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Cocky cockney snooker player Billy Kid accepts the challenge of a grudge match from Maxwell Randall (the Green Baize Vampire), six times world champion; the loser will never play professional snooker again. Written by
Roisin Moriarty <Roisin.Moriarty@gecapital.com>
I've been wanting to see this movie for years, and just caught a very rare screening at the National Film Theatre. There were maybe twenty people there, and if there was any justice the place would have been standing-room only. Whatever about that, those of us who made it had a good time. This is one of the strangest and most entertaining British films, certainly of the Eighties, and probably of the entire twentieth century. You may be reminded of other movies (I thought of Ken Russell's wild set designs, and also Eraserhead) but there really is nothing to compare it to... The performances are broad, cartoonish even, but well-judged. They never topple over into self-parody. Phil Daniels is as good as ever, but I was especially impressed by Bruce Payne (a new name to me) who does a great job with the least defined role in the movie, 'T.O.', Billy's manager, the weak link in the chain, the craven gambling addict whose need puts Billy in danger of losing his career (but whose eye for the main chance is the reason he has a career at all...) The songs are kind of a mixed bag, bit when they're good (as they are through all of the outlandishly gripping final snooker game) they're much better than 'Tommy', for instance, and Phil Daniel's final stream-of-consciousness number, foreseeing his bright but banal future, wouldn't sound out of place on a Blur CD.... It looks unlikely that this is ever going to come out on video let alone DVD, but if any freakish chance allows you the opportunity to see it, then do. You won't be bored. Bewildered maybe, confused perhaps, laughing like a drain hopefully. But definitely not bored.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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