Written By: Sophie
Director: Steve Oram
A human’s instinctual behaviour is to eat, reproduce and fight to survive. From the dawn of man, humans have evolved from apes to what we are today – but what if we didn’t evolve and continued to act like apes? From the writer and actor of Sightseers comes this satirical zoomorphic comedy. Aaaaaaaah! starts off with Smith (Oram) and Keith (Tom Meeten) in a forest in which they come across a city where they are soon to attempt to fight for territory. They meet a female (Lucy Honigman) in this city and from then on things go pear-shaped (or banana-shaped); the film is a primal mix of ape noises, house parties and nudity, suggesting that maybe ‘we are not men’. I know you’re thinking, why would I want to watch a film with ape-screeching humans for an hour and 20 minutes? Well, the further you get into the film, the more it becomes apparent that we humans are not so different from apes after all; you soon get a slap in the face from reality when the seemingly outrageous and animalistic behaviour is not so outrageous and animalistic after all. The territorial and instinctive acts of violence are domesticated by the human environment that surrounds the characters and this makes you realise that society is made up animals.
One thing I particularly like about Aaaaaaaah! is that it still maintains a level of humanity within the primitive plot. In one particular scene, Honigman’s character leaves her house with Alpha male Smith and his Beta, Keith – who she met at a house party – where they find a wealthy person’s house and take advantage of their empty home. In that home they dress up in the homeowner’s clothes and end up taking drugs in their back garden; this scene is one that is especially evocative for me as it epitomises the idea that we, the human race, have the capacity to be monsters and to be destructive. Oram’s satirical comedy had a very low budget and whether, intentional or not, he has created such a raw piece in terms of editing and cinematography; the improvised score from Toyah Wilcox’s husband, Robert Fripp, adds to this rawness and although it sounds bananas, it is clever. Definitely worth a watch if you fancy a listening to ape noises for an hour and 20 minutes whilst simultaneously contemplating the rather primitive actions that society makes.