(Poster design: Paul Jon Milne)
The Glasgow International Comedy Festival kicks off in the city this weekend, and as part of the programme the wonderful people at Matchbox Cineclub have a World Premiere. The film in question, "DOUBLE TAKE IN OUTER SPACE", screens at The Old Hairdressers, and is made by the same team who brought you "HERCULES RETURNS", which came to the Grosvenor last year as part of "Scalarama".
(Poster design: Paul Jon Milne)
So just who are Double Take? And what are they doing In Outer Space? The WFB were mighty priviliged to be asked to get in touch with the brains behind the "Double Take" team, Des Mangan, who very kindly took the time to answer a few questions:
After “Hercules Returns” hit Glasgow last year, how did this screening of “Double Take In Outer Space” come about?
"Sean from Matchbox Cineclub contacted me about the HERCULES RETURNS screening and did an interview with me regarding that film. During the course of that interview he asked if there were any recordings of any other live shows we had done. It just so happened that I had only just recently found on old recording of DOUBLE TAKE IN OUTER SPACE. The visuals were pretty poor on the recording but the audio was great. STARCRASH had come out on Blu Ray so I married our audio with the new print and a new version of a 1978 film with a 1992 soundtrack was made in 2016."
When did you first see “Starcrash”, and at what point did you realise it was ripe for the Double Take treatment?
"I realised it was perfect for our treatment at about 6 seconds into watching it. The first cheesy shot of an obvious model of a spaceship coming over the camera in a direct rip-off of the opening shot of the original STAR WARS told me that I had struck gold."
I understand that there were difficulties during the scripting of “Hercules Returns”, mainly due to not knowing the original plot because it was spoken in Italian. Were there any such problems with “Outer Space”, and was scripting any easier due to it being in English?
"When you are looking at a film with the possibility of doing it as a Double Take show, the soundtrack and storyline of the original film isn't really important. It's what the film looks like and the way the characters react on screen. Most times when I would look at a film I would watch it with the sound down anyway and see what ideas came to mind and what I could change it into.
When I found the HERCULES film I could only find a print in Italian but that wasn't a problem. I was going to change it all anyway. To this day, I still haven't seen the English language print of it. But that didn't stop me changing the story and making it about an awful, body-building night club singer looking for a gig at a new nightclub.
Likewise, with STARCRASH I don't think the original film is about the Universe's top supermodel and her manager trying to stop an evil discount-clothing store operator from sabotaging the annual Intergalactic Fashion Awards ceremony."
(See Des discuss "Double Take In Outer Space" with co-star Sally Patience in this TV spot: https://vimeo.com/157305005)
Did all characters receive equally fair treatment when coming up with the script, or did the better known faces in the cast (such as David Hasselhoff or Christopher Plummer) get a little something special in their character’s lines?
"No. I am an equal opportunity piss-taker."
Did you imagine that a quarter of a century on from the original shows that there would be interest in a newly restored version getting a World premiere?
"Not in a million years but you have Sean to thank for that. I always knew the Scots' had good taste."
Were there any other films that you would have liked to have given the Double Take treatment to?
"Any of Adam Sandler's films. I'd turn them into comedies."
Would you consider revisiting other items from the Double Take back catalogue with a view to recording new audio tracks for them?
"As Sean Connery said Never Say Never but if I was to do anything I would probably write a whole new show. So much has changed in the last 20 years. Imagine, Robin Hood trying to set up his Facebook page or Pirates arguing about which Kardashian is the dumbest or Napoleon sexting Josephine. The possibilities are endless."
And finally - (perhaps the most important question of all) which was more fun to do - the Double Take shows or hosting the Australian TV coverage of the Eurovision Song Contest?
"Going to Eurovision was hilarious. Australia is now sending contestants (figure that one out!). Now if only they would let me re-dub the entire Eurovision Song Contest - that would be ideal."
The Eurovision Song Contest takes place in Stockholm on May 14th, but if you would rather, "DOUBLE TAKE IN OUTER SPACE" screens at The Old Hairdressers on Thursday, 17th March, with a 7pm kick off. Tickets are available from the Glasgow International Comedy Festival website:
The WFB would like to extend HUGE thanks to Sean Welsh, Paul Jon Milne, and, of course, Des Mangan.