Tuesday, January 22, 2013

FLICK (2008) movie review

Flick (2008) (1st viewing) d. Howard, David (UK)
When socially awkward London “rocker” youth Hugh O’Conor is brutally beaten at a local dance, he whips out his switchblade, makes mincemeat of half the high school populace, then flees the bloody scene only to drown when he drives his car off the closest pier. Years later, after the waterlogged vehicle is recovered, the teen thug inexplicably revives from the dead and continues his quest for vengeance against those that wronged him. (Funny how he failed to kill any of his attackers during the original spree, but be that as it may…)

O’Conor, who won raves for his portrayal of young Christy Brown in My Left Foot and The Young Poisoner’s Handbook (while genre fans might recall his turn as young Robbie in the much maligned Rawhead Rex) stars in this quirky rockabilly zombie fantasy, with slumming Academy Award winner Faye Dunaway coyly nibbling the scenery as a one-armed detective from Memphis curiously called from across the pond to help.

But it is writer/director Howard’s unique stylistic flourishes (comic book panels, heighted rear-screen projections) that prove the main attraction, creatively masking a presumably limited budget with enough pizzazz to ease his flimsy script’s shortcomings. Reliable Brit character actor Mark Benton provides solid support as the disbelieving lawman assigned to the case, while octogenarian Liz Smith steals her every scene as O’Conor’s loyal mum.

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