Mockumentaries can be very confusing things. On the one hand, you have the outstanding excellence of Spinal Tap, the original and possibly still the best. On the other hand, when done badly, they can come across as unfunny, badly acted and indulgent.
Robert Llewellyn (you may best know him as Kryten from Red Dwarf) has created a mockumentary that falls closer to the first than the second.
it2i2 (it stands for It Thinks Therefore It Is) is a mockumentary about the possibility of an artifical consciousness living on the internet. It postulates that not only is such an intelligence out there - it found us before we found it. And now it likes to play with air traffic control systems.
Llewellyn, playing himself, creates a small world in which everything seems connected. From crazy programmer nerds, to private detectives and government watchdogs, everyone knows what's going on but won't tell him.
The laughs come from lots of different places. Spot the friendly cameo (Tony Hawks and Danny John-Jules, amongst others). The ever funny sight of A Man In A Fat Suit (Llewellyn again, playing John Silverstine, discoverer of it2i2). And the little side details that are snuck in almost too fast to notice (pop up boxes displayed on lap tops that read "Time remaining for download - quite a while").
It's more of an exploration of a good idea than a full blown comedy film, and it's only about 45 minutes of main feature. However, it is packed full of little gems and it's a great example of what a bit of hard work and no budget can achieve.
Extras - making of documentary including the make-up process, out-takes, an interview with Professor Kevin Warwick about the real-life science behind the story and an animated short from 2002 that Mr Llewellyn correctly assumed would be a bit of fun.
it2i2 is only available from http://www.it2i2.com