HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Deeper You Dig, The
Trouble Brewing
Song Without a Name
Incident in a Ghostland
Relic
Nobody
Now, At Last!
Tales from the Hood
Radio Parade of 1935
Dead
Death at Broadcasting House
Huracan
Ghost Strata
Call to Spy, A
Tailgate
Other Lamb, The
Every Time I Die
Lynn + Lucy
Topsy-Turvy
Honest Thief
Blood and Money
Rose: A Love Story
Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made
Om Dar-B-Dar
Silencing, The
J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of SubGenius
Dick Johnson is Dead
Two/One
Cognition
Legacy of Lies
I Am Woman
Alien Addiction
Dare, The
South Terminal
Little Monsters
Yield to the Night
My Zoe
Young Playthings
End of Summer
Times of Harvey Milk, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
   
 
  Tank Malling This Man Is News
Year: 1989
Director: James Marcus
Stars: Ray Winstone, Jason Connery, Amanda Donohoe, Glen Murphy, Marsha A. Hunt, Peter Wyngarde, John Conteh, Don Henderson, John Bett, Craig Fairbrass, Jamie Foreman, Wayne Norman, Terry Marsh, Jess Conrad, Nick Brimble, Nick Berry, Melissa Wilkes
Genre: Thriller, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: Two years ago, newspaper reporter John "Tank" Malling (Ray Winstone) nearly had his career utterly derailed when he became involved with high class prostitute Helen Searle (Amanda Donohoe), who wished him to assist her in taking down a conspiracy that stretched to the farthest echelons of British society. But however accurate her claims had been, the establishment were not about to roll over and so Tank was discredited and almost lost his job. Now he has made a comeback in his chosen profession, nothing major but it pays the bills, when Helen reappears and asks him to track down an incriminating diary...

Possibly one of the worst-reviewed British films of all time, now it's the twenty-first century Tank Malling does perhaps need reappraisal. Not because it was any good, it still isn't, but because what looked like an abberation in the country's cinematic output now appears to have been very prescient in its wallow in the seedy underworld of gangsters and corruption. Those British criminal thrillers and football hooligan movies and comedies with a meanspirited streak a mile wide: they all have this as their forefather, no matter that there were movies before this covering the same ground.

But it looks like those efforts aimed at the half-drunk looking for mindless home entertainment on a Friday night had their grounding established here. Take a bunch of actors and celebrities for stunt casting (in this case eighties glamour model Maria Whittaker as herself and boxer John Conteh as a hitman), a few "hey... isn't that Zammo's girlfriend from Grange Hill?" style bit parts, and a production team of likely lads who took this to their hearts as their pet project making it one step above amateur hour, and Bob was indeed your uncle. There were those who complained it was relentlessly boring as well as unutterably nasty, but while the latter may have been true, others divined unintentional comedy in its attempts to be gritty.

Grotty was more like it, with Winstone's features permanently twisted in an incredulous scowl no matter what Tank's life throws at him - and why is he called Tank when nobody refers to him as that in the film? What kind of a nickname is that, anyway? Hey-ho, it doesn't really matter because as bad as the title is, the rest more than lives up to it as our hero gets embroiled with a scheme to allow self-styled moralists a stranglehold over British life, led by a dazed-looking Peter Wyngarde. He plays, in his final role, Sir Robert Knights ("Sir" and "Knights" in the same name? He must be important!), who is actually a religious maniac and effectively a mouthpiece for some kind of fascist organisation which is trying to exert vice-like control.

Except that we see they already have their hooks in every area of the nation's power structure, so how much more do they need? Tank is presumably intended to be like the Warren Beatty character in The Parallax View, so much so that whole plot points are lifted from that cult classic willy-nilly without much thought to how they would fit into the culture from this side of the Atlantic. Defence of the Realm, Edge of Darkness on television, these are the UK conspiracy thrillers that got it right because to many the powers that be in that time were believably sinister, whereas here the bad guys are laughably cartoonish, especially Jason Connery's Nazi-esque puppetmaster. Not quite consistently absurd to be hilarious yet still fatally silly when it's trying to shock or make you go "Hmm", you could chalk this up to a brave try, but the fact that so many followed in its footsteps means that Tank Malling had the last laugh. Music by Rick Fenn and Nick Mason.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4677 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
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: