Saturday, January 13, 2007

TERKEL IN TROUBLE - Shameless for kids

TERKEL IN TROUBLE is what cult comedy, SHAMELESS, would look like if it were a CGI cartoon from Denmark. It's one part South Park and three parts Grange Hill. While the lead characters are kids, the movie is replete with swearing, mindless violence, unrequited love, blackmail, schoolyard bullying, suicide and kids slipping on their own piss in the bathroom. The main love song features the line "I think I've been blind until today, when you suddenly looked at me and said 'Fuck off and die - you're too ugly for me, and your mother goes for $100', you said it straight to my face."

To specifics. Terkel is a kid who is in manifest trouble. The local chav kids are bullying him: calling him "animal abuser" and "mummy's boy". The fat girl, Doris, is in love with him. His best friend, Jason, is an Ali G type from the council estate who carries an iron bar in his pocket and watches bootleg horror films that scare Terkel shitless. Terkel's mum is chain-smoking and indifferent; his father spends his whole time reading Page 3 in the same paper; and his uncle is an violent alcoholic. Worse still, Terkel is being sent threatening anonymous letters. The only hope is a new idealistic hippie teacher called Justin, who reminds the whining kids that they are still better off than little Thai prostitutes....

The movie is unflinching in portraying the brutality of school-life, and while not as laugh-out-loud funny as, say, South Park, it has a lot of perverse charm. I especially love the side-kick Jason and the psychopathic Uncle Stewart, voiced in the English language version by Johnny Vegas. Definitely an antidote to all those talking animals that Hollywood spews out.

TERKEL IN TROUBLE played in Denmark in 2004 and in London in 2006. It is now available on DVD.


  1. awh! I remeber this film, we had to watch it in school. The best cartoon I've seen so far!

    Five stars

  2. Lilja, you watched this IN SCHOOL?! You have the coolest teachers ever.