ZonadMonday 15 Mar 2010
Director: John and Kieran Carney
Starring: Simon Delaney, Janice Byrne, David Pearse, Rory Keenan, Brian de Salvo, David Murray, Don Wycherley, Donna Dent, Geoff Minogue and Kevin Maher.
Duration: 82 minutes
This week there are two comedies competing for your cash. 'The Bounty Hunter' is big budget Hollywood with no good laughs and even less charm. 'Zonad' was shot in Co Wicklow, has some spit-out-your-lemonade gags and cost less than the trailer budget of its US rival. One's big selling point is Jennifer Aniston looking hot in a black dress and Gerard Butler looking beefy in a short-sleeved shirt. The other has 'Bachelors Walk' star Simon Delaney in a red PVC suit, eating a snack box while cycling a Triumph 20.
And there's a choice?
Petty criminal Liam Murphy (Delaney) escapes from a rehab facility during a fancy dress party. Despite being dressed as an alien, he manages to evade capture and ends up in Ballymoran, the town that cop-on forgot.
Discovered by local family the Cassidys on the floor of their living room after demolishing all the drink and crisps, Liam tells parents Richard and Mary (Minogue and Dent) he is Zonad, a visitor from another planet. Naturally, they give him their son Jimmy's (Maher) bedroom and are more than happy for him to throw the eye at their daughter Jenny (Byrne).
Zonad become a local idol who drinks and eats his way from one gullible gathering to the next - nothing, it seems, can derail his gravy train. But then Francis O'Connor (Pearse), another escapee from rehab, turns up...
Gleefully sending up and celebrating 50s B-movies, sci-fi series, 'The Quiet Man', musicals and even 'Raging Bull', 'Zonad's journey to the big screen deserves its own spoof documentary. Originally shot as a short/pilot many years ago, it was never properly finished and the tapes got lost. But writer-director brothers the Carneys and their 'Bachelors Walk' star Delaney never forgot about the junk food-loving chancer. After seeing this a lot of others won't either, and a long life in the DVD universe is guaranteed.
'Zonad' is very short and very slight in places, and for the talent assembled there were more gags to be had. But it's worth seeing for the comedy chops of Delaney and Pearse - if you remember them together in 'Bachelors Walk' they're just as funny here. Now perhaps the Carneys can turn their talents to a buddy movie for the two of them...