Terry Gilliam‘s first solo outing as a director, 1977’s Jabberwocky is a messy medieval fantasy that is bursting at the seams with mud, grime and gore.
There are a fair few chuckles, too, as Michael Palin’s ambitious but dim-witted cooper’s apprentice, Dennis Cooper, leaves his village to seek his fortune in the city. There he finds crowds of peasants trying to escape from the Jabberwock, a hideous monster that is ravaging the countryside.
Amid a roster of British comic talents, including Max Wall (as King Bruno the Questionable), Warren Mitchell, Rodney Bewes, John Le Mesurier and Harry H Corbett, Gilliam displays the visual flair that would become his trademark. This splendid Criterion Collection Blu-ray release showcases the film’s new 4K digital transfer from a restoration by the BFI National Archive and The Film Foundation, approved by Gilliam himself.
Certificate PG. Runtime 105 mins. 5.1 Surround. 1.85: 1 Aspect Ratio.
Released on Blu-ray by the Criterion Collection and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
Director Approved Special Edition Features
• New 4K digital transfer from a restoration by the BFI
National Archive and The Film Foundation, approved
by director Terry Gilliam
• 5.1 surround mix, supervised by Gilliam and presented
in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray
• Audio commentary from 2001 featuring Gilliam and
actor Michael Palin
• New documentary on the making of the film,
featuring Gilliam, producer Sandy Lieberson, Palin,
and actor Annette Badland
• New interview with Valerie Charlton, designer of the
Jabberwock, featuring her collection of rare behindthe-
• Selection of Gilliam’s storyboards and sketches
• PLUS: An essay by critic Scott Tobias