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Dead Man's Shoes - DVD - Optimum Home Entertainment Print E-mail
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Written by Jay Creepy   
Thursday, 09 August 2012
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DVD Artwork for the Optimum Home Entertainment UK DVD release of "Dead Man's Shoes" on Severed Cinema

AKA: Blutrache - Dead Man's Shoes, Dead Man's Shoes - Cinque giorni di vendetta, Ta papoutsia tou nekrou, Ta papoutsia tou nekrou antra, Vingança Redentora

Directed by:
Shane Meadows
Written by:
Shane Meadows, Paddy Considine
Produced by:
Steve Beckett, Mark Herbert, Louise Meadows
Cinematography by:
Danny Cohen
Editing by:
Celia Haining, Lucas Roche, Chris Wyatt
Music by:
Danger Mouse and Jemini
Special Effects by:
Tristan Versluis
Cast:
Paddy Considine, Gary Stretch, Jo Hartley, Toby Kebbell, Stuart Wolfenden
Year:
2004
Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Color:
Color
Runtime:
1h 26min

Distributor: Optimum Home Entertainment
 

Not long ago the UK horror scene had faded away to zero and was replaced by a few period dramas and lame comedies.  We had those to represent ourselves to the world.  Sure we had "Hellraiser," but then we had "Dream Demon."  "Razor Blade Smile" was a cheap and grubby thing that didn’t even try.

Then things like "28 Days Later" and "Shaun of The Dead" are the big daddies and the country can’t make enough horror films.  Titles like "Dog Soldiers," "Inbred," "Evil Aliens," "Doghouse," "The Last Seven," "Devil’s Playground," "Kill List," "Creep," "Outpost," "The Zombie Diaries" 1 and 2 are works which don’t always have the budget but have the heart.  However, we also get "Long Time Dead," "Umbrage" and "Attack The Block" that make people forget this country is home to Hammer, and have created "The Wicker Man," "Psychomania," Peter Walker films and many more epics.  It’s like any country really; take the good and spit at the bad.

"Dead Man’s Shoes" is another thing altogether.  In fact, it is a horror, thriller, drama and just a sheer weird atmospheric journey that is an unforgettable experience.  It is written and directed by Shane Meadows, a man responsible for the film "This Is England" and it's two short TV series.  He’s a gritty fellow who likes to push the envelope a bit and throw something up that you don’t expect.  This movie is a pure example of that.

We open up with Richard, played by Paddy ("Bourne Ultimatum") Considine who has returned from a tour of duty.  He is followed by his younger brother Anthony (played by Toby Kebbell) along winding country roads.  We witness old 8mm flashbacks showing the two of them as kids and they carry on walking silently as a mellow guitar track plays.

Day 1: 6.30am.  Rich and Anthony walk into town.  We see black and white flashbacks which show a local gang of dealers making Anthony do errands.  The lad is a bit slow reacting, almost childlike, so easy to abuse.  Rich has made home in a derelict farmhouse just outside the town with Anthony.  Later both sit in a pub.  Anthony sees a man walk in.  “He’s one.” he tells Rich whilst nervously hiding his face from view.  Rich stares at the man. “Can I help you, mate?” he asks Rich.  “What you looking at?"  "You! You cunt!” screams Rich and slams into the table he’s sat at. The man backs off from this and leaves the pub.

Rich follows him.  We see the man go into a house and chat with some knuckleheads.  On the way out he bumps into Rich who apologies about the way he was at the pub with a really wild grin on his face.  The guy’s name is Herbie and Herbie is quite nervous about the whole situation.  Later he tells some mates about what had happened and admits he’s freaked out.  He tells them that it may be Anthony’s brother.  All their faces go pale and they are almost shaking.

Cut to another black and white flashback as they all make Anthony drink and then hit a bong as he tries to fight back.

One night Herbie leaves the house totally wrecked (worth noting the names of the characters: Big Al, Tuff, Gypsy John, Soz -- you gotta love these characters for though they are bad guys and dealers, they act like average blokes having a laugh before all hell breaks loose) and comes face to face with a man in a full head gas mask and a boiler suit.  He runs back to them all and the whole gang charge out into the empty street.  Back inside they find the place is wrecked and their ‘gear’ has vanished as well.  All Herbie can talk about is the man “looked like an elephant,” which doesn’t sit well with his friends.

Day 2: 7.30.  Rich is mixing up a drug cocktail and telling Anthony why people give kids drugs, “To control their minds. It’s ‘cause they’re weak minded themselves.

Herbie and the gang have to go and tell their boss, Sonny, about the missing gear and the man with the “elephant man mask.”  After Sonny has beaten Herbie for a few moments, Anthony’s brother is mentioned.  Sonny becomes very quiet, thinking of when he told Anthony that Rich had joined the army because he was sick of his retarded brother.  He then wanted Anthony to suck his dick before punching him hard.  Yep, unlike the other bad guys, Sonny has no redeeming features and is a pure nasty piece of work.  Sonny is played by ex-boxer and male model Gary Stretch who really chews the scenery in this role.

Worth noting, is the music score which cuts into your soul with its sparse empty guitar cords and other instruments.  They are especially noteworthy in the flashback scenes and make you feel the slow downfall of Anthony.  The long shots of the countryside and winding country roads also give the film a sense of doom. This film works up to this point as a slow burner and you just know things are going to really explode any moment.

Driving down a street, the gang spots Rich so they stop.  Sonny confronts him. “Did you….?” “It was me!” Rich grins and smirks into his face.  “You’re not afraid of me?” Sonny asks. “Naaah,” Rich says and then warns Sonny he best get his gang and kill him first or they’re all going to suffer. Then he tells him where he’s staying.

Later on, they all get wasted as usual and suddenly one guy is found in the bathroom with his head all smashed in.  ‘One down’ is written in blood near him.

Day 3: They drive up to the derelict farmhouse to confront Rich.  Big Al is volunteered to go to the door whilst Sonny loads a rifle.  Rich appears carrying an axe and shouting.  Big Al backs off and is accidently shot in the head by Sonny.  They panic and drive off as Rich raises his axe to them smiling insanely.  Some of them are sobbing.  Others are just staring into space.  Things aren’t going as planned.

Rich and Anthony sit back to back discussing their lives before, and remembering better times.  Anthony idolises Rich, you can see his older brother means the world to him.  Later on, Rich sneaks into Sonny’s home and puts his drug cocktail into the kettle, then hides when they all come back.  Soon they are all tripping outta their skulls.  Rich then picks them all off one by one and takes great sadistic pleasure doing so.

The final revelations of day 4 come soon after, as Rich hunts the last man in a revealing black and white flashback.  Some of the twists aren’t as shocking and maybe many will guess them throughout the film but due to the nature of the movie and the sheer style, they hit quite emotionally.  The surrounding fields and lanes, the crumbling town, the farm, are all used as images of some horror that’s building up slowly and really grips you.  It’s a simple story told well and doesn’t want to soak each frame in blood or cheap shocks (though some scenes do let fly the red stuff here and there.)  It is mainly a character driven work that will live with you afterwards as you listen to the music on the credits.

An obvious stumbling block to anyone who isn’t British will be the heavy accents.  It’s like listening to old defunct soap opera "Brookside" which also had a seriously heavy dose of accents.  All in all, "Dead Man's Shoes" is a UK classic that wipes the floor with blockbusters like "Trainspotting" and "28 Days Later."

The UK DVD release by Optimum Home Entertainment offers a commentary with the director, Paddy and the producer.  There are a good few deleted scenes and extended scenes and an alternative ending which I haven’t watched  just in case it spoils the film for me. (Think of the recent action movie "Faster" with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.  The alternative ending of that was far more brutal and downbeat than the actual released one.)  There’s a short film which is so-so, scenes from the graphic novel, trailers, a music video by Danger Mouse and Jemini and a hidden extra which I couldn’t be bothered to look for.

 

CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGE
DVD screenshot for the Optimum Home Entertainment UK DVD release of "Dead Man's Shoes" on Severed Cinema

DVD screenshot for the Optimum Home Entertainment UK DVD release of "Dead Man's Shoes" on Severed Cinema

DVD screenshot for the Optimum Home Entertainment UK DVD release of "Dead Man's Shoes" on Severed Cinema

DVD screenshot for the Optimum Home Entertainment UK DVD release of "Dead Man's Shoes" on Severed Cinema

DVD screenshot for the Optimum Home Entertainment UK DVD release of "Dead Man's Shoes" on Severed Cinema

DVD screenshot for the Optimum Home Entertainment UK DVD release of "Dead Man's Shoes" on Severed Cinema

DVD screenshot for the Optimum Home Entertainment UK DVD release of "Dead Man's Shoes" on Severed Cinema

DVD screenshot for the Optimum Home Entertainment UK DVD release of "Dead Man's Shoes" on Severed Cinema

DVD screenshot for the Optimum Home Entertainment UK DVD release of "Dead Man's Shoes" on Severed Cinema

DVD screenshot for the Optimum Home Entertainment UK DVD release of "Dead Man's Shoes" on Severed Cinema

DVD screenshot for the Optimum Home Entertainment UK DVD release of "Dead Man's Shoes" on Severed Cinema

DVD screenshot for the Optimum Home Entertainment UK DVD release of "Dead Man's Shoes" on Severed Cinema

DVD screenshot for the Optimum Home Entertainment UK DVD release of "Dead Man's Shoes" on Severed Cinema

DVD screenshot for the Optimum Home Entertainment UK DVD release of "Dead Man's Shoes" on Severed Cinema

 RATING:
 VIDEO: 1 
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 AUDIO: 1 
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 DVD: 1 
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 MOVIE: 1 
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 DVD SPECS:
 Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 16:9
 Region: PAL R2
 Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1


 SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL:
 - Commentary from Shane Meadows, Paddy Considine & Mark Herbert
 - Deleted Scenes
 - Extended takes
 - Alternate ending
 - In Shane's Shoes featurette
 - Northern Soul: A short film by Shane Meadows
 - Scenes from the graphic novel
 - Music video

Comments
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Bridal lehenga   |142.162.227.xxx |2014-09-07 14:27:42
refreshing to find articles like the ones you post on your site. Very
informative reading. I will keep you bookmarked
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