WTFW: The Attack of the Giant Moussaka (1999)

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

WTFW: The Attack of the Giant Moussaka (1999)

Moussaka is an eggplant and/or potato based dish popular in Balkan and Mediterranean cuisines, with many local and regional variations.

Most versions are based primarily on sautéed eggplant and tomato, usually with minced meat.  The Greek version includes layers of meat and eggplant topped with a Béchamel ("white") sauce, and baked.

The modern Greek version was probably formulated by chef Tselementes in the 1920s.  It has three layers that are separately cooked before being combined together for the final baking: a bottom layer of sliced eggplants sautéed in olive oil; a middle layer of ground lamb lightly cooked with chopped or puréed tomatoes, onion, garlic, and spices (cinnamon, allspice and black pepper); and a top layer of Béchamel sauce or savory custard.  The composed dish is then layered into a pan and baked until the top layer is browned.  Moussaka is usually served warm, not piping hot; if cut hot out of the oven, moussaka squares tend to slide apart and consequently the dish needs some resting time to firm up before serving.  Reheating, however, does not present the same problem.

There are variations on this basic recipe, sometimes with no top sauce, sometimes with other vegetables.  In Greece such variants may include, in addition to the eggplant slices, sautéed zucchini (courgette) slices, part-fried potato slices, or sautéed mushrooms.  There is even a fast-day or "vegan" version in the Greek cookbook by Tselementes, which includes neither meat nor dairy products, just vegetables (ground eggplant is used instead of ground meat), tomato sauce, and bread crumbs.

 

The Attack of the Giant Mousaka (1999)

  • Original Title: I epithesi tou gigantiaiou mousaka
  • Genre: Comedy – Sci-Fi
  • Directed: Panos H. Koutras
  • Produced:
    • Panos H. Koutras 
    • Ion Constas 
    • Martien Coucke
  • Written:
    • Panos Evagellidis 
    • Yorgos Korontsis 
    • Panos H. Koutras
  • Starring: Yannis Aggelakis, Myriam Vourou, Christos Mantakas, Gregory Patrikareas, Eugene Dimitriou, Themis Bazaka, Roubini Vasilakopoulou, Jenny Balatsinou, Dorothea Mercouri
  • Music: Konstantinos Vita
  • Cinematography:
    • Zafiris 
    • Epaminondas
  • Editing:
    • Elissavet 
    • Chronopoulou
  • Studio: 100% Synthetic Films
  • Distributed: Ad Vitam Distribution
  • Rated: NR
  • Release Date: 24 December 1999
  • Running Time: 99 minutes
  • Country: Greece
  • Language:
    • Greek 
    • English 
    • French 
    • Russian 
    • Italian

The Attack of the Giant Moussaka (1999), also spelt Mousaka and translated to Gigantic Moussaka, is a Greek science fiction parody film, produced, written and directed by Panos H. Koutras.  It has been released theatrically in France, with French subtitles, and Japan, with Japanese subtitles.  It has been screened at several festivals, including specialized LGBT film festivals, and has achieved cult status.

What would happen if a band of bikini-clad babes attacked Athens with a giant mass of Moussaka, Greece's national dish?  This and other burning questions are explored in this wacky Z-grade flick.  When angry yet buxom aliens try to inspire awe and fear in the skies over the Greek capital, their flying saucer accidentally turns into a 200-foot quivering behemoth of cheese, eggplant, and meat.  A bunch of gay scientists who sport pink lab coats, corpulent designers in drag, and horny television journalists join forces to battle the encroaching wave of food.  This film was screened at the 1999 Thessaloniki Film Festival.

In the annals of science fiction, our planet has been attacked by, among other things, Crab Monsters, Giant Leeches, Killer Tomatoes, Eye Creatures, Mushroom People, and a Fifty Foot Woman.

Add Moussaka to the list.

Sure enough, the Greek lunacy known as Attack of the Giant Moussaka features a six-story helping of the eggplant and Béchamel sauce-based dish, globulating and undulating down the streets of Athens, burning hapless (and overly hysterical) victims alive with its special acid spray.  Not only that, but the Moussaka also gets its own musical number -- a kind of "Why Won't Anybody Love Me?" torch song -- in Panos H. Koutras's one and, thank God, only film.

The movie, which aspires to camp comedy but mixes in several bizarrely bleak and morbid moments (such as a sudden spate of mass suicides among the Athens middle class) is Greece's answer to Plan 9 from Outer Space, and Koutras, the country's very own Ed Wood.

Attack of the Giant Moussaka is about as coherent as you would expect from a film that features a Divine-like leading drag queen, several moments of fairly gratuitous sex (of both the French and, naturally, Greek variety), and a spaceship filled with bimbette aliens who can't steer their neon purple and pink saucer in a straight line.

It's a nutso-whacko movie -- riotous, perhaps, to some, a cinematic curiosity to others, and a mountain of big fat Greek stupidity to everyone else.  Trouble is, you won't know which category you fit into until you sit through it to the psychotic, stratospherically over-the-top end.


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All Images Found on Nanarland except the top Moussaka image, it was found via Google Image Search.

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