Paddy Considine as Richard
Gary Stretch as Sonny
Toby Kebbell as Anthony
Jo Hartley as Jo
Seamus O’Neill as Big Al
Stuart Wolfenden as Herbie
Paul Sadot as Tuff
Paul Hurstfield as Mark
Emily Aston as Patti
George Newton as Gypsy John
Neil Bell as Soz
Craig Considine as Craig
Matt Considine as Matt
Andrew Shim as Elvis
Commentary by director Shane Meadows, co-writer/star Paddy Considine, and producer Mark Herbert
“In Shane’s Shoes” featurette
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Running Time: 90 Minutes
The following is from the DVD cover:
“Richard (Paddy Considine) has always protected his simple-minded little brother Anthony (Toby Kebbell). When Richard leaves the rural village where they have grown up to join the army, Anthony is taken in by Sonny (Gary Stretch), a controlling and vicious local drug dealer and his gang of lads. Anthony becomes the gang’s pet and plaything. Seven years later, Richard returns to settle the score. One by one, he hunts down each member of the gang and executes them in increasingly elaborate ways as flashbacks reveal the extent to which his brother suffered at their hands. ‘Dead Man’s Shoes’ is a genre-defying film blending horror, supernatural elements, comedy, and social realism. Set in a Midlands village, it explores the underbelly of contemporary rural Britain in communities where crime is unchecked and drugs, intimidation, and power games are blandly accepted as the fabric of daily life.”
“Dead Man’s Shoes” is not rated, but it features nudity, sexual content, drug use, violence, and language.
I’m always up for a good revenge tale and on the cover “Dead Man’s Shoes” certainly fit the bill. It features the amazing actor Paddy Considine, has a really cool gimmick with the gasmask (as seen on the cover), and it had a unique setting. I was fully on board for the story. “Dead Man’s Shoes” takes a little while to get rolling, but once the carnage starts, it’s certainly satisfying. Considine’s performance is riveting and disturbing. He just oozes rage. But even though the film has all these strong points, it’s weak in a few other areas. First of all, the bad guys are the lamest bunch of villains to hit the screen in a long time. They drive a car that a clown might be embarrassed to be seen in. They are incredibly inept and spineless. You also see them doing rather mundane things like washing the dishes and taking out the garbage. What respectable movie villain does the dishes?? It’s no wonder they are taken out like chumps. “Dead Man’s Shoes” also gets really trippy during a drug scene that drags on way too long. Weird camera work and drug fueled lights and sound make it a surreal and unnecessary piece of the film. The music in the movie is also strangely lighthearted compared to the grim subject matter. In the end it’s an alternately cool and flawed film.
There are a few bonus features included on this DVD. First up is your standard commentary by director Shane Meadows, co-writer/star Paddy Considine, and producer Mark Herbert. It’s interesting and you learn a bit more about the history behind the film and how it’s based on some of their real life experiences. The second bonus feature, the “In Shane’s Shoes” featurette, delves into this much more deeply as the director talks about how he grew up admiring these thugs before coming to the grim realization what they really were. The story behind the film is almost more interesting than the film itself. You’ll also find a few deleted scenes and an alternate ending that is only slightly different from the one seen in the theatrical version.
I’d recommend “Dead Man’s Shoes” to fans of Paddy Considine, indie foreign cinema, or revenge flicks.