HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Gangsta
3 Nuts in Search of a Bolt
Magic Serpent, The
That's Not Me
There Goes the Bride
Billy the Kid versus Dracula
Liquid Sword
I, Tonya
Universal Soldier: Regeneration
Bad Match
Güeros
Anchor and Hope
One, The
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
Lucky
Still of the Night
Home Sweet Homicide
Mannaja - A Man Called Blade
Spitfire
Killers from Space
Castle of the Creeping Flesh
Ghost Stories
Wild Boys, The
Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai, The
Four Rode Out
Lethal Weapon 3
Kit Curran Radio Show, The
D.O.A.
End, The
Tully
   
 
Newest Articles
Time Trap: Last Year in Marienbad and La Jetée
Gaining Three Stone: Salvador, Natural Born Killers and Savages
Right Said Bernard: Cribbins on DVD
1969: The Year Westerns Couldn't Get Past
A Network Horror Double Bill: Assault and Death Line on Blu-ray
The Edie Levy: Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol and Ciao! Manhattan
The Ultimate Trip: The Original Psychedelic Movies
Players of Games: Willy Wonka, Tron and Ready Player One
What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round? The Ends of The Monkees
Flings and Arrows: Conquest vs Flesh + Blood
Orson Around: F for Fake and The Late Great Planet Earth
ITC What You Did There: Retro-Action on Blu-ray
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
Manor On Movies: The Astounding She Monster
Manor On Movies: Don't be a dolt. That's not a cult (movie)
   
 
  Brimstone and Treacle Spread A Little HappinessBuy this film here.
Year: 1982
Director: Richard Loncraine
Stars: Sting, Denholm Elliott, Joan Plowright, Suzanna Hamilton, Mary MacLeod, Benjamin Whitrow, Dudley Sutton
Genre: Drama, Weirdo
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: A middle-aged couple, Mr and Mrs Bates (Denholm Elliott and Joan Plowright), take care of their near-catatonic daughter (Suzanna Hamilton) at their home. Then Mr Bates bumps into a mysterious stranger (Sting) who, claiming to be a friend of his daughter, follows him home and offers to help out.

Writer Dennis Potter's unsettling religious drama was originally a television play produced in 1976. However, it was deemed unsuitable for broadcasting (i.e. banned until 1987, five years after this version was released), and so, in the manner of Alan Clarke's Scum, it was adapted into a slightly altered, but not improved, film.

Mr Bates is wracked with self-loathing, having partly caused the accident that sent his daughter into her severely disabled state, while Mrs Bates remains optimistic that a miracle will occur and she will recover. Enter creepy Sting (apparently doing some kind of Malcolm McDowell impersonation) who may be an angel or may be a devil (his character is more obviously demonic in the television play).

The first time we see Sting, he's emerging from a church amidst a crowd of choirboys. But he is full of contradictions: he steals from, yet offers to help the couple; one minute he's feeling the helpless daughter's tits, next minute he's a picture of piety, leading Mrs Bates in prayer. There may be a supernatural angle to him as well.

The film has a strange attitude to sex - here it's the cause of endless guilt and shame, but the worst kind of sex leads, perversely, to a happy ending of sorts. The most Dennis Potter-y moment is the bit where Mr Bates asks his secretary to raise her skirts, then calls her a "jezebel".

Although there is a certain unpleasant humour to the whole thing, Brimstone and Treacle is like a twisted parable, the message of which seems to be "God must be cruel to be kind", or even "God is sick". He certainly moves in mysterious ways, if this film is anything to go by. Music by Michael Nyman.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 10148 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Richard Loncraine  (1946 - )

Capable British director who moves between film and television. Slade movie Flame was his first credit, then horror Full Circle and Dennis Potter adaptation Brimstone and Treacle were next. Michael Palin comedy The Missionary and the superb version of Shakespeare's Richard III were well received, as was his TV drama about Winston Churchill, The Gathering Storm. He then had a hit with romantic Britcom Wimbledon.

 
Review Comments (1)


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?
Steven Seagal
Pam Grier
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Stately Wayne Manor
Andrew Pragasam
  Patrick Keenan
Enoch Sneed
Ian Phillips
  Afra Khan
  Dan Malone
   

 

Last Updated: