7 out of 10
Release Date: 13th June 2014
Director: Nick Nevern (Terry)
Cast: Nick Nevern, Jason Maza, Tom Burke, Ray Fearon, Lorraine Stanley, Morgan Watkins, Josef Altin, Steven O’Donnell, Keith-Lee Castle, Alex Austin, Ronnie Fox, Juliet Oldfield, Peter Barrett, Michael Lindley, Tony Denham, Cass Pennant, Brett Goldstein, Neil Large, Billy Cook and Leo Gregory with Craig Fairbrass, Tamer Hassan and Danny Dyer
Writer: Nick Nevern and Michael Lindley
Trailer: THE HOOLIGAN FACTORY
TO BE PROOFREAD: Nick Nevern‘s (GBH) second feature as director is a massive improvement on his debut Terry. It’s also a great contrast as this film lampoons the type of film he tried to make with his lousy debut. Less about that though, this is today. The Hooligan Factory sets its store out on the steppes of the hills owned by The Zucker Brothers (NAKED GUN / AIRPLANE) and The Wayans Family (SCARY MOVIE) but instead of doing a humourless spoof like they do, he’s weaved in a decent story with affectionately drawn caricatures. Starring as the one of the biggest idiots UK cinema has seen since the Jihadi losers on parade in Four Lions, Nick Nevern proves his chops as a very funny comedian (who knew?) In most of his dramas he often plays a clenched up ball of fury that could pop an eye ball at any minute, he takes his well-worn set of grace notes and points them in a new direction. Is The Hooligan Factory the long overdue moratorium on shit hooligan films (that often don’t even feature hooligans). One can sense the other filmmakers have sensed this too by rush releasing Top Dog and the surprisingly good bank heist movie Dangerous Mind of a Hooligan. Like all comedies going in without seeing the trailer would yield quite a bit more comedy gold, but the converted fans who have been following this films progress since the makers were shopping on Facebook for extras, there’s far far less to get tickled by. (Simple maths!)
Danny (JASON MAZA – TEN DEAD MEN) is a jobless no hoper who falls in with recently released from jail football hooligan and firm top dog Dex (NICK NEVERN) and his gang The Hooligan Factory. Dex wants revenge for the accidental death of his son in a duck pond during a ruck years before with the Baron’s firm (KEITH-LEE CASTLE – DOGHOUSE). As Danny gets initiated into the firm will he survive the cliches of what it takes to be a real ‘hooligan’?
Jason Maza is usually a dependable dramatic force but he seems stretched and out of his comfort zone in a comedy – it’s probably because his role is a cipher and has less room for quirkiness. He is upstaged left right and centre by the gallery of lunatics like Bullet (TOM BURKE – THE INVISIBLE WOMAN), Midnight (RAY FEARON – CORONATION STREET) and the wonderful Old Bill (STEVEN O’DONNELL – BRING ME THE HEAD OF MAVIS DAVIS) as an undercover cop that nobody spots. There’s a brilliant pastiche of ID – especially the remake of the ‘Gumbo’ scene where the cop blows his cover. Much fun is had at the expense of the classics like Rise of The Footsoldier, Essex Boys films (classics? hang on), ID and The Firm. It’s clear that the makers are in love with this genre and are now holding up a stop sign to those that continue to trample on these films with their shit quickies (of which Nick Nevern and co and all had a hand at some stage.) -> Hooligan Wars anyone?
Time will tell if this is the stopper in the bottle. As a brit comedy, it works well going in cold. It’s a rare thing to find a funny comedy these days that doesn’t rely on the same old jokes. Here’s a film that respects fans of the British lad-flick and rewards us for our time by giving us a real good laugh. It’s packed with cameos from just about every actor you’d care to see from your old favourites. It even has two former on-screen Pat Tates vying for screen time in one scene. So if you know the territory this comedy works. If you don’t it may limit the appeal although it saves itself by not being too much of a specialist by going the Wayans Brothers route and being a 100 crap joke a minute that only succeeds in replicating the original’s set design and wardrobe. The Hooligan Factory retains a bold story arc and is all the stronger and funnier for it. I hope that Nick Nevern and co. team up for another comedy but this doesn’t need a sequel just yet. SPOILER: Fave scene is the Leo Gregory (TOP DOG) “Who’s got a book coming out?” scene. SPOILER END.
7 out of 10 – Very funny old school comedy that knows it’s targets well and it’s as homophobic as they come but then it is set in the 80s. Or is it?
Review by Matt Gusher down below. We think he liked it.
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?
- Nick Nevern: Prime Suspect (TV), Eliminators, Brotherhood (2016), Spring, Meet The Firm – White Collar Hooligan 3, Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie, The Hooligan Wars, Vendetta, White Collar Hooligan 2, Fall of the Essex Boys, GBH, Outpost 2, The Rise Of a White Collar Hooligan, Victim, The Sweeney Movie, Turnout, 7Lives, Strippers Vs. Werewolves, Terry
- Jason Maza: 10×10, Brotherhood (2016), Angel (2015), #Legacy, Traveller, Little Deaths, Get Lucky, Welcome To The Punch, The Knot, Truth or Dare, The Man Inside (2012), Outside Bet, Demons Never Die, Anuvahood, Ten Dead Men, Fit, KickOff, Fish Tank, Shifty, Hush Your Mouth, Rise Of The Footsoldier, Life and Lyrics
- Tom Burke: Utopia (TV), The Musketeers (TV), The Invisible Woman, Only God Forgives, Cleanskin, Third Star, Telstar, The Kid (2010), Cheri, Donkey Punch
- Ray Fearon: DaVinci’s Demons (TV), Coronation Street (TV)
- Lorraine Stanley: The Receptionist, No Reasons, Suffragette, Legend (2015), The Guvnors, Top Dog, The Hooligan Wars, He Who Dares, Essex Boys Retribution, GBH, Made In Dagenham, Cass, London To Brighton
- Morgan Watkins: Scottish Mussel, Chicken, A Little Chaos, Kingsman – The Secret Service
- Josef Altin: Narcopolis, Child 44, Game Of Thrones (TV), A Long Way Down, Vendetta, Now Is Good, Comes a Bright Day, Albatross, Eastern Promise
- Steven O’Donnell: Scottish Mussel, The Comic Strip Presents…(TV), Conan The Barbarian (2012), The Cottage, Churchill – The Hollywood Years, Kevin and Perry Go Large, Guest House Paradiso, Spice World, Bring Me The Head Of Mavis Davis, Bottom (TV), Casualty (TV), The Pope Must Die, Tygo Road (TV)
- Keith-Lee Castle: We Still Steal The Old Way, Doghouse
- Ronnie Fox: London Heist, Detective Harrigan, Traveller, Quartet, Clubbed
- Juliet Oldfield: Greyhawk, Borrowed Time, The Knot, Bronson
- Peter Barrett: No Easy Days (TV), Devil’s Tower, Shame The Devil, The Hooligan Wars, Essex Boys Retribution, White Collar Hooligan 2, Fall of the Essex Boys, UFO (2013), GBH, The Rise and Fall Of a White Collar Hooligan, Airborne (2012), Ghosted, Jack Falls
- Michael Lindley: The Crypt, Vendetta
- Tony Denham: We Still Die The Old Way, Missing In Greenwood, London Heist, Bonded By Blood 2, Miss You Already, The Guvnors, We Still Kill The Old Way, Essex Boys Retribution, Vendetta, White Collar Hooligan 2, Fall of the Essex Boys, St. George’s Day, Turnout, The Shouting Men, Revolver, The Football Factory
- Cass Pennant: What’s The Score?, Mob Handed, Svengali, Killer Bitch
- Brett Goldstein: Adul Life Skills, Superbob, Howl (2015), Everyone’s Going To Die, #Legacy, Hoff The Record (TV), Derek (TV), The Comedian, The Knot
- Neil Large: Abducted, White Collar Hooligan 2, Ill Manors, Turnout, Tony
- Billy Cook: Trespass Against Us, Traveller, Green Street 3
- Leo Gregory: Apocalypse, Northmen, Top Dog, All Things To All Men, One In The Chamber, Payback Season, Wild Bill (2012), Big Fat Gypsy Gangster, The Big I Am, Cass, Goal 3, Stoned, Green Street
- Craig Fairbrass: London Heist, Breakdown (2016), Vikingdom, Saving Santa (voice), Bula Quo!, Get Lucky, Deranged, St. George’s Day, Devil’s Playground, Freight, Dead Cert, The Shouting Men, Just For The Record, The Bank Job, Rise Of The Foot Soldier, White Noise 2, Dark Days, Proteus, Beyond Bedlam, Cliffhanger, Eastenders (TV), Tucker’s Luck (TV)
- Tamer Hassan: Bitter Harvest, Breakdown (2016), ,Robot Overlords, Diamond Heist, The Double (2012), Freerunner, The Reverend (2012), Bonded By Blood, Kick Ass, The Hike, Dead Man Running, The Last Seven, Jack Falls, Sucker Punch (2008), Goal 3, City Rats, Cass, Beyond The Rave, The Ferryman, Eastern Promises, The Business, The Football Factory, The Calcium Kid
- Danny Dyer: Eastenders (TV), Assassin (2015), Blood Shot, Vendetta, Run For Your Wife, Lemon La Vida Loca (TV), Plebs (TV), Deviation, Freerunner, The Age Of Heroes, 7Lives, Basement, Pimp, Malice In Wonderland, Just For The Record, Dead Man Running, Dead Cert, The Devil’s Playground,Jack Said, City Rats, Doghouse, Adulthood, Straightheads, Outlaw (2007), Severance, The Other Half, Borstal Boy, The Business, The Football Factory, Wasp (short), Mean Machine, High Heels and Low Lifes, Goodbye Charlie Bright, Greenfingers, The Trench, Human Traffic