I've been wanting to see this for a while, but when I saw it on the listings for the Horror channel, I thought it couldn't be too much cop. How wrong I was...
Tony focuses on the disturbing, lonely and bleak existence of, well, Tony, as he wanders aimlessly through life with no goal, direction or ambition. Just another sad case, with a shambling walk, a bad haircut and even worse moustache, the sort of bloke you give a wide berth to as you wonder what he's wearing underneath his long coat, but one that would kill and dismember you as easily as you would peel a banana.
Peter Ferdinano is truly creepy as the main man, from the way he just stares at other people going about their business, to the awkward, stunted conversations he has to endure, through to when he suddenly and explosively reacts with extreme violence. Despite his hopeless and frequently vile existence though, it is almost difficult to not sometimes feel a tiny pang of sympathy for him. He has no job, no friends, lives in a squalid council flat and spends his days watching violent 80's action movies on VHS; he just truly does not know how to interact with other human beings... except when they are no longer living. Tony differs from other serial killer movies though, such as Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. In Henry, he is truly a monster, killing anyone that just happens to take his fancy or just happens to cross his path at the wrong time. With Tony, there is always a provocation of some sort that pushes him to the kill (granted, sometimes very slight), which is a true insight into a certain type of killers mind - able to operate in society at a base level, but unable to cope with rejection or threat (there is one murder in the film that I pretty much guarantee will make you cheer though!).
There is no denying the character here and the similarities with real-life serial killer Dennis Nilsen - the way he keeps corpses in his flat and has conversations with them for example, and the numerous references to 'the drains' and the smell. This all adds to the already realistic tone and pace of the movie, as it's not a case of 'this could happen', it more or less has.
Speaking of realism, one of the strongest points this movie offers is the acting. The lowlifes, scumbags, thugs, druggies and bullies that Tony meets on his wanderings are acted so well, that this is almost the most depressing slice of the film. Living in London, you see these people day in and day out. It's not glamorous and nothing is overacted. We all know a Paul (acted superbly by Ricky Grover): fat, loud, foul-mouthed council estate bully, and we've all seen the likes of the two low-life druggies Tony encounters early in the movie; always on the take, checking the change drop in phone boxes for spare coins while searching for their next hit.
There are some strong elements of gore in the movie, but it is never gratuitous, and certainly not there just for the hell of it. A terrifying aspect of Tony is the casual indifference he displays when either committing a murder or disposing of the corpse afterwards, yet more examples of Ferdinando's fine acting.
The film is quite short, and if you are the kind of viewer who wants answers to why things happen, then you will not find them here; this is like watching a short piece of someone's life, and then just moving on. Anyone abroad watching this would also probably be put off coming to London for life too. I wouldn't recommend this for date night.
I thoroughly enjoyed this film, but you won't be feeling good afterwards. It is almost too realistic, and will make you look twice at the strange, shambling man in the local supermarket staring at the dog biscuits for a bit too long.
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