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Dead Man's Shoes
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Following his spaghetti western homage,
Once Upon a Time in the Midlands
, British writer/director Shane Meadows turns his hand to horror. A grimy, naturalistic subversion of the slasher genre, this morally ambiguous shocker marries the style of
28 Days Later ...
with gallows humour of the blackest hue. In an uncomfortably matter-of-fact performance, co-writer Paddy Considine plays a tortured ex-army man who returns to the rural Midlands village of his youth to take revenge on a drugs gang who used and abused his younger, mentally disabled brother (Toby Kebbell). With many of the cast being non-actors and much of the dialogue improvised, there's a strong sense of realism that makes the violence portrayed so much more horrific. Initially, events are sweetened somewhat with acerbic wit and dark slapstick, but edgy laughs soon degenerate into grim brutality. It's an abrupt shift that unfortunately destroys the rising tension and turns a powerful, claustrophobic chiller into just another nasty exploitation flick.
A man returns to his Derbyshire home town with his younger brother in tow. It soon becomes clear he has a dark purpose for revisiting his old stamping ground, and the local drug dealers have plenty of reason to be nervous. Psychological thriller from director Shane Meadows, starring Paddy Considine, Toby Kebbell, Gary Stretch and Stuart Wolfenden.
Cast & Crew
Contains violence, swearing and drug abuse.
DVD and Blu-ray
1 Oct 2004
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