When residents of 185 Chalk Street receive various paper oddities through their letterboxes, Mr Board confronts strange, old Mrs Black in an attempt to get to the bottom of the mystery.
The final short film to be released under the Butty Hands banner before an explosion severed the comedy duo in two (and not in the party popper sense, but rather the verbal kind), ‘Paper Fruits’ is as ambitious as it is abstract. Like a painting of a pink and yellow striped zebra that’s leaped from its frame and is on the Grand National start line.
Firstly, its length – almost 9 minutes. That’s a fair bit for what’s essentially an elongated comedy sketch, and even greater when you consider that it’s filmed in one location. Okay, yes we did use the Butty Hands flat and the building’s stairwell, which are kind of distinct, but they’re both contained within the same rat-infested walls so not really. And yes it is just a single flat – don’t let the lavish, bin bag lined corridor fool you into thinking that we had the budget to rent out multiple luxury penthouses. We could barely cobble together two fake moustaches.
On the subject of costumes, I guess they mostly add to the weirdness; a nice bald cap to make Mr Board’s head look like a ‘dirty, old ping pong ball’, Technicolor short-shorts, and purple carrot lipstick to counter the ghostly white face paint. Not to mention the shiny, golden trainers and James May tribute shirt.
Then you have a myriad of paper fruits – crayon scribblings that look a bit like bananas, apples, grapes, and so on – and the melon tree centrepiece. Mmm, mmm, mmm, you’ll find a lot more than your 5-a-day in this video, my health-conscious friend, so don’t you worry about swallowing a fistful of cherry tomatoes tonight.
I suppose some of the dialogue is a bit odd, too, but then I did write it. ‘Better not be more fucking poems’ is the opening line and there’s the personification of a grapefruit through ‘I think it likes you’, both of which arrive within the first minute. Whenceforth, no utterances are much saner.
There’s not really much else to say without ruining the video, so best watch it if you haven’t already or I’ll pull down your trousers.
Directing, filming and editing: Loz McManus
Script and original music score: Joshua Perrett
World-class acting: Dan Anderson and (less so) Joshua Perrett