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By Merle Bertrand | September 27, 1999

Farley Mowat did what? The hell, you say! Wait a minute, who the heck is Farley Mowat? According to Ken Hegan, the writer, director and narrator of this Canadian tall tale, the titular Mr. Mowat is a deranged psychopathic cannibal, hack childrens’ book author and possible wolf (!). After a childhood fraught with abuse and ridicule, Mowat writes his books to get even with kids who he knows must write book reviews on his middling creations. When the narrator’s brother, (“the one with the perfect skin,”) sick of Mowat’s books to start with, has to help his own son write one of these book reports, he cracks and fires off a nasty letter to the author. Mowat invites the disgruntled father to his cabin…and the man is never seen alive again. Our sharp-eyed narrator, however, picks out his brother’s visage on the face of a drum — he had perfect skin, remember — and discerns that his unfortunate kin met an untimely demise at the hands of the vengeful author. Off he goes then, on a treacherous pursuit to avenge his brother’s death at the hands of the evil Farley Mowat. And all in eight minutes. If this were a song, it’d be a “ditty” and an odd little ditty at that. It’s a strange but affecting film with the kind of cheesy effects and dorky humor you used to see on the old “Benny Hill Show” — without the breasts. I don’t know what Hegan’s done since this film, but in the amusing “Farley Mowat Ate My Brother,” at least, he demonstrates a fine sense of the absurd.

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