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FAT PIZZA VS HOUSOS

SYNOPSIS: After 15 years in jail for chainsawing a health inspector, chef Bobo Gigliotti (Johnny Boxer) and his Mama (Maria Venuti) are looking for a new place to set up the pizza shop. With rents having skyrocketed, Sunnyvale is the only option as Bobo sets about reuniting his old staff, the wild crew of Pauly (Paul Fenech), Habib (Tahir Bilgic) and Sleek the Elite (Paul Nakad). Unfortunately for Bobo, Habib starts moving drugs through the pizza shop, and sparks a turf war with the local Sunnyvale bikie gang, while Mama uses her cousin Renzo (Renzo Bellato) to create a 'work for the dole' scheme to benefit the shop, allowing the housos to have their pensions paid in pizzas instead of money. Meanwhile the police are cracking down.

Review by Louise Keller:
Paul Fenech's Fat Pizza Vs Housos is an orgy of chaos and low-brow humour: an expletive saturated shout-fest depicting minority groups that are treated with predictable comic disrespect. If the pizza crust describes the plot, it is of the thin variety but the satire has bite; despite the incessant foul language, bare breasts, bums and simulated intercourse, the film has an inexplicable innocence. It's a shame there isn't more light and shade, although I chuckled a few times and beer, pizza and other substances will no doubt trigger a domino laughter effect with primed audiences, especially groups from the young target market, eager to have a raucous time.

It's overdone of course, and the characters are all caricatures, a colourful patchwork of crazies. If looks could kill, Maria Venuti's formidable Mama would be responsible for many deaths: she slaps her ex-jailbird son Bobo (Johnny Boxer) into shape and beware anyone who tries to steal her handbag. Venuti as the matriarch is a hoot as she plays it straight, discarding vanity and looks as though she is having fun throughout. The way Mama coerces her cousin Reno (Renzo Bellato) to first create a 'Work for the Dole' scheme benefiting the newly established pizza shop in the affordable rough and tough suburb of Sunnyvale, followed by a change of legislation in which the housos are paid in pizzas instead of money, is very funny. (Disclosure: Maria Venuti is a personal friend.)

I like the idea of the 'thongerang', the good old Aussie thong that is used as a deadly weapon and there is a frenzied intersection of ideas that includes illegal immigrants, the hazards of texting while driving, bondage, sub-woofers, tattooed bikie gangs, disabled midgets, racism, dumb lazy cops and the take-away pizza with the added bonus of drugs. Everyone attacks their roles with crude ballast and enthusiasm with special mention to Nick Giannopoulos, whose ad-libbed performance as the Melbourne-loving cabbie is hilarious. Watch out also for Angry Anderson, Kyle Sandilands, Jonesy (radio's Jonesy & Amanda) and Elle Dawe as the curvaceous Shazza, who has no compunction of flashing her curves. Fenech himself does a fine job of playing dual roles as the look alike cousins Pauly and Frankie. The film is dedicated to Fenech's father Freddie, who tragically passed away during the shoot.

Fenech effectively uses extreme camera angles and effects to accentuate the exaggerated reality he has created. The music is pumped out as you would expect when the emphasis is on sub-woofers. Like its tag, the film is big and cheesy; quite a mouthful in fact, with plenty of spice and definitely no sugar.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

FAT PIZZA VS HOUSOS (MA15+)
(Aust, 2014)

CAST: Johnny Boxer, Paul Fenech, Maria Venuti, Tahir Bilgic, Paul Nakad, Elle Dawe, Kev Taumata, Vanessa Davis

PRODUCER: Paul Fenech, Joe Weatherstone

DIRECTOR: Paul Fenech

SCRIPT: Paul Fenech

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Michael Kliem

EDITOR: David Rudd

MUSIC: Not credited

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Tylah Pratt

RUNNING TIME: 95 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Transmission

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 27, 2014







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