truth – The Magmafying Past.
The Shivering Truth – Ogled Inkings.
The Shivering Truth – The Nurple Rainbow.