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Freddie Frankham (Craig Fairbrass, The Bank Job) is working his way into the East End London big league with the opening of his nightclub, but soon realizes he’s made a grave mistake by building it on the sacred land of Dante Livienko (Billy Murray, Rise Of The Footsoldier): otherwise known as the legendary vampire The Wolf. Dante wants the club, but Freddie isn’t going to give up his turf without a fight, little realizing that he’s taking on a 500-year-old legend of mortal combat in a battle to the death . . .
Dexter Fletcher (Kick-Ass), Steven Berkoff (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) and Lisa McAllister (How To Lose Friends & Alienate People) also star in this stylishly gritty horror/gangster mashup from genre specialists Black and Blue Films that tears across the screen to deliver bloodied fight action!
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The Romanian mafia who want the club are extra strong and have a hypnotic effect on people. The two groups enter into a drug deal and soon the Romanians get control of the nightclub. At this point, in the battle of the bad guys, I started rooting for the vampires over the Brits. One crazy man, Kenny Mason (Steven Berkoff), who was a squatter over the site of the club long ago knows the secret of the vampires.
The high action packed vampire film suggested by the DVD cover doesn't materialize until late. This is more of an adult "Twilight" for British mobsters. The acting was good. I enjoyed the "realism" of the script, as a change from more traditional vampire movies. The movie had potential. The soundtrack they used during the credits would have been better during the film. The important scenes were too quick and not memorable. Makes for an okay rental, but nothing more.
F-bomb, no sex, no nudity (scantily clad dancers).
DEAD CERT is filmed with little panache and its script is sloppily written, with an ending that makes no sense. There's plenty of gore and nudity but nothing we haven't seen before. Craig Fairbrass, a veteran from the original PRIME SUSPECT, tries gamely but the writers trapped him in an ill-developed character and surround him with equally ineffective support. Ultimately DEAD CERT is a bloodless misfire I wouldn't recommend.
Starring legendary British talent Steven Berkoff, Guy Ritchie favourites Dexter Fletcher and Jason Flemyng, plus underused Brit actor Craig Fairbrass, I was honestly expecting a little more from this movie and this expectation simply led to my disappointment.
The film starts off promisingly enough, setting the scene with Frankham (Fairbrass) setting up his club etc and the East End of Laandaan gangster cliches are fairly blunt but not so much that it is farcical; shady characters, money exchanging hands at bare-knuckle boxing matches etc. The problems don't even start when strippers and thugs become dinner for the vampires; for me, the whole thing just didn't work. The film has clearly been a labour of love for promising helmsman Steve Lawson but I can't help but feel that he should have held on to this particular idea until he was a little more well-established. The technical side of the film is proficient enough with the pace of the movie adequate, the general flow of the story was fine and the special effects being acceptable. My only gripe with the effects was the spectacularly woeful vampire deaths. I like my dying vampires dissolving, writhing in agony, exploding etc etc ad infinitum, not simply falling to the ground and lying there.
For me, casting Billy Murray as Livienko was a mistake, maybe influenced in some part by his co-producing the movie. As a native Londoner, with a solid British acting pedigree and unquestionable East End history (The Kray Twins paid for him to go to an acting school when he was a teenager), Murray's credentials are not in doubt. However, playing a 500 year old vampire that it is alluded to be Dracula, Murray is most definitely not the right choice.
As stated, the idea behind the movie is sound and obviously has more than a passing resemblance to `From Dusk Til Dawn' and I would have been keen to see a more matured version of this film but as it stands, Dead Cert is not a movie I will be choosing to watch again.
Distributor : Shout Factory (US)
What do you get when you cross a family of East End gangsters with a pack of deadly Russian vampires? Well in this case it would appear to be a pretty entertaining (if perhaps a little silly) movie.
Take one bunch of Cockney wide boys, a seedy strip club complete with underground fighting circuit, mix in a hostile take over by a group of invading Russian Mafia and you ultimately have the basic ingredients for a pretty violent showdown. This showdown however, is set to be a little different as it soon becomes clear that the Russian immigrants are none other than a pack of bloodthirsty vampires who are determined to make the territory their own.
Starring a few of the usual Brit flick faces, the film goes from regular gangster drama to full blown horror survival movie and with bad boys versus vampires you just know the blood is going to flow in rivers.
Released practically unnoticed on Blu-ray by the distributor, the film is presented in a 1080p 2.35:1 16x9 transfer which is visually striking in detail. Skin tones appear natural, colours are warm and well defined and black levels also show a decent amount of depth. All in all this is a strong transfer which really shouldn't generate any complaints from collectors.
Audio is represented with a DTS HD 7.1 track which provides crisp and well defined dialogue. Background music and effects however do appear a little subdued at times although this is more than likely due to the way the movie was actually filmed rather than any actual audio defects.
Extras for this release comprise of an audio commentary with cast and producer, a pretty intensive making of documentary featuring interviews and on set footage and also a theatrical trailer. What is here is largely very good and it's nice to be able to gain a reasonable insight into the making of the film.
All things considered, the movie is pretty entertaining if not taken too seriously. The characters are fairly well written, enough at least to enable you to root for your favourites (however your allegiance may well change a few times as the film plays out) and special effects remain pretty decent throughout. Admittedly the film is no Goodfellas or even From Dusk Till Dawn, but for a mindless vampire action flick mixed with a twist of East End villainy you could certainly do a lot worse.
Released region free by Shout Factory, this Blu-ray makes a reasonable addition to the growing number of Brit Flicks currently hitting the market and for a film which may otherwise have quietly slipped by many collectors, this one isn't half bad.
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