A Frightfest UK 2010 review
Directed by Steven Lawson
In Dead Cert London club owners (and gang members) receive an offer from a rich Romanian business man, Dante Livenko (Billy Murray), to buy their nightclub. Initially refusing them the owner, Freddy ‘Dead Cert’ Frankham (Craig Fairbrass), soon gets more than he bargained for when the businessmen turn out to be a clan of vampires!
The first thing that springs to mind after watching Dead Cert is that it was trying to be a British From Dusk Till Dawn, although minus much (if not all) of the Tarantino dialogue. What starts out as a gangster film rapidly descends into vampires in a nightclub, and if you can find comparisons to other films anywhere cheaper, f**k eeeet!
With that in mind and looking at a cast line-up which includes Craig Fairbrass, Dexter Fletcher and a cameo from Danny Dyer (who got the biggest on screen cheer of the night :s) you can pretty much guess for yourself if you will like it.
The dialogue is functional if not sharp, the exposition of the vampire back story is a little contrived and never fully covered and the action is fairly muted even when there’s a huge rumble in the club.
Clever use of sets give Dead Cert a much bigger or at least cleaner look than it’s $1 million budget would suggest. You’d be hard pressed to say there was a huge difference in budget between this and one of the Guy Ritchie gangster films.
Indeed the whole thing was actually put together by the crew and investors rather than trying to get funding from a studio or film board and to have the guts to do that in today’s economy is something worth celebrating.
There’s also a bit of reverence to the genre, with scenes and camera work straight out of Lost Boys. None of the actors are playing it camp and Billy Murray’s ‘Dracula’ figure is menacing enough to make it all believable.
The whole thing has been set up for a sequel; literally everything throughout the movie is a set up, with the end showing it was a foregone conclusion, so hopefully the film does well enough to let director Steven Lawson get the sort of budget he’s looking for to make a good follow-up.
Dead Cert provides a fast paced, fun, 90 minutes of story, but doesn’t really add much to the vampire genre. That said, it’s good to see vampires back in the business of sucking blood and not c**ks while shouting “TOUCH MY SPARKLES!” to teenage girls.