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Strangeways Here We Come


Stars: Elaine Cassidy, Michelle Keegan, Stephen Lord, Nina Wadia, Chanel Cresswell, James Cooney, Oliver Coopersmith, Lauren Socha

Director: Chris Green

On the shelf for six (repeat, six) years according to its copyright date, this appalling, obnoxious black comedy, with its condescending attitudes towards the working classes, would give even late-night TV a bad name.

Residents of a Salford council block, settled into a lifestyle of casual sex, drugs and occasional violence, are all in debt (God knows how) to the lascivious local loan shark.

At the end of a drug-fuelled party hosted by Aaron (Coopersmith), who walks round in a Superman costume and offers his guests trifle and a game of pass the parcel, the locals, confronted by the loan shark, stab him to death with hypodermic needles, much in the style of (spoilers here, I suppose), Murder on the Orient Express.

So how to get rid of the body? Without raising any laughs, that's for sure. Meanwhile, two Mormons call at various doors, but the writer-director can't find any fun here, either. Or from the postman who gets beaten and raped for bringing our 'heroes' bills.

'Want a lift?' leers the villain earlier. 'I'd rather lance my vagina with razor blades,' is the reply. It's the highpoint of the film's wit.

Performances and direction alike are pitched at much too high a level. It's one of those low-budget British films that escape (eventually) rather than get released. And there are too many of these at the moment for the native industry's comfort.

David Quinlan

UK 2012. UK Distributor: Miracle Communications. Colour (unspecified).
87 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 3.

Review date: 03 Oct 2018