The specter of atomic warfare raises its head once again in this bizarre 1969 black comedy, directed by Richard Lester and hatched from the mind of twisted British comic Spike Milligan.
Richard Lester’s greatest professional setback, The Bed Sitting Room now stands as perhaps his most audacious experiment. Adapted from a play by Spike Milligan and John Antrobus, imagining a dystopian England three years after nuclear war, Lester’s film situates absurd Monty Python–esque sketches amid a desolate landscape of ruins and ash. Featuring some of Britain’s top comics, including Dudley Moore, Peter Cook, and Milligan himself, the film’s surreal humor did not connect with audiences in its day, but offers a vision of social collapse so acrid that the laughs catch in your throat. Made in 1969, but could this have been the first post-Brexit film?
This example of post-apocalyptic absurdism sits midway between The Goons and Threads.Ian Berriman