Lowbrow larrikin's comic tip

SHANNON HARVEY
Paul Fenech in Perth. Picture: Rob Duncan/ The West Australian

It's well known Australian films have died at the box office this year - amid critical acclaim. Son of a Gun, These Final Hours, Predestination and Felony all failed to make their budgets back despite positive reviews.

The opposite is true for Australia's bogan prince Paul Fenech. His films and TV shows are reviled by critics but have been major box-office hits.

"All of our movies have only been made for about a million bucks," said Fenech while in Perth to introduce his latest assault on political correctness, Fat Pizza vs Housos.

"My last film, Housos vs Authority, made about $3 million. The first Fat Pizza movie made about $7 million. So to all the haters, read the stats and weep, you stooges! We must be one of the most successful ongoing filmmakers in Australia."

The larrikin of lowbrow Aussie comedy, who refused to give his age "because it might affect my Centrelink payments", said there was no great secret behind his brand of success.

"As I've gone on, I've learnt Australians are very particular about what they'll go and watch at the cinema. You have to make films for your audience and history proves they love comedy. I don't know why but they resist most other things.

"Making people laugh is a great gift you can give to the world and if I can give the struggling people of Australia a short space to have a bit of a laugh, then I've done my job and consider it a success. The critics can hate on it all they like; I don't give a crap what the critics think!"

True to his word, Fenech said he wanted to bring Fat Pizza back in his new film because "every second question I get is 'when is Pizza coming back?'

"There's an incredible nostalgia and ongoing popularity for Pizza, so I asked some of the old cast and they were up for it. I didn't want to exclude the Housos guys either because it's done so well. So I put them together and I'm really happy with the result."

The writer, director, producer and star is already working on a top-secret movie for next year. "It's a comedy but it's not Housos or Pizza or Swift and Shift Couriers. It's entirely new and different but will probably have some familiar stooges in there."