Tagged: Kate Jenkinson

FeatureThe Heckler

Indie films always struggle to get onto screens without the big distribution deals and marketing budgets of American blockbusters, but a new Australian on-demand cinema platform, tugg.com.au, now allows filmmakers to book any cinema, any time as long as you have enough people interested in watching that film at that session.

The innovative producing team behind The Heckler are embracing this new distribution model by launching an initial round of on-demand cinema screenings and hoping that positive word-of-mouth fuels more and more screenings – in effect growing their own theatrical release.


Writer/Producer Steve Mitchell says, “A traditional cinema release requires a massive amount of advertising to succeed. Films like ours can’t afford that and so we rely solely on word-of-mouth. And that takes time to build. By staging one-off event screenings at various locations over a longer period, we’re hoping to build momentum without spending a fortune on marketing.”

Anyone can request to ‘host’ one of Tugg’s listed films at their local cinema, but the screening only goes ahead if a minimum number of tickets are sold in advance. This way, nobody loses any money, plus the promoter (host) gets 5% of the box office.

“The main difference with this model is that patrons must book their tickets in advance to guarantee the screening goes ahead, which involves changing people’s behaviour from simply turning-up at the cinema and seeing what’s on. We’re also adding value to our screenings by combining them with either a Q&A or a live stand-up comedy intro (which was a great success during the Comedy Festival).”


Shot on location in Melbourne, The Heckler is about a stand-up comedian who has his body hijacked by the spirit of a jealous heckler and must find a way to reclaim it before the imposter ruins his career. The body-swap comedy received rave reviews from sold out Comedy Festival screenings and won an award at the LA Comedy Festival.

It marks the feature film debuts of local talents Kate Jenkinson (Offspring), Emily Taheny (Mad as Hell) and Simon Mallory (Comedy Inc) and also stars CJ Fortuna (Kinne), Scott Harrison (Charlie & Boots) and Dave Lawson (Utopia) along with a host of other comedy performers including Tony Martin and Jeff Green.

The Heckler season launches with a live stand-up comedy intro at The Sun Theatre in Yarraville on Monday September 7th.
(tickets must be pre-booked via the website)


September 7 at Sun Theatre Yarraville
September 9at Cinema Nova – Carlton
September 13 at Regent Cinemas Ballarat
September 16 at Village Cinemas – Jam Factory – South Yarra
September 20 at Palace Barracks – Brisbane
October 6 at Dendy Opera Quays – Sydney
(Perth and other locations announced soon)

Bookings & details: www.thehecklermovie.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheHecklerMovie

The Hecker

Summary: Steve (Simon Mallory) is a comedian on the rise. His manager is starting to get him the right gigs to get noticed and finally he is starting to make a name for himself around the comedy traps… that is perfect with the U.F.C Comedy Championships right around the corner.

Of course Steve’s rise to fame has come at a cost. His relationship with his ex-wife, Emma (Emily Taheny) and his son, Luke (Luke Christopoulos) is strained, not that he minds because along with his new found fame comes a hot girlfriend in the form of Bree (Kate Jenkinson).

But then along comes one of the most unexpected things that has the potential to railroad Steve’s career. As he teaches a comedy class he insults an inspiring, talentless comedian by the name of Mike (Chris Fortuna). After Mike then heckles Steve during a performance and an altercation occurs in the toilet afterwards Steve suddenly finds the dead Mike has somehow managed to inhabit his body and is hellbent on bringing down his career while attempting to launch his own.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: TBA

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: Australia

Director: Ben Plazzer

Screenwriter: Steve Mitchell

Cast: Ben Anderson (Dr. Seinfeld), Luke Christopoulos (Luke), Nick Cody (himself), Ashley Fils-Aime (himself), Chris Fortuna (Mike), Adam Francis (himself), Jeff Green (himself), Scott Harrison (Daniel), Geraldine Hickey (herself), Tegan Higginbotham (Laura), Justin Hosking (Mr. Cash), Kate Jenkinson (Bree), Dave Lawson (Andy), Simon Mallory (Steve), Tony Martin (TV Host), Brad Oakes (himself), Sarah Ripper (herself), Luke Stephens (Dave), Emily Taheny (Emma), Merran Williams (Mavis)

Runtime: 92 mins

Classification: CTC




David Griffiths:

So often hastily put together feature films who have relied on crowd funding to get made fall by the wayside. A lot become unwatchable films that are for the lack of a better word to use… a mess. Luckily The Heckler overcomes that kind of tragedy and while it does have the odd weakness here and there it is largely an enjoyable film that is guaranteed to raise a few chuckles out of its audience along the way.

With so many Australian comedians the toast of the world at the moment (think Will Anderson, Joel Creasey and Adam Hills) it is quite a surprise when you realise that there have never really been any films made that are shot revolving around Australia’s thriving comedy circuit. That is one of the reasons that The Heckler is such a welcome watch, the other welcoming factor is the fact that unlike most Australian comedies (I’m pointing my finger at you Big Mamma’s Boy and a range of other wog or bogan related comedy films) it doesn’t make you groan throughout.

Yes, despite the fact that director first time feature director Ben Plazzer and screenwriter, Steve Mitchell really should have done a couple of more rewrites on The Heckler’s screenplay before they went into production, this is a film that actually runs quite smoothly. The film avoids many of the pitfalls that other body-swap films have fallen into over the years and for the most piece this is a nice character driven film that manages to produce a few laughs along the way as well… and yes I even laughed at the ‘I’m your father, Luke’ line which just goes to show what a witty comedy writer Mitchell really is.

The film may have been more marketable commercially if it featured a known Aussie comedic actor such as a Josh Lawson etc but really on reflection both Simon Mallory and Chris Fortuna do great jobs. Mallory is likeable as the unlikable Steve while Chris Fortuna steals the show as he bogans it up to play the at-times repulsive Mike.

Kate Jenkinson, who has made a name for herself on television shows such as House Husbands and Offspring, also announces herself as somebody to watch out for on the big screen as she brilliantly plays the ditzy, Bree. Meanwhile fans of Aussie comedy will get a laugh out of seeing Australian comedy legend Tony Martin (from the D-Gen) popping up in a cameo, even though he is dangerously under used.

The Heckler may not win any comedy gongs this year but if you are wanting to see a movie that will make you laugh throughout while being entertaining to hold your interest you certainly won’t be disappointed with this little Aussie comedy that could.




Greg King:

You can check out Greg’s The Heckler review on www.filmreviews.net.au.



Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(2)


IMDB Rating: The Heckler (2014) on IMDb


Other Subculture Entertainment The Heckler reviews: You can also read Dave Griffiths’ The Hecker review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt. You will also be able to hear our The Heckler review on an upcoming episode of The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show.