Arnold Frenzy Is Flea Bitten (2004)

Arnold Frenzy is the owner and presenter of The Strangely Compelling Flea Circus who has taken his group of fleas and musicians around festivals for many years. Friends and colleagues say ... See full summary »

Director:

Stephen Kemp

Writer:

Stephen Kemp
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Cast

Credited cast:
Arnold Frenzy Arnold Frenzy ... Himself
Stephen Kemp ... Narrator (voice)
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Arnold Frenzy is the owner and presenter of The Strangely Compelling Flea Circus who has taken his group of fleas and musicians around festivals for many years. Friends and colleagues say that he will make it big one day and that the quality of his product and energy of his delivery will take him into the history books along with the masters of the art from years gone by. However things did not go totally to plan and his craft started to become an obsession that would lead him deeper into the world of flea circuses to the point where he started to lose connection with reality. This documentary looks at the rise and fall of the once great Arnold Frenzy. Written by bob the moo

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Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 October 2004 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Flea Bitten See more »

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Color
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Inconsistent laughs and weak material make this no Spinal Tap, even if it is still amusing – but will only be cherished by Frenzy's fanbase
29 October 2004 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Arnold Frenzy is the owner and presenter of The Strangely Compelling Flea Circus who has taken his group of fleas and musicians around festivals for many years. Friends and colleagues say that he will make it big one day and that the quality of his product and energy of his delivery will take him into the history books along with the masters of the art from years gone by.

However things did not go totally to plan and his craft started to become an obsession that would lead him deeper into the world of flea circuses to the point where he started to lose connection with reality. This documentary looks at the rise and fall of the once great Arnold Frenzy.

To call this the flea version of 'This is Spinal Tap' may serve it a compliment that it is not quite worthy of but it does pretty much sum up the content of this funny and enjoyable short film. We follow the Strangely Compelling Flea Circus from its rise in the 1990's to the point where they are on the edge of the big time in America, all the time watching the internal fighting and stresses within the group. It is funny but it is not quite as sharp and clever as it could have been (certainly those expecting something on a par with Spinal Tap will be disappointed). Part of this is the use of the flea circus as the world of the documentary but also the other extremes in the subject (the she-male with a rather obvious beard for example) mean that it feels a bit forced at times and the humour is very broad and obvious. Some of it is very funny ('imagine smelling of Horse') but too much of it is just amusing.

The cast do pretty well with the material and at the start they could almost convince you that this was a real subject (well, except 'Rose') but as the material gets rather sillier then the talking heads cannot make it as convincing as they did very early on. The direction is pretty good but the budget means that darkness has to be used a lot in the club scenes to try and make it look bigger or more impressive than they actually are.

Overall this is an enjoyable short film that is worth a look if you like mockumentary style comedies. However the laughs are not consistent and the material is often too extreme and silly to really be considered as sharp as it could have been – it would have been better to touch reality with madness than to step so totally towards the extremes such as it did. Still amusing and entertaining but comparisons with Spinal Tap should certainly go no further than the style of the film.


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