This week's penguin is a tough case. Not because it's hard to explain, but more because actually owning a copy could be considered a colossal embarrassment to any self-respecting film buff. It's something so depressing that words fail to describe it, yet it is a penguin movie in my collection and needs to be featured. Deep breath... here we go.
What I'm talking about is Farce of the Penguins, a direct-to-video so-called-parody film from 2007 directed by Bob Saget – and for some soul-crushing reason narrated by one of the best bad-asses of our times, Samuel L. Jackson. If you've ever been exposed to the modern Hollywood parody films, you'll get the idea; lowest-of-the-low brow jokes back-to-back, without much actual parody or satire going on.
That said, even as these modern Hollywood "parodies" go, this is so low effort that it boggles my mind. This is not an animation, but bunch of penguin stock footage narrated over by Bob Saget anf his celebrity friends. Yes, really – an attempt to stitch together a narration from stock clips and a D-rate riff-track from a stand-up comedian & friends. Apparently Saget wanted to do this as a dub of March of the Penguins but didn't get the rights to do it (gee, I wonder why).
What pisses me off the most about all of this is that there is a tiny germ of an idea here that I really like. See, the nature is truly bizarre and weird. Whilst the afore-mentioned 'March of the Penguins' uses penguin narration to humanise the nature, the idea of doing something similar but wholeheartedly embracing all the weird is great. However, a penguin B-roll riff-track sure as hell doesn't cut it.
Here on the Weekly Penguin arena I try to stay up-beat and positive, but with this I just can't. All the chuckles you'll ever get from it can be obtained by watching the trailer. Or you could mute the film and watch it for the stock footage – penguin videos are always fun to watch – but I bet you can find all the clips on YouTube anyway.
In fact, do that; put on a YouTube playlist of penguin stock footage, invite some friends over, get intoxicated and make your own jokes. I'm pretty sure you'd end up with a better riff track than anything this 'film' offers.
Phew, finally got this one out of the way. At least ranting about this gave me some closure. The things I subject myself to in the name of penguin fandom, eh?