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(I) (2009)

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TONY: An underestimated 'Could easily happen' small gem
mick696920 March 2010
A small budget, short film, well acted by all, the film puts the story across as a 'Fly On The Wall' real life drama and is really put across so very well, that this kind of person: Low life,no connections,loner could so easily do this kind of crime and get away with it, very easy without being ever getting caught.

Certain 'so called' reviewers have had a go at this gem of a Lottery financed film and if the truth be known these people have never lived in the East End of London, I do and have all my life , Tony is shot in the area and the surrounding neighbouring areas where I live.

There are literally hundreds of these kind of weird, lonely, strange and some dangerous psychos walking daily in the streets of East London, who knows? with so many "Have You Seen This Missing Person" posters all year round amounting to many people disappearing never to be found? This Tony character could easily be a real person.

Friends and other people who have seen the film, have all said the same as myself, make a sequel the film is brilliant...
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Beware of who you overlook
gregsie7422 February 2010
This is a fantastic film. Well shot, well written, well edited, well acted,effective soundtrack...and short enough to leave you wanting more.

I cant say enough good about this film, as its one of those films that is so good that it takes on a life of its own. As all great art, this is not a 'horror film' but a sociological reflection of our times.

The story introduces us to a lonely man who lives by himself and tries to form relationships with the vagrants and oddball characters but due to his inability to communicate properly, which we read into as shyness, years of repression, denial he ends up killing them.

Humour is used as a temporary escape valve from the horror we see, and actually, the comedy is a real highlight of this dark piece, as we are challenged to laugh at the absurdity of the situation. This is nothing new, but it added to the humanity of the piece.

To be honest, there are a few things that I have to criticize for this piece but these more loving embellishments than anything else. For example, the film could be longer as we are left hanging at the end and wanting more.without giving the game away, if tony had succeeded in his goals, and then given due punishment, it would have created the next layer of depth that the film is surely deserving.Also small symbolic indicators, without being too blatant would have added to revealing his past, that even if the film chose not to express, could add clues hinting at the person that Tony once was.Also could have done some scenes of him eating alone.

However with respect to the directors artistic choices, I believe leaving certain issues unresolved allows the viewer to imagine and ponder more about an epidemic that wont go away, provoking deeper contemplation. So in this respect, it is an intelligent artistic decision which is in hindsight, to be respected.

Like i said, great films are the ones that have a life of their own, not dictated by comparisons although comparisons are necessary to explain them, once you see the film, it goes far beyond that. this is a character study of a creature in pain. A product of its environment and even a sociological reflection of the dysfunction of its environment. As all good art does, makes us reflect and think in the here and now. And what we as people, society , generation, have become. Definitive stuff.
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A brilliant slice of UK serial killer life
rawshark30 November 2009
Meet Tony, perhaps the most understated and naturalistic Serial Killer ever put to the cinema screen...

I saw this film at Manchester's Grimm Up North festival and was completely taken by surprise. Not knowing quite what to expect, the film grabbed me from the first minute with a deliciously dark, creep and comic turn by Peter Ferdinando as the titular character. Made with an intelligence rarely seen in this end of the genre scale, Tony is fascinating from beginning to end, and offers a great social comment on London's outsiders, and how society treats the 'invisible' amongst us.

Working with a low-budget, the filmmakers have made a classic film here, with every element of the film's production worth a shout. The direction from Gerard Johnson is superb, the acting from all concerned is spot on, the cinematography lends the film a suitably dark and grimy feel and the music, by Matt Johnson from The The fame, matches the visuals perfectly without ever detracting or pulling you out of the film's journey.

But it's Peter Ferdinando who really stands out here, creating a character that deserves to take pride of place next to other famous filmic serial killers such as Henry, Patrick Bateman, Dr Lecter and Ezra Cobb from Deranged, with a pitch-perfect tone that would, in all honesty, creep you out if you ever met him on the street.

I hear the film is due a release in the UK in February, and thoroughly recommend you make the effort to see it. UK low-budget film-making of the highest order...
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There's No Place Like London
TheExpatriate70030 June 2010
Tony is a dark character study focusing on a week in the life of Tony, a British serial killer living in a London tower block. A socially awkward individual, Tony kills because it seems to be his only way to resolve difficult social situations. It is easier for him to commit murder than to relate to other people.

To a certain extent, the film's examination of Tony resembles the 1980s film, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. Peter Ferdinando's performance rivals that of Michael Rooker in the latter film, giving Tony depth and sympathy. However, the film has a class context that sets it apart from the earlier work.

Paralleling Tony's bleak existence is the blighted section of London he lives in. Walking aimlessly through poor neighborhoods and interacting with their inhabitants, Tony's behavior comes to seem an understandable reaction to his social environment. Indeed, many of the people he encounters come across as even more savage in their own ways, whether through overt aggression or bureaucratic indifference.

The film does have some flaws that prevent it from being a true classic. There are a number of scenes dedicated to establishing Tony's lack of social skills, which at times come across as overkill. Given that the film originated as a short film, these scenes seem like filler meant to bring it to feature length. Nevertheless, this British film is definitely worth a rent.
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Psycho Killer, Ques Que Ce?
projectcyclops30 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
A week in the life of a lonely psycho-killer with severe social problems and an unfashionable moustache, Tony is a darkly comic take on the horror/killer genre. Peter Ferdinando plays our eponymous anti-hero as a nervous and misunderstood loser, unemployable and on state funded job-seeker allowance for 20 years, but prone to sudden acts of extreme violence against anyone who might torment him.

The film is shot extremely well, with contrasting scenes of Tony's claustrophobic, spartan council flat and oddly lush views of a very grim looking London, complete with drug addicts, street walkers, homeless people, and a generally disenfranchised looking populace. Tony wanders the streets, really just looking for anyone to talk to or connect with. At one point he visits a local prostitute whose price list is pinned to the wall, 'Sex - £20, Oral - £30', etc. Tony asks, "How much for a cuddle?" and is promptly thrown out. As a character he seems obsessed with sex and violence, watching 1980's shoot 'em ups on VHS and keeping a box of Kleenex and some Vaseline on his coffee table, next to the discreet porn magazines. He visits a pub and is accused by a vicious thug of looking like a 'nonce' (paedophile to any non-Brits) and gets into a long running feud with the guy (played by Ricky Grover), which ends with a surprisingly touching redemption. He invites two crack addicts to his flat, after following them to buy some drugs from their connection, a black pimp who quotes poetry in a posh English accent and then snaps back to a London wide-boy guise in a split second. Back at the flat the guys hurriedly take their toke and try to ignore Tony as they fall into a drug induced stupor, only for our man to have some fun in brutally attacking them as they enjoy their trip.

Tony's violent ways aren't fully explained, there are no flashbacks or insinuations of an unhappy childhood, he's simply insane enough to have convinced himself that he's different, and it works perfectly. My favourite scene, and one of the most chilling, has Tony staring at himself in the bathroom mirror. He says, "You're not a criminal, you're a soldier, you're gonna die like a soldier." A brief pause indicates a shift in tone and he looks back at himself, "You're no soldier, you're a fly on a pile of ****." He then lets out a guttural roar that even had the gigglers in the back row quieten down and sit-up. In short, Ferdinando is terrific in the role. Throughout the film, a beautiful piano melody plays during exterior shots, as Tony walks the streets and observes the filth that surrounds him, these parts of 'Tony' feel like a nightmare adapted for the screen by Johnson, as do the scenes where Tony painstakingly separates limbs from torsos to dispatch them in blue plastic bags in the Thames at night.

The film is also hilariously funny though. It reminded me of the insane humour of American Psycho, when Tony wakes-up in bed next to a decaying corpse and offers it a good morning and a cup of tea. He quotes Rambo in 'First Blood' before a murder, shrugs his way through the world's most awkward job interview, and picks-up a copy of Héctor Olivera's 'Cocaine Wars' at a charity shop (I am guilty of this too, which freaked me out no end!). He visits a gay bar a few times and seems to enjoy the attention he receives at first, but on taking a guy home he changes his mind and... well you know.

For such an unpleasant and brutal journey in voyeurism and perversity, 'Tony' has a twisted sense of humour and a beating human heart at it's core, that helps to seriously lift it above other recent films in the genre. For anyone who was left cold by Steven Sheil's 'Mum & Dad' or is tired of the same old torture-horror that's offered so liberally by the industry, Tony is something special and absolutely the real deal.

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I know a Tony. You know a Tony.
ElijahCSkuggs12 June 2010
This movie takes a small peek into the life of a middle-aged, lonely, action-movie obsessed serial killer named Tony.

Tony's life is dull. No job, no love-life, no real anything. He's just a human being that is going through the motions. Or so it would seem from the outside looking in. The movie Tony focuses on a killer that gets away with killing because that person, the type of person that Tony exemplifies, is never focused on.

One of the posters for this movie has a tag-line that hangs under the seemingly unaware and blood-smattered Tony, and says: It's Always the Quiet Ones. I can't say for sure if that's always the case or not, but it's something that we all think. That man looming alone under that tree. That guy with the blank stare who came out of nowhere to tell you what he thought of the store across the street. The ones that have their own agendas, but are never noticed…that is, until it's too late.

Tony is a well-thought out serial killer film that focuses on the character, the killer. And for it to work, the acting and writing not only have to be good, they should be realistic; and they were. Not only was our Tony played with style and intelligence, but every secondary character in the movie was also played well. The vibe of the movie and overall idea being displayed never faltered, and we were left with a study of a serial killer, that at one point, I began to feel pity for. Gerard Johnson, the director, needs to be applauded for the movies' fruition.

A rather short feature film that was chock full of fine performances and ideas. If you're in the mood for a different approach to the sub-genre of serial killers, I would definitely recommend you give this a shot. This film and the amazing, Angst, would make for a great serial-killer double feature.
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English answer to Henry; Portrait of a Serial Killer
jason_duron18 June 2010
In Tony, the title character (played very convincingly by Peter Ferdinando) is a soft-spoken, middle-aged nerd who enjoys old action movies. He's severely withdrawn from the world, unable to speak or relate to others, and has never worked a job in his life. One other important fact about Tony is his penchant for murder. In fact, Tony murders on a regular basis, whether it's druggies, men he picks up at gay bars, etc. At a mere 75 minutes, Tony never strives to be complex or hard to follow, but instead a simple portrayal of a simple killer who inability to connect with the world causes him to outburst so easily on those who confuse or anger him. When a young boy goes missing in town, the father immediately assumes it's Tony's doing and we watch as everything in Tony's life comes dangerously close to unfolding. Like I said, the film is simple yet sophisticated enough to be enjoyed mostly by the smarter movie watcher. Those looking for quick release won't get it here at all, despite the film's overly short runtime. A lot have compared it to the English answer to American classic Henry; Portrait of a Serial Killer and I couldn't agree more. It's dark, gritty, and covered in gloom, yet you somehow feel for this monstrous character. Overall, Tony is an excellent watch, one of the better "horror" films I've seen this year. Good film.
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Tony (2009)
SnakesOnAnAfricanPlain17 January 2012
Tony is a look at a serial killer and their everyday life. Tony is awkward, very awkward, and this leads to him being ignored or mistreated by the majority of people. Tony manages to gather sympathy throughout the film as he just so happens to encounter a lot of scummy, horrible people. These people generate no sympathy for themselves, but not in a bad way. The film seems to suggest that we should all just be decent human beings. There's no harm in saying "hello" or having rational discussions. It's the hate and negativity aimed at Tony that fuels his actions. Peter Ferdinando gives a brilliant performance and carries Tony, realistically, through a wide range of scenarios, from unprovoked arguments, to awkward job interviews. A little, but well executed film.
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Too Short but fantastic !
vamplad792 March 2010
This film literally just drops you into Tony's life and then drops you right back out again. The fact that i was so desperate for more is a good sign that what I did see was great. And the ending itself was quite well done with a great piece of music that, with what had come before, had deeper meaning for me - in other words it made my skin crawl. Which again, is a good thing !

I am assessing by its very simple decor, locations and shots that this was quite low budget which is a credit to the film-makers, actors and script writers. The story is completely focused on the life of a man named Tony. One could describe him as a loner, depressed, socially awkward and well...passive. As we get to see Tony though we come to the conclusion that he is more than f#@ked up and has crossed the 'weird psychopath' line well and truly.

I mean the guy has a Paul Young cassette for Christ sake!!!

The movie hinges on tony, a mild, meek guy, actually being a serial killer that like some real life serial killers (Nielsen, Dahmer) seems to crave company and not to be socially rejected. There is clear connection to the mentioned real life killers in Tony as he attends gay bars and only seems to kill men. Though Tony has a life and identity of his own and for the brief time I did get to follow him i was into it.

Those seeking blood, guts, gore, action, jump scares forget it. Tony is a character study which lingers artistically and builds a layer of dread throughout instead of shoving everything in a sleek, fast edited production.
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Beautifully dark
StraightOuttaCotswolds1 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
*Contains Spoilers*

I caught this gem of a film at the Grimm Up North horror festival in Manchester and for me it was the highlight of the day despite the cinema butchering the sound.

The film is an intimate look at the mundane life of Tony, an unemployable "nonce-faced" worm of a man who struggles to comprehend life in his decaying London estate. As he bumbles through his trips to gay bars, massage parlours, drug dens, job centres and back to his grotty council flat. Each time he fails to cope with a situation he handles it the only way he knows how. Murder.

The murder scenes in the film, whilst being grisly, were very much an essential part to the film rather than being a torture-horror goregasm. I must admit, I felt a small cheer welling up inside of me when he garroted the TV license man!

The superb portrayal of Tony by Peter Ferdinando was complimented by an excellent script peppered with dark humour and a generally excellent casting all round. I can't wait to see this film again.
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A truly bleak but brilliant slice of London serial killer life
Tony_Cockles23 May 2011
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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An excellently observed slice of loneliness
steve-662-17823718 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Well, this indeed is a curio. Gerard Johnson takes the often glamorised subject matter of serial killing and drags the seediest parts of it to inner city London, warts and all. A human study in its purest form, the film centres around the eponymous Tony, a long-term unemployed rakish and withered nobody, the likes of which you and I pass on the streets every day and do our best to ignore and avoid in equal measure. Behind his locked and gated front door, we find an undecorated home, littered only with the corpses that Tony keeps for company, along with a television that has no reception and a collection of action films on VHS, as he doesn't have a DVD player.

Tony spends much of his daylight hours merely wandering the streets looking for people to talk to and failing to fit into a society that doesn't understand him any more than he understands it. When he does make a connection, it usually ends badly, from chavs, gay clubbers to TV licence inspectors all coming off worse after a visit to his council flat. His victims all appear to be men, and this may or may not be intentional, but only a female neighbour escapes his final, fatal spindly clutches.

Peter Ferdinando plays Tony excellently. He brings an ordinary, even avoidance inducing side to the character that makes Tony's escapades so much more believable as he goes about his under-the-radar activities. Most of his killings are spur of the moment needs to escape from situations that he has wittingly or unwittingly brought about himself most notably in the name of companionship, but nevertheless shows no remorse for his actions, cutting up his victims in the sink or bathtub when they have passed their sell-by date for company. Knowing his background, it makes just watching him walking the street with a blue plastic bag full of who knows what completely riveting.

As a measure of acting prowess, Ferdinando provides what could easily be a blueprint for characterisation, so impressive is his turn. Johnson and he have created an unassuming monster of a man that bears close scrutiny and personally I could have watched the performance for at least twice as long as we were offered. If I have one criticism of the film, it would be that it is too short, and it leaves the viewer frustrated that the only thing that we can be sure of is that Tony will go on.

The most chilling part of the film as a whole is that it is so well realised and stifled in a banal reality we all have some recognition of, in characters that are so well played and unfortunately believable, that we can easily imagine that this could go on in our streets, in our towns, so basic is its premise and unglamourous setting.

I am immensely glad to have seen it, and of everything I have seen in 2010 so far, this is probably the best thing yet, and it will stay with me for some time as I walk past those same potential Tony's on my street. Well done to the Film Council, Johnson and Ferdinando. If you are not squeamish and like your drama up front, in your face, and very possibly real, then I urge you to see it.

Grisly and uncomfortable but a nonetheless unique and considered view of its subject matter, approaching an often neglected personality type and opening a hitherto unseen world to its audience.
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A Tale Of Two Johnson's ( Suggestive Spoilers )
Theo Robertson18 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
There must be a new adjective to describe the music of Matt Johnson AKA The The because " Eclectic " doesn't do him justice . From the mind bending new wave influenced psychedelia of Burning Blue Soul to the existentialist angst ridden electro pop of Soul Mining to the brooding political pop of Infected and Mind Bomb to the bluesy Dusk , Johnson's music has taken on many styles which is probably the reason why he's not as well known as he deserves to be . But he has built up a small and very dedicated following since the 1980s . So dedicated in fact that one fan bought a ticket for the world premier of TONY where Matt provides the incidental music . Is it a common occurrence of someone solely watching a film due to the incidental music ? Probably not but with MJ's output being very rare over the last few years even a few bars of music would be better than nothing

The film starts with the protagonist walking along the road with the incidental music being a few bars on the piano . With hindsight both the music and the narrative compliment one another because the incidental track resembles Matt's other work . It's very similar to a slow tempo version of This Is The Night with other parts resembling Jelly On The Table . The story itself is very much inspired by the true life case of Dennis Nielson so much so that when someone mentions " drains " you think you know where the story might be heading and where it'll end

Dare I say there wasn't enough music ? Dare I say there wasn't enough narrative ? Yes I shall but this isn't a terrible criticism just that both leave you hungry for more . Gerard Johnson mixes the grotesque and the funny rather well but I do wish he'd made a slightly longer film and padded it out on Tony's day to day life , his failure to get a job for example or his asexuality causing more embarrassment . Certainly Johnson the director gets the best out of Peter Ferdinando as the eponymous Tony who gives an amoral understated performance . My opinion of the rest of the cast will go unmentioned since some of them were sitting directly behind me and gave sycophantic unconvincing guffaws at every blackly comical scene of which there were many

In short TONY is neither the zenith of Matt Johnson the musician or Gerard Johnson the film maker . I hope to hear much of both in the near future
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Compelling portrait of a few days in the life of a serial killer
Woodyanders1 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Dour and mild-mannered recluse Tony (superbly played with chilling understated conviction by Peter Ferdinando) lives by himself in a rundown London flat. Jobless and friendless, barely scraping by on welfare, with an addiction to 80's action schlock, and suffering from a crippling lack of social skills, Tony occasionally snaps under the pressure of his miserable existence and kills people who get on his nerves.

Writer/director Gerard Johnson astutely captures a powerfully gloomy feeling of ennui, despair, and urban blight, makes vivid use of grimy slum locations, wisely keeps the gore to an absolute minimum, likewise smartly avoids any cliché tragic back story to serve as a glib explanation for the root cause of Tony's psychosis, and sweetens the whole deal with inspired moments of wickedly amusing black humor. Moreover, Johnson does an ace job of presenting how a combination of loneliness, alienation, social ineptitude, and extremely abject poverty can easily send a man dangerously over the edge. While Ferdinando clearly dominates the picture with his exceptional portrayal of a pathetic everyday zhlub who outwardly comes across as hopelessly meek and therefor harmless (which is exactly why Tony gets away with murder), he nonetheless receives sterling support from Francis Pope as abrasive junkie Smudger, George Russo as Smudger's more easygoing buddy Mackey, Lorenzo Camporese as aggressive gay barroom pick-up Alex, Vicky Maskell as pesky neighbor Dawn, and Neil Maskell as feckless social worker Mike Hemmings. The stark hand-held cinematography by David Higgs further nails the overall sense of gritty realism. Kudos are also in order for The The's appropriately melancholy score. Dark, funny, and highly effective.
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Black comedy
samuelactually25 June 2014
Warning: Spoilers
The first thing to say: this is a dark comedy. It may have some social overtones, but I enjoyed the humorous parts of the movie

For example, He tries conversing with the Vietnamese, pirate DVD seller about the benefits of VHS, and how he should stock VHS movies not just DVD's.

The Job-seeker agent says that he can meet people by cleaning toilets.

He asks a sex line worker if her appearance is like that in the picture, and when she replies that she is 34 DD; he asks pre-op or post- op? To which, she replies trans-gender.

This movie is humorous, if you find this type of humour enjoyable. This film is not a horror, slasher or a social commentary. Its tongue in cheek, absurd take on serial killers. In the final scene, he is seen disposing of dead bodies in the river Thames, and it reminded me of the other notorious serial killer Dexter. This is Satire, not to be taken literally.
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larawoolley25 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I did not expect what I saw. What an brilliant, brilliant film. I love the way that I was made to feel empathy towards Tony before I was shown any of the killings, and also felt this way all the way throughout the film. This is a brutal, clever, and most of all, frighteningly real film. This could happen; it could be happening right now. Because I felt empathy toward Tony I found myself almost cheering him on (I know, it sounds awful) but Tony is such a childish, unassuming, softly spoken character that you can't help but feel for him when things go wrong or people take advantage of him. I love this film! 10/10. The twist at the end is excellent; I did not see it coming. Do not assume with this film!!! Excellent.
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Almost amazing
MikesIDhasbeentaken29 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Wasn't expecting anything from this film, and was so surprised with the result. You'll feel for Tony, poor chap. He's lonely, he tries to make friends, but can't, no matter how hard he tries.

OK, he's a serial killer, but the nicest you'll meet. the first guy he kills was a git, and annoying, so fair play. another one tried to take his TV away, the one thing in the world he loved, and the other guy tried to have sex with him... when all he wanted was a friend to talk to.

He goes to gay clubs to make friends, and brothels for a hug. how can't you feel sorry for this guy? and the best bit in the film, when the TV licence guy asks if if he has cable, and Tony thinks about it, before bringing him an actual cable, bless.

unfortunately the film ended after an hour, like the second half was missing, i'm not sure what could have happened in another hour for it to have been as good as the first, but i wanted more.

The most scary thing about this film, is that you have seen this type of person before, everywhere, and one might very well live a few doors down from you.
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Something wicked this way comes..
hauserrobert822 December 2009
I caught this film by chance at the Dinard film festival in France, it actually was one of the few films I hadn't already seen or heard anything about but the poster in the cinema really caught my eye. IMHO we now have a new classic London serial killer film to rank alongside Peeping Tom, Frenzy and 10 Rillington Place, Tony evokes the atmosphere of those films with it's cinematic shots of London and very brooding tense sound design. its about time the UK produced a decent intelligent piece like this, I go to Dinard every year as it's the chance to drink some fine wine and catch up on all the films (enjoyed Fishtank as well but save that for another review), although to be honest I couldn't walk back to the hotel without a fear that Tony would pop out from any corner. don't let that put you off though..

Highly recommended.
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Dull thriller, I don't get all the love for it.
poolandrews16 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Tony is set in London where socially incompetent loner Tony Benson (Peter Ferdinando) lives alone in his grimy little high rise flat, Tony has never had a job & spends most of his time walking around London or watching action films on video, he doesn't have a DVD player you see. Occasionally Tony decides to kill someone & cut their bodies up before disposing of the parts, when a young boy named Davey goes missing on Tony's estate Tony is suspected. Will the truth come out & will Tony be exposed as the ruthless serial killer that he is?

This British production was written & directed by Gerard Johnson & is a film that many seem to like which does baffle me a little, I thought Tony was a rather bland & pointless serial killer thriller with virtually no plot. While what's here is very well made & written & acted there's nothing beyond watching this awkward guy named Tony walk around London & randomly kill a couple of people along the way, the only other plot angle about the missing kid amounts to nothing & instead of being a film with a proper story Tony comes across more like a slice of life, a minimalist, stark, short & empty documentary that follows one guy around for a few days & nothing more. Tony isn't given any real background, there's no reason for what he does or the way he acts or the way he is, Tony is a complete loner & acts very strangely around other people taking long pauses while talking or just saying some really bizarre random things that come across as rather strange. I suspect that Tony was meant as some sort of modern London set character study of a serial killer like Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) with it's gritty realist approach but with an almost complete lack of any story to hang on to or anything or anyone to really relate to I was left watching Tony but not really getting involved in it. Even though Tony lasts for 72 minutes the end credits run for a good five of those so in reality it only lasts for just over an hour & even then not that much happens, one also has to question how Davey's dad knew where Tony lived or why Tony never gets any blood on himself despite killing several people & cutting them up.

Tony is set in London but not the glamorous London usually seen in films, no this is the rundown horrible London where people live in poverty. None of the actors are beautiful model types & along with the decayed urban settings Tony has a very bleak & depressing look & atmosphere that works really well. It's just a shame there's no story to go with the visuals. Tony kills a few people, a severed foot is seen & some guts as well but there's not much gore otherwise.

Apparently shot in just twelve days on a budget of about £60,000 in locations around London it's very well made with great photography & use of background imagery & locations to create mood but as I said there's not much else here besides the gritty look. The acting is very good, I can't say Tony was scary but he did come across as weird & a bit creepy at times & I am surprised he managed to pick up so many people & lure them back to his flat.

Tony is a minimalist serial killer thriller that follows the title character around for a bit & then just finishes. The film has a really gritty look & feel with good acting as well but I just found myself failing to get involved in the character's or the situations, ultimately the lack of any story is more of a killer than Tony himself.
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it works but doesn't deliver brutality
trashgang7 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
A close friend of mine had seen this flick and told me he didn't like it because nothing really happens except a few murders that aren't that vicious after all. Finally it got released over here so I was able to watch it. Plugging it into the DVD player the opening credits said enough for me. This wasn't going to be a fast flick, the opening credits looked like those old seventies horrors. But it was labelled that it could be compared with Henry Portrait Of A Serial Killer (1986).

For me it started well but it slowed down after the first killing. I could follow Tony and I can think that the director was putting more towards the story than only a serial killer. If I look to the end credits you see that Tony just walks away with his murder spree due being living in a big city were nobody cares about anybody and nobody knows his neighbours any more nowadays.

The acting was rather okay especially Tony looked believable also due the clothes he was wearing and his bad teeth. The directing by Gerard Johnson was okay but there was a bit too much talking going on for me. There weren't really any effects used and it surely had a low budget look. But the brutality of Henry is missing. The creepy part of the TV being smashed on ones head for example in Henry is a thing that we doesn't have here. The killings are rather dull here in Tony. But people do talk about Tony and specialised UK mags did wrote reviews about it but for me it was missing something.

The DVD included two shorts were the short Tony is one to see. In fact it's just the same story as in the full feature, only the full feature goes further with the story of course. It's so recognisable the situation going on but for a geek like me it could have gone a bit further.

Gore 0/5 Nudity 0/5 Effects 0/5 Story 2/5 Comedy 0/5
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Ali_John_Catterall3 December 2009
This is a bit of a dud, to be honest. The sort of film in love with the phrase "The Banality of Evil" without appreciating that the phrase has become, in itself, banal.

Tony wants to be a social-realist horror (sort of Mike Leigh meets Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer), but can't really escape some of the more reactionary trappings of the genre; there's some near-homophobic stuff in here, and the people Tony murders in the main sort of 'had it coming', a'la Hannibal Lector. While those he doesn't (like his bizarrely trusting neighbour) should run a mile from him, but instead take this freakish-looking gent for granted. Meanwhile, the much-vaunted Matt Johnson soundtrack comprises little more than a few polite piano noodlings. Hardly 'Soul Mining.'

Though not especially distinguished, 1989's Dennis Nilsen biopic 'Cold Light of Day', achieves the whole notion of the 'murderous blank' with a greater degree of effectiveness and subtlety. For, as another killer, Mark David Chapman, might say, via JD Salinger, Tony's a bit of "a phony".
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A great film
goldeneye-200620 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Tony is a bleak but brilliant film. It takes us through a week in the life of an East London jobless loner who spends most days watching 80s action films on an ancient video recorder and even older TV. Somewhat of a sociopath with very few social skills, he endeavours to strike up conversations with the sad and dispossessed he meets as he trudges the streets.

Using a phone box one day, he meets two crack-heads and invites them back to his seedy flat. Once they're off their threepenny bits, he calmly asphyxiates one, chopping his body into pieces before dumping them in a canal. It's not a life-affirming film but it is riveting. It's hard to believe that Tony is director Gerard Johnson's debut feature film as he directs with a light but confident touch and an eye for the nuances of human existence.

It's also something of a family affair: director Gerard Johnson is the brother of The The's Matt Johnson and Matt provides the haunting soundtrack (CD available at Gerard and Matt's dad Eddie plays a customer in a pub scene. Eddie was a pub landlord in east London.

The DVD contains commentary from Peter Ferdinando who plays Tony and features Mug, a short film made by Gerard Johnson a few years before he made Tony. It also features a shorter earlier version of Tony again starring Peter Ferdinando and Lucy Flack who also appears in Mug.
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"How much for a cuddle"?
dworldeater1 October 2017
Tony is a great British indie horror flick in the same vein as Henry Portrait Of A Serial Killer. This film is similar in that this is also the day to day life of a serial killer. However, this film has much more black comedy and is not quite as dark or as hard hitting as its predecessor. This centers around Tony, an unemployed, extremely socially awkward and totally antisocial man who has an obsession with action movies and is desperate for any kind of social connection. This film is an interesting character study of the types of people that society shuns and ignores. This was handled fairly realistically and is at times really funny. There are nods to Taxi Driver here and there, but this film takes urban alienation and loneliness much further. There is nothing that glorifies or makes Tony look cool, actually quite the opposite as Tony is the lone creeper with a bad mustache that people go out of their way to avoid. It was a brave performance by actor Peter Ferinando and this film is very well done and effective as a whole. The film is very gritty and the underbelly of London is its backdrop. This is a glimpse into that world(and its inhabitants) from socially inept Tony's point of view. Even though the film does not have much to offer in gore, this is very disturbing and well made horror movie that is very interesting and holds up well after multiple viewings. Very original and effective film. Thumbs up.
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a- grade
maiyotown29 March 2010


1. Genuinely CREEPY

2. Acting was Superb - Top Notch for an Indie Flick!

3. Cinematography was beautiful

4. Story was interesting and very different.


1. Music - didn't hate, nor did I like it.




I recommend this movie to MOVIE FANS! This movie has creepiness written all over it, the lead actors portrayal of the fictional TONY was marvelous and brilliant. It creeped me out. Even the sub actors were great, the story was fascinating as it was particularly a piece in the KILLERS life. You may be boggled as to is there an ending? Remember this is just a part in a persons life and to have it that way makes it interesting and complete. Very detailed!

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Don't go in with higher expectations and you'll like it
movieman_kev2 May 2013
Conflicted about this film. It is well-acted especially by Peter Ferdinando who's spot-on as the emotionally-stunted soft-spoken psychopath Tony. Perhaps if I didn't read the positively glowing reviews for the movie, I would've ended up liking this lil slice-of-(serial killer) life film a tad more. It's not nearly as good as "Henry" a masterpiece that its often compared to and going into this one expecting it to be up on that level will likely be disappointed. However if you approach it blindly, and can get past the admittedly thick accents, then any fan of the sub-genre will still appreciate this one.
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