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Flick

UK 2008
produced by
Rik Hall, Pauline Burt (executive), Pippa Cross (executive), Linda James (executive), Bryn Roberts (executive) for Monster Films, Arts Council of Wales
directed by David Howard
starring Faye Dunaway, Hugh O'Conor, Mark Benton, Terence Rigby, Julia Foster, Liz Smith, Michelle Ryan, Hayley Angel Wardle, Ricci Harnett, Dominic Doughty, David Morris, Geoffrey Hughes, Anna Karen, Katherine Judkins, Kerrie Hayes, Brian Hibbard, Gary Shepheard, Boyd Clack, John Woodvine, Margaret John, Duane Henry, Sara Harris Davies, Mossie Smith, Kim McGarrity, Richard Hawley, Rhys Parry Jones, Bill Smith, Kirsten Jones, Esme Coles
written by David Howard, special effects by Mike Burrett/Hybrid Enterprises, visual effects by Mike Burrett, Gary Bush

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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1960: Johnny (Hugh O'Conor) is a really good dancer, but he also stutters and everybody thinks he's a freak - and when fighting over young Sal (Hayley Angel Wardle) with Creeper (Ricci Harnett), he massacres several teens on the dancefloor before making a getaway with her - but losing control over his car and sinking it into a river. She can save herself, but he is left on the river's ground for the next 50 or so years.

Now: For some reason, Johnny's car has finally been retrieved from the river with his dead body still onthe wheel, but when he hears rockabilly, the music from his youth, Johnny comes back to life and ... returns home to his (now borderline mad) mother (Liz Smith), who apparently hasn't moved in the last 50 years and isn't surprised in the least that it has taken his son quite a while to return home from the last dance he was at. Soon though, Johnny starts killing people, all members of Creeper's gang who have been mean to him 50 years ago.

When the local police is baffled by the many murders, Memphis cop McKenzie (Faye Dunaway) is called in to help with the investigations, basically because Johnny only murders to rockabilly music and Memphis is after all the town of Elvis Presley. Even though everything would suggest that the murders have to do with Johnny, McKenzie and her partner (Mark Benton) take about forever to pay a visit to his mother - and when they do, Johnny turns up and stabs both cops. McKenzie survives but her partner dies.

Johnny now goes after Creeper (now played by Terence Rigby), his main nemesis from back in the day, and kills him, then kidnaps Sally (now played by Julia Foster), now Creeper's wife (or rather widow) - but in an underwhelming finale, he is crushed by a falling container at the docks.

 

The good news first: This film is pretty stylish without putting style over content, the comicbook interludes that interrupt the action every now and again do make sense and are pretty cute, and Faye Dunaway, who seems to get better the older she gets, gives a fine eccentric performance.

All that said, the film is decidedly less than perfect, its story is as simplistic as it is badly conceived and full of plotholes (Like how come Sal, who was a teenager 50 years ago, has a 19 year old daughter [Michelle Ryan]? - Do the maths, it's not impossible but highly improbable. - Or why has Sal married Creeper, whom she has never liked in the first place [the 1960-segment]? Or how come that McKenzie on one hand believes pretty soon in the picture that Johny is behind all of the killings yet thinks his mother id crazy when she claims Johnny is still alive? Or what about the whole pirate radio subplot and the fact that Johnny needs music to kill? And so on, and so forth ...). Plus, does Faye Dunaway's character really have to tell a cheesy Elvis-story? I mean we get the point, she's from Memphis, no need to rub it in. And why is it necessary she's one-armed? And why couldn't anyone think of a better ending? I mean, a supernatural villain crushed by a container, that's lame.

To sum it up, this is not a film you will totally hate, it has its moments, but it's not very good either.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD