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Grievous Bodily Harm (1988)

 -  Crime | Drama | Mystery  -  January 1989 (USA)
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A schoolteacher (John Waters) becomes obsessed with the idea that his wife (Joy Bell) did not die in a car accident, as everyone else thinks.



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Title: Grievous Bodily Harm (1988)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Morris Martin
Tom Stewart
Kim Gyngell ...
Craig Ashley ...
Gary Waddell ...
Eddie Weaks
Bruno Lawrence ...
Det. Sgt. Ray Birch
Gary Stalker ...
Derek Allen
Marise Wipani ...
Saskia Schlicht ...
Dominic Gowans ...
Don Reid ...
Les (as Ric Carter)
Caz Lederman ...
Vivian Enderby
Stephen Enderby
Sheridan Murphy ...


A schoolteacher (John Waters) becomes obsessed with the idea that his wife (Joy Bell) did not die in a car accident, as everyone else thinks.

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Release Date:

January 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bodily Harm  »

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The dingo stole the script!
27 May 2003 | by (the rock) – See all my reviews

I've wanted to see GRIEVOUS BODILY HARM for some time now but never had the chance to see it, either on TV or on video. I finally got hold of a used video cassette on Ebay for 0.50 cents and watched it. Boy, what a waste of time!

The script is terrible and the average direction is uninspired. The movie starts with two story-lines which eventually converge into one. One story is with John Waters obsessing over a woman. The other is about a reporter and some huge sums of cash he got from a dying criminal. Anyway, the start of the movie is muddled in the extreme. For some time, I had no idea what was going on. GBH has a very confusing beginning. Eventually things start to make sense halfway through the movie but it wasn't worth watching it up to that point. John Waters, an excellent actor, is totally wasted in an unpleasant one-note character, a serial killer of sorts, that could have easily been played by an unknown actor. Bruno Lawrence is somewhere in the movie. He's also wasted. The other actors are serviceable.

The funny parts of this film noir wannabe are these two points: the fact that the film actually shies away from all the interesting action. In the end, we always see the dull moments before or after the pivotal moments. Such as what happens to John Waters' character, which is completely unsatisfactory, certainly when you consider that he's the character that drives the whole story along it's murky, clunky way. We don't see any scenes of fighting or discussion between Waters and the woman. If you blink, you'll miss what's in store for him. It's totally ridiculous.

And second, the woman who's supposed to be this amazing creature that no one can resist is played by a beautiful but boring actress, who's voice is dubbed. She hardly registers any "femme fatale" aura that's needed for such a story. One really wonders why Waters' character is so obsessed with her. She hardly seems to be worth the time and effort.

After watching GRIEVOUS BODILY HARM, I knew why it was so hard to get a hold of it. It's because it's not very good.

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