The Monty Python team's fourth feature gets a UK Blu-ray and DVD release from Fabulous Films.
Abandoning the loose but nevertheless coherent narrative structure of their two previous films, MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL (1975) and LIFE OF BRIAN (1979), THE MEANING OF LIFE saw the team returning to the sketch collection format of their first feature AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. As a consequence this one is a bit more hit and miss than what had come just before. Even so, some of Python's all-time greatest moments are in here, including the over the top musical extravagance of Every Sperm is Sacred (which apparently used up most of the budget & if so it's certainly money well spent), the nauseating special effects showcase that is Mr Creosote And His Amazing Exploding Abdomen, and the Bergmanesque Death Comes to the Dinner Party.
But there are other great moments as well. The 'B-movie' is a lovely piece of Gilliamesque surrealism that's all the better for them having it try to attack the main feature, John Cleese's sex education class is spot on in its mundane explanation and remonstrations, and even the conversation at dinner where the couple turn out to be hopeless at discussing philosophy now feels more like social commentary than was likely intended at the time.
Fabulous' Blu-ray comes with two extra audio tracks - a commentary with Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam, and the Audio Track for the Lonely where you can watch the film along with someone who makes noises, phones out for takeaway food and causes other disturbances you can find out for yourselves. The hour long 30th Anniversary reunion see the surviving five members discussing the movie, which apparently was pitched to Universal in the form of a poem. Eric Idle is on hand to perform it in another extra. You also get deleted scenes, advertising, and alternate versions of the songs. The film is also available on DVD but you don't get the extras.
MONTY PYTHON'S THE MEANING OF LIFE is out on Blu-ray and DVD from Fabulous Films on Monday 28th September 2020