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Stars: Ziad Abaza, Reece Noi, Scot Williams, Ewen Macintosh, Kristin Atherton, Darren Morfitt

Director: Dan Pringle

This jet-black comedy, following a similar path to Robert Carlyle's Barney Thomson, opens with a manacled man (Morfitt) being sick and shouting a stream of venom at his captor. So we know what to expect and, in this respect at least, this grossly overlong film does not disappoint.

Salah Sabir is a Turkish immigrant studying for a degree; together with his still-ambitious father (Nayef Rashed) he runs a small and dingy kebab shop in an English coastal town (the film was shot in Bournemouth),

Frequently beset by drunken revellers insulting the pair about their heritage, the shop is invaded one night by three yobs to whom Salah senior unwisely opens the door. Already a sick man, he's thrust to the ground by the trio while his son is in the back of the shop. The older man's weak heart gives way and he dies.

Soon afterwards, a brawl with a drunken customer results in said customer's head being plunged into a vat of boiling fat. When he dies, Sabir chops him up and carves the remains into a (popular) kebab. Before you can say doner, Sabir has abandoned his studies and become the Demon Kebabber of Beach Street, saving his savagery for the dregs of society.

And these include Jason Brown (Williams), whose nightclub Swish fills its denizens with booze and offers entertainment in a taste far worse than Samir's kebabs.

A local sharpie (Noi), however, is wise to Sabir's lethal game and persuades him to take him on as an assistant, keeping an eye out for the main chance.

All this does have a certain morbid fascination, but at a stop-start pace; a confrontation between Samir and the manacled man from scene one seems to go on for ever, and a putative romance between our anti-hero and the manageress (Atherton) of a local hotel simply fizzles out. The atmosphere, however, is impressively dark and unpleasant throughout; this may be at heart a comedy, but one that gives us little incentive to smile.

David Quinlan

UK 2015. UK Distributor: Bulldog Films. Colour (unspecified).
113 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 2, Swearing 3.

Review date: 17 Jul 2016