What happens when a successful YouTube personality makes a full-length comedy feature film, partially funded through Indiegogo? Well I’m not sure what you’d get in every iteration of that frankly rather broad scenario, but in this case you get Ashens and the Quest for the GameChild. Ashens and the Quest for the GameChild (for the sake of your eyes and my sanity I shall shorten it to AQG) is a adventure/road trip/buddy film/parody based around a fictionalised version of Ashens himself and was funded half by ChannelFlip (who run The Multiverse) and half through Indiegogo donations.
If you’re not aware of who he is, here’s the lowdown – Ashens (real name Stuart Ashen from Norwich) started out on YouTube 7 years ago humourously reviewing rubbish tat you find in pound/dollar-stores, and he’s pretty much been doing the same thing ever since, only now he has over 400,000 subscribers, 82 million views and a few sketches thrown in for good measure. As well as this film he also appeared in a sci-fi thriller called The Proxy, also produced by The Multiverse, and wrote the parody “novel” Fifty Thousand Shades of Grey, which is literally 50,000 copies of the phrase “shades of grey”.
The film itself is features a jaded Ashens being reminded of the one fictional bit of worthless, but rare, rubbish he never got to add to his collection – the GameChild, an early 90s ripoff of the Gameboy. Pursued by his nemesis called… erm… Nemesis, played by a gleefully scenery chewing Chris “Crabtickz” Kendall, Ashens’ quest finds him meeting Robert Llewellyn, Ashens’ old professor, Warwick Davis playing himself and internet stars PJ Liguori, Miles Dyer and Chris Bingham, who all show a great deal of competence as actors.
Ashens proves himself to be a decent actor too, showing that you don’t spend years editing your own videos without learning something about delivery, his lines and those of Kendall are the funniest throughout, and most of the genuine laughs I had were because of them.
The plot plays out like Indiana Jones, rewritten by Monty Python and seen through the lens of a useless electronic tat obsessed Ashens. However, invoking Monty Python isn’t to say it’s the next Life of Brian, AQG is far from a perfect film.