Long ago in the Iron Age a shadow loomed over a lonely village. For generations the village youths are stolen from their families and delivered as sacrifice to a mythical beast - the ... See full summary »
Michelle Van Der Water,
Ray 'Harley' Davidson is a hustler. With flash clothes and a fast mouth, Harley lives life in the fast lane. With his passion for all things gambling, money runs like water through Harley's... See full summary »
Londoner Adam Jones is stuck in a dead end job; lives alone with his cat and spends his free time obsessing over the latest conspiracy theories on the Internet. Taking an experimental drug ... See full summary »
Re-formed by a coded message to their web site, a group of animal rights activists set off to free an imprisoned colleague from a terrifying ordeal. Their rescue mission leads them to a ... See full summary »
Unlikely friends in a melting pot of confusion. Simon Murray fights for the French Foreign Legion. Pascal Dupont fights for himself. War torn men question honour, hope, morality...because you can desert everything...except yourself.
Four Brits tunnel out of a German POW camp. One is killed, two are recaptured and one escapes. Scottish Corporal Nicholas McBride, the lone escapee is a slacker and reluctant soldier, but ... See full summary »
Timely yet terrifying, The Flood predicts the unthinkable. When a raging storm coincides with high seas it unleashes a colossal tidal surge, which travels mercilessly down England's East ... See full summary »
In the Yorkshire Dales, a group of scientists receive radio signals from the Andromeda Galaxy. Once decoded, these give them a computer program that can design a human clone. One physicist ... See full summary »
Part of the plot involves a string of pearls. The Sweeney Todd story first appeared in a story entitled 'The String of Pearls: A Romance'. See more »
When Sweeney is shaving the Jailer right at the start of the program we see him shave his top lip clean, then it cuts to a close shot of Sweeney and back to the Jailer. His top lip now has a full layer of shaving foam. See more »
Man in crowd:
She runs a brothel with these two. Obviously hasn't been pounding the justice enough. They'll make her pay in Newgate.
Stop it! It's wrong!
Man in crowd:
Get off me! Of course you'd stick up for that sorry slut.
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Dave Moore's TV version of the infamous tale of the bloodthirsty barber Sweeney Todd unsurprisingly bears little relation to Tim Burton's musical version released the following year. This one is much more matter-of-fact in its portrayal of Todd's descent into madness, and gives his motive for killing as revenge for being jailed in Newgate prison as a child for a crime committed by his father. Initially, there is a skewed sense of justice to Todd's reason for killing off his clients but, as his blood lust (and feelings for the neighbouring Mrs Lovett) grows stronger his reasons become less calculated.
Ray Winstone plays Todd. He is a fine actor, but loses some of his screen presence by choosing to underplay the role, his voice rarely betraying any kind of emotion. Despite this it's a choice that suits the character, even if it doesn't the actor. Cutting up his victims in the cellar of his barber shop, stripped to the waist, his bare head gleaming white and his mouth slack, Winstone makes a truly grotesque monster, one made all the more frightening because he is otherwise an extremely quiet and ordinary man.
There's a lot of violence in the film, a lot of slit throats and mutilation of corpses, but, again, it's not given any kind of sensationalistic value. Essie Davis plays Mrs Lovett, another decent character whose descent into monstrosity is sparked by the things that have happened to her rather than any inherent evil. She turns into a grotesque parody of herself as the film progresses, her beauty destroyed by pox scars, sporting fine wigs made by Todd that sit incongruously atop her ruined features. It's all very grim and dark and there is no place for humour, even of the gallows variety. Perhaps a touch of humour, especially on the part of Todd, is what is needed to both round out his character and make his monstrous actions that much more horrific
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