3.5 out of 10
Release Date: 3rd June 2013 (DVD Premiere)
Cast: Marcia Do Vales, Victoria Broom, Natalia Celino, Tabitha Quitman, Pablo Olewski and Craig Fairbrass
Writer: Oscar Carrion
Remember that scene in David Lynch’s Mullholland Drive in which a film director is forced by some creepy producers to cast a particular actress “this is the girrrrl!”? That must have happened when casting the lead for Deranged. (Further research reveals that the leading actress, Marcia Do Vales, is one of the principal producers – rendering your lead-in to this review pitifully redundant – ed.) Casting a charismatic actress that could act would have done Deranged a big favour. As it is, what could have been a fairly competent slasher flick is reduced to a potty bedroom farce with axes. I really have to stop opening reviews with a negative, what with Britpic being a site that champions all films British, but it in this case I’ve chosen to get the bad elements out of the way first. I promise I’ll be more positive next time (if I can). The first bad point and main one being this film needed a good producer and a talented lead actress, sadly Marcia Do Vales (THE REVEREND) has stretched her talents to breaking point. Ironically, she highlights this fact by playing a wannabe actress (accused by her friends of being pretty terrible at it) who invites her three best friends on holiday with her to a remote house in Spain. She is due to marry a rich guy that all four girls went to college with. How these contrasting girls are friends is hard to believe as they all bicker and verbally attack every other every step of the way. This actually helps the plot along and clouds the waters when they begin to get picked off by either a black dog, a stripper (PABLO OLEWSKI – WHITE COLLAR HOOLIGAN 2) or the mysterious friend of the family, Anthony (CRAIG FAIRBRASS – FREIGHT), who spends some scenes frowning through windows set to portentous music.
Inadvertent spoilers lie ahead, sorry. The film does improve when Marcia Do Vales puts her feet up (for part of the running time) but there are some crucial elements missing to enable Deranged to be a truly effective thriller. The makers rely too heavily on the soundtrack to stand in for a prowling camera, sharp editing or other well established scare methods. The script is OK but not brilliant but I did think that the plot had a nice bit of chicanery to it. It’s true that it couldn’t wrong foot a twelve year old for long, but it still showed some thought and skill that would shame at least half of the slashers I’ve seen when it comes to the build up and killer reveal. The remainder of the cast acquit themselves really well. The trio of friends are each given a cardinal trait rather than a character. We have a very fast girl (VICTORIA BROOM – STALLED), the mother hen (TABITHA QUITMAN) and a religious shrew with 1970s horror film boobs (NATALIA CELINO – UMBRAGE, THE FIRST VAMPIRE). The banal dialogue is quick in establishing the basics and role dynamics, even if some of their lines are terrible, they still seem to manage reasonably well. Elsewhere, Craig Fairbrass puts in a very good performance which is little more than an extended cameo. I’m glad his presence actually improved the movie in little more than a “meh” role, but then famous actors have been doing the same thing in Horror movies for decades and long may the tradition continue! Like the characters, and possibly the producer/lead actress, Deranged is indeed deranged but it’s also quite watchable on its own terms. Compared to the director, Neil Jones last film, The Reverend, this is a tangible improvement in all departments. So it’s not as faint praise as that may sound. Although it’s still not that loud.
3.5 out 10 – Deranged could have done with being scarier and tense, less funny and having a leading lady that could a) act and b) speak English clearly. But maybe the film wouldn’t have existed without Marcia Do Vales’ involvement, so what we have is an oroborus, because there are enough salvageable and enjoyable bits and pieces to be had. So it’s not a complete loss. I mean come on, it has a ‘possible’ killer stripper on the loose, or better yet a sinister Craig Fairbrass with a Barbie doll obsession “leave my DOLLYS ALONE!!!”, or wait, a dog with an accelerated strain of deadly rabies!?
See Joe Pesci II’s equally rabid and deranged review down below:
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?
- Marcia Do Vales: The Reverend (2012)
- Victoria Broom: ABCs of Death 2, Stalled, Zombie Women Of Satan
- Natalia Celino: Umbrage- The First Vampire
- Pablo Olewski: White Collar Hooligan 2
- Craig Fairbrass: The Hooligan Factory, The Outsider, Vikingdom, Saving Santa (voice), Bula Quo!, Get Lucky, St. George’s Day, Devil’s Playground, Freight, Dead Cert, Just For The Record, The Bank Job, Rise Of The Foot Soldier, White Noise 2, Dark Days, Proteus, Beyond Bedlam, Cliffhanger, Eastenders (TV)