The horror genre and British horror in particular seems to veer from the excellent to the downright poor, having no middle ground whatsoever. Which brings me to my viewing of Dead Cert, a 2010 British horror movie that appears to want to marry up some genres, namely cockney gangsters and vampires...
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.