FRINGEWORLD: I Am Not An Animal, I Am a Film Critic (4 stars)

Review by Laura Money

Dez Pondent, comedian, human being, film critic. I Am Not An Animal, I Am a Film Critic is a wonderful journey through film as an art form and how it can fit into everyday life. Opening with a message from the one and only Yoda (in a very convincing voice, one might add), Dez takes the show one film review at a time. However, these are not conventional reviews, as we shall see.

Each night there is an opening act – someone who warms up the crowd for Dez’s left-of-centre comedic stylings. The night I was there it was fellow Australia Times Theatre reviewer, Kieran Eaton. Eaton’s quirky and off-beat set fits into a show like Dez’s perfectly. He quips about being cool despite his glasses, makes references to a classic horror film (IT), and even gives us a cheeky little ditty about one of life’s greatest pleasures – wanking.

The lights go dim, and we are treated to the iconic scene from The Elephant Man in which John Merrick (AKA The Elephant Man) is mobbed at a train station. In desperation, he cries out “I am not an animal! I am a human being!” Cue Dez Pondent running down the aisle of the venue in a suit, complete with bowler hat and death mask crying out “I am not an animal. Will you be my friend?” It’s anti-comedy at its finest – a brilliant homage to something he loves, that also mocks it gently.

Dez Pondent is a great character. He is deadpan and expressionless in his delivery. This is what gives his show strength. When reviewing a film, it’s hilarious to hear him deliver ‘excitement’ for a plot line or franchise in a low, unmotivated tone. Almost every film in existence gets a mention. Dez is particularly fond of action adventure, and would love to see Perth become the next location for a Fast and the Furious movie sequel…maybe called Como Drift?!

The reviews are less about the films than about Dez himself. For example, going into the film Up while feeling down, allowed him to UP-lift his spirits and feel UP. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly review is not really about the movie, but what Dez considers good, bad and ugly about life. The review of The Human Centipede is more about how he can turn it around into a ting of beauty – and believe me you will belly laugh when you see the result.

I Am Not An Animal, I Am a Film Critic is a breath of fresh air on the comedy scene. Delivered with dead-pan genius, Dez Pondent’s views on life will stick with you for a while, and that’s definitely a good thing.

When: 12 – 16 February 2016 (9:30pm)

Where: Four5Nine Bar, Leederville (Enter via Rosemount Hotel) PERTH

Tickets: $9 – $15

Info: Duration 60 minutes, Suitable 15+