HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dark Tower, The
Better Watch Out
Beguiled, The
Year of the Comet
Levelling, The
Dog Days
Annabelle Creation
Once Upon a Time in Shanghai
Sssssss
Woman in Question, The
Atomic Blonde
Doulos, Le
Okja
Bob le Flambeur
Wedding in White
Léon Morin, Priest
Napping Princess, The
Scorpions and Miniskirts
Berlin File, The
Beaches of Agnès, The
Blue Jeans
Garokawa - Restore the World
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Gleaners & I, The
Peter of Placid Forest
Golden Bird, The
War for the Planet of the Apes
One Sings, the Other Doesn't
Great Gilly Hopkins, The
Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon
   
 
Newest Articles
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
The Melville Mood: His Final Two Films on The Melville Collection Blu-ray
Always Agnès: 3 from The Varda Collection Blu-ray
Re: Possession of Vehicles - Killer Cars, Trucks and a Vampire Motorcycle
The Whicker Kicker: Whicker's World Vols 5&6 on DVD
The Empress, the Mermaid and the Princess Bride: Three 80s Fantasy Movies
Witching Hour: Hammer House of Horror on Blu-ray
Two Sides of Sellers: The Party vs The Optimists
Norse Code: The Vikings vs The Long Ships
Over the Moon - Space: 1999 The Complete Series on Blu-ray Part 2
   
 
  Slayground Buy this film here.
Year: 1983
Director: Terry Bedford
Stars: Mel Smith, Peter Coyote, Philip Sayer, Billie Whitelaw, Marie Masters, Bill Luhrs
Genre: Drama, Action, Thriller
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Slayground may sound like a great title for some dodgy early-eighties American psycho-slasher – perhaps some hideously charred knuckle-rapping former headmaster stalking his ex-pupils with a wooden ruler - but it’s actually a pretty damn good Anglo-American gangster thriller about a
professional thief, Stone (Peter Coyote) and two buddies cracking an armoured truck and high-tailing it with the loot, managing to knock someone’s car off the road in the process. That “someone” happens to be the nasty owner of a local ice-rink who is none too pleased to hear that his young daughter has been mashed in an auto wreck and hires a shadowy hitman (usually referred too as “The Shadowman”) to bump off the culprits. After two off his buddies are taken out; Stone’s driver’s bloody corpse is left in a car-wash, his partner, redneck Joey tarred (in shit), feathered and left holding his dog, Stone decides to hightail it to London, England to seek the help of his old buddy Terry Abbat (Mel Smith). Abbat has problems of his own though – his Pleasure Beach in some run-down Northern seaside town (unnamed, but actually filmed in Blackpool and Southport) is, quite frankly, going down the shitter (so it will reappear on Blackpool beach sooner or later) and a couple of Scottish heavies are putting the hard word on him – and that’s forgetting those thugs in London who Terry could be, or could be not, running from!

The best performance – an absolutely wonderful performance, in fact – is from Philip Sayer as the Shadowman, the dark assassin stalking Stone. Coldly good-natured, always hanging happily on the edge of schizophrenia, the watching this truly evil, foul and slimy character is like reminiscing the time you tongued that dead, half-defrosted jellyfish. But Sayer manipulates the part well; even glimpses of his shoes, shadow and silhouette send shivers down your spine.

And most surprising is the appearance here of former Not The Nine O Clock News-er Mel Smith. The heavyweight half of Alas Smith And Jones (never quite as entertaining as its wild-west namesake) could really – should really - have become a straight actor, excellently playing his rock-hard tough-guy-gone-good part – and managing to keep a straight-as-a-die face against the humour that comes with his character sporting Smith’s trademark Nutkins haircut and a cut-off brown (BROWN for fuck’s sake!) leather jacket!

There are, however, a couple of small problems with Slayground, the main one being major plot trails that lead absolutely nowhere – the opening scene is never adequately resolved; only slightly less annoying is that those Scottish gangsters hassling Terry just disappear without trace. While we’re at it, what about those guys in London – what’s the score with them? And maybe I’m just being childish but the Shadowman shouldn’t have been so easy to kill. After a fabulous, edge-of-your-seat chase through the amusement park (acid casualties here should perhaps find something else to do), Stone pumps a couple of bullets in him and that’s it! I don’t want my Shadowman to die like that! I want him to get back up and kill again, kill! And before the credits roll, I want to hear him laughing from beyond the fucking grave!!! (Calm down Wayne; remember it’s not that slasher film you wanted!)

But still, Slayground is a decent film from a time when British cinema was on the brink of drying up for a few years. The patchy script is saved by some genuinely tense (keep a pair of clean trousers with you, just in case!) moments and some great performances. Well worth a look, at least.
Reviewer: Wayne Southworth

 

This review has been viewed 3778 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
Keith Rockmael
Paul Shrimpton
Ian Phillips
Jensen Breck
   

 

Last Updated: