6.5 out of 10
Release Date: 6th January 2014 (DVD Premiere)
Cast: Glen Murphy, Giovanni Capalbo, Serena Iansiti, Christopher Hatherall, Joe Egan and Ray Winstone
Writer: Antonio Simoncini & Craig Viveiros
Trailer: LORDS OF LONDON
Here’s an unusual one. An ethereal, supernatural gangster flick that works in many respects. Coming from the same team that made the floppy Fathers of Girls, they’ve tried something a little different again with more success. Disguising a thoughtful film about regrets as a rival to Sexy Beast or Snatch is a interesting marketing ploy as after five minutes in, it’s clear to everybody that this is not at all like those films. So why dress it up as a generic crime flick? Everybody that happens on it will be disappointed but it still got someone to buy it, yeah? Cynical way to treat this oddity.
Ex-London’s Burning actor Glen Murphy plays a London mobster is shot and awakes to find himself transported back to rural Italy to put some wrongs right. It seems that he’s there to stop his evil father (CHRISTOPHER HATHERALL and RAY WINSTONE) from ruining his mother’s life by marrying her – and as result cancelling his own birth. The Italian setting and local cast is a definite plus and the slow plot actually nice to watch unfold. Flashbacks to Glen’s childhood give Ray Winstone his only chance to channel the type of mad bastard he made his name with, he’s had in years. His presence in one or two extended scenes give the film more gravity and he’s effortlessly matched by Hatherall as the younger version.
Don’t be put off by the misleading title but Ghostly Gangster wouldn’t have exactly sold many DVDs either but it’s great to see such an unsual take on a well-trodden genre. Harold Pinter would have been proud. Who’d have thought that Glen Murphy from London’s Burning would have such an unusual film in him. He’s better than he’s ever been (which is kind of feint praise) but still a compliment here.
6.5 out of 10 – A unique crime film that’s not afraid to try something new and dangerous. It’s just bad news that it’s been disguised as something for the Essex Boys massive. Expect to see 100s of copies in a Cex near you. Recommended for Ray and Italy and the sad resolution.
PS: It could go down as having the most misleading cover art / poster of all time though.
Review by Matt ‘Scum of Halifax’ Usher down below
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?
- Glen Murphy: The Hooligan Wars, Fathers of Girls, Shoreditch, London’s Burning (TV), Tank Malling, Shine On Harvey Moon (TV)
- Giovanni Capalbo: Passion of the Christ
- Joe Egan: The Magnificent Eleven, Strippers Vs. Werewolves, Freight, Killer Bitch
- Ray Winstone: Point Break (2015), The Legend of Barney Thomson, The Gunman, Noah, Ashes, The Hot Potato, The Sweeney Movie, Snow White & The Huntsman, Elfie Hopkins, Tracker, Hugo, London Boulevard, Fathers Of Girls, The Devil’s Tomb, Rango (voice), Sex & Drugs & Rock-N-Roll, 44 Inch Chest, Edge Of Darkness, Indiana Jones & The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skulls, Fool’s Gold, Breaking and Entering, The Departed, Cold Mountain, Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion The Witch & The Wardrobe (voice), The Proposition, King Arthur (2004), Ripley’s Game, The Martins, Last Orders, Sexy Beast, There’s Only One Jimmy Grimble, Nil By Mouth, Love Honour and Obey, Fanny and Elvis, Final Cut, Martha – Meet Daniel Luke and Laurence, Face, Ladybird Ladybird, Tank Malling, Quadrophenia, Scum, Robin Of Sherwood (TV)