HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dreams on Fire
Sing as We Go!
Burnt Orange Heresy, The
Craft Legacy, The
Eye of the Storm
Inflatable Sex Doll of the Wastelands
Where No Vultures Fly
Come True
Kagemusha
Justine
Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché
Madchen in Uniform
Fire Will Come
Suspect
Jailbreak Pact
News of the World
Dementer
Beyond Clueless
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Blush
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
Archenemy
Zappa
Mindwarp
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
Greenland
Broil
Dead Pigs
Willy's Wonderland
It's in the Air
   
 
Newest Articles
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
   
 
  Sweeney! Shut It
Year: 1977
Director: David Wickes
Stars: John Thaw, Dennis Waterman, Barry Foster, Ian Bannen, Diane Keen, Colin Welland, Michael Coles, Joe Melia, Lynda Bellingham, Brian Glover, Morris Perry, Paul Angelis, Nick Brimble, John Alkin, Bernard Kay
Genre: ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: A social secretary (Lynda Bellingham) is taken to a hotel room, made to record messages on tape and then given a drugs overdose which kills her. The reason? Her death is used to blackmail the government energy secretary Charles Baker (Ian Bannen) into selling off British oil cheaply to the American corporation which may be secretly employing his American press secretary Elliott McQueen (Barry Foster). The death is covered up, but the deceased woman's boyfriend Ronnie Brent (Joe Melia) is not satisfied with the verdict of the coroner, and calls on an old friend in the police - Flying Squad Inspector Jack Regan (John Thaw).

This heavy handed thriller, scripted by Ranald Graham, was the first big screen spin-off from the popular British television series The Sweeney, Sweeney Todd being Cockney rhyming slang for Flying Squad. On TV, the programme had been a sizeable hit, bringing grit, action and belligerence to the traditionally staid UK cop show, and the film makers obviously thought that this would translate to the cinemas, with more brutal violence and extra nudity added for good, sensationalist measure. The result certainly pulls no punches, as Regan and his loyal sidekick George Carter (Dennis Waterman, from the original series) are embroiled with a political plot quite unlike what they're used to, which leaves a trail of bodies in its wake. Where's the car chase, though?

One thing you miss from the series is the "The Sweeney! The Sweeney! Der-neh-neh-ner Der-neh-neh-neh-ner" theme tune (you'd have thought they could have got Waterman to write the theme tune and sing the theme tune, but not in this case). In fact, during that first half hour not a lot happens: Regan and Carter break up a robbery in a massive punch up, Baker is worried at the difficult position he has been put in, and Ronnie won't let go of the idea that his mistress has been murdered. We get a vivid sense of the testosterone-fuelled Flying Squad offices where you can almost smell the Brut aftershave, Regan fires off his two catchphrases - "Shut it!" and "You're nicked!", but the plot meanders.

When Ronnie and his staff are machine-gunned to death at their scrap metal yard, however, Regan becomes suspicious. If the powers behind the plot had simply left Ronnie alone to complain about his theories which nobody else believed, they might have gotten away with it, but now the tough yet fair Regan just won't let go. This results in his car being pulled over by some bent coppers one night, whereupon he's kidnapped, forcefed full of whisky, and put back at the wheel, only for him to crash and get suspended from the force for drunken driving. By this point Regan knows for sure there's some foul play afoot, and tracks down McQueen at his gentlemen's club to find out more. Of course, it's his life in danger as the hitmen arrive.

Unlikely as it sounds, Sweeney! ties in with the cycle of conspiracy movies of the seventies. It's not up there with The Parallax View or All the President's Men, but it does work up a fine mood of aggressive paranoia as Regan is pursued across London. There's one very strong sequence where he teams up with another social secretary on the hitlist and has to flee the killers, his efforts to escape foiled at every turn - the bus stops in the middle of the road, the taxi driver pulls away, the potentially helpful policeman gets murdered. We could have done with more of the camaraderie with Carter from the series - Waterman disappears from the story for long periods - but the dialogue is at a typical level ("Leave it aht, 'e couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery!") and the pace never flags after the uncertain first act. Not as enjoyable as a really top-class episode, but better than you'd expect. Better than the Morecambe and Wise episode, at least. Music by Denis King.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 9857 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
   

 

Last Updated: