BLOOD FEUD

3 out of 10

Release Date: 29th February 2016 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Darren James King (Looters, Tooters and Sawn-Off Shooters)

Cast: Paul Lee King, Mickey Curate, Steve Collins, Steven Arnold, Rory Locke, Mehmet Halit, Danny Howard, Senel Karava, Mark Sears, Paul Reg King, Saffron Sprackling with Darren James King and Jerry Anderson

Writer: Paul Lee King

Trailer: BLOOD FEUD

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Whilst the second King Brothers feature is a lot more focussed than Looters, Tooters and Sawn-Off Shooters, they’ve still got a long way to go. Blood Feud benefits from a decent performance by unknown Mickey Curate. Given a better script, he could have impressed. With the writer Paul Lee King also breathing down your neck, you’re hardly going to ask for better lines are you?

With a plot pinched from the half-baked Stand-Up Guys, Grace (PAUL LEE KING) has 24 hours to kill his best friend Paul (MICKEY CURATE) who’s been release from jail after 12 years for taking the rap for killing Ray’s (STEVE COLLINS) son. During the intervening years Grace has become a Christian, so he no longer sniffs drugs, drinks beer or thumps people. He’s also become a preachy Christian, who mopes about talking about the past and the evils of hedonism. He still takes Mickey down the pub and to the local brothel though, and gets in loads of scraps with Ray’s men. There’s also a cameo by a third King Brother (or cousin or parent), Paul Reg King who plays cinema’s most unlikely priest who acts like the equivalent of Q in James Bond. Instead of a weapon he gives the unlikely heroes a platitude to use against anyone that’s going to hit them.

There’s a lot of preaching about walking the righteous path in this, and it seems that good will win out in a way, but as much as the script tries to make Grace out to be a good man tortured by a bad past, I think the film is written by scallies that don’t know the meaning of a what it means to be truly good beyond the cartoonish.  There’s more downcast misery here than ten years of 1980s-era Eastenders. Humour is unintentional, particular Paul’s request to “stop talking about all this emotional shit and get some hard core sex.” I wondered for a minute whether they were former lovers but then they go to a knocking shop but nothing goes right even then. Except for the viewer who gets to see loads of boobs.

The fight sequences are pretty good this time around. No back flips or roundhouses needed, just some good punch ups to do the trick. There is one fight though that just decends into two people rolling around in a pile of well placed cardboard boxes…great fun!

For a no budget crime thriller, this isn’t as crap as Looters, Tooters and Sawn-Off Shooters, so whilst there are feint signs of improvement and recognition of its own limitations, a better script would have gone a long way.  Mickey Curate carries the weight as writer/actor Paul King struggles to convey his pain or love of Christ. The flashbacks and back story are bit hard to piece together too. And the whole thing could be reinterpreted into a massive day out to win a hug off Ashley (STEVEN ARNOLD) from Coronation Street.

3 out of 10 – Thoughtful but off-key. Preachy and unintentionally moronic it’s still a big improvement on Looters, Tooters and Sawn-Off Shooters.

Review below by Matt The Shusher Usher

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

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One thought on “BLOOD FEUD

  1. Review by Matt Usher

    Here’s a sentence I hoped never to encounter: ‘a new film from the makers of LOOTERS, TOOTERS AND SAWN-OFF SHOOTERS’. Now, I must be fair (well, I don’t have to, but I might as well) and say that BLOOD FEUD is nowhere near as bad as its predecessor. But it’s also a lot less fun, and sleep turned out to be an agreeable alternative several times as I ploughed through this agreeably short film (which as short films tend to, felt twice as long, even allowing for my nap-time).

    Paul (played by the likeable Michael Curate) comes out of jail after serving time for murdering a gangster, and goes to his old pal, Grace (who’s caught religion and is played by Paul King, one of the masterminds behind the production). Unfortunately the long-ish prison sentence wasn’t enough to mollify the dead gangster’s dad, Ray Nolan, played by former boxing champion Steve Collins (who twice beat Chris Eubank and played a vicar in a 1985 episode of Last of the Summer Wine (has IMDB erred perchance?)). So Nolan is out for real justice, and has the darned clever idea of getting Grace to pull the trigger (I expect blackmail or force is involved, but I can’t remember), even though it’s probably Nolan’s fault his son’s dead anyway. Possibly. Unfortunately Nolan hasn’t thought it all through, particularly as Grace, in an example of nominative determinism, has caught religion and is generally trying to live a better life than he used to (which, seeing as he’s an ex-killer, gives him quite a low starting base). Reunited after so long, Paul and Grace go about doing reunion things like popping into church and the local pub/brothel and getting into scrapes with minor-league criminals. Will Grace kill Paul, or will something else happen? What has Ashley from Coronation Street got to do with anything? (I’ve just discovered he was killed by the tram in 2010 – shocking) (I guess the film-makers must be fans of Corrie or have some special affection for actors unceremoniously axed (Les Battersby last time, Mavis Wilton next?). And just how many King Brothers (and other relatives) are there? All I can say is it ends with a brain splattered against a wall.

    Looked at on its own terms, BLOOD FEUD is incredibly dull and uninvolving, and a little bit like an attempt at being worthy, or at least, thoughtful. Judged in relation to its already legendary predecessor LOOTERS, TOOTERS AND SAWN-OFF SHOOTERS (LT&S-OS) we can see that there are several signs of improvement. The title is shorter and more relevant to the material (LT&S-OS suggested larky gangster-japes but delivered heavy-handed gloom, in an accidentally comic way). The plot is more focused – there are no scenes which the producers have put in simply because it seemed like a good idea at the time. Accordingly, there are fewer performers (I can’t quite call them actors – sorry) which also helps the film stay on the straight-and-narrow. Best of all, it’s a lot shorter.

    There are other strengths. The opening is pretty good, with some well-used music. It looks like the start of a proper film, until the camera lingers a little too long on Paul King, who, though by no way the worst actor in the world, isn’t good enough to do sad brooding acting. Unfortunately, sad and brooding are his character’s primary modes. I like the way the film teases us as to what it’s actually going to do. Obviously the publicity sets it up as a violent crime drama (there’s an element of that) but as the film gets underway there are hints that maybe it’s going to attempt a gay subplot (it doesn’t) or involve itself in theological debates (it doesn’t, well, maybe a bit) or even inject some pornography (thankfully that doesn’t happen either – as anyone scarred by the ‘locker’ scene in L,T&S-OS would agree). Despite all these temptations it still manages to stay on target, at a meandering, listless pace.

    There is one cherishable line of dialogue, one which no decent writer would ever even dream of devising. It’s a line so terrible that it must be something that has been said by a real person, possibly in the very context it is uttered here: ‘enough of this emotional shit – I need some hardcore sex’ says our ex-prisoner. Bizarrely he means with a woman, even though up to this point it seems reasonable to assume our two heroes are an item, either overtly or subconsciously, which might explain Paul’s subsequent inability to attain his goal, though that may be more to do with the disappointing choice on offer at the local which his God-fearing pal takes him to.

    LOOTERS, TOOTERS AND SAWN-OFF SHOOTERS apparently had an agonisingly difficult birth and it may, for some in the industry, show signs of promise, or at least, a decent work ethic. But for the general civilian viewer, it’s appalling and should never have been allowed into Tesco’s. BLOOD FEUD is a much more considered, professional, thought-through effort which shows the Kings have learned some valuable lessons. But it’s still pretty bad, muddily scripted, poorly acted and leaden.

    Nothing much happens, but unlike Waiting for Godot (which it resembles slightly) (two protagonists waiting for death) this has no sense of melancholy ennui, though it does instil one in the hapless viewer. Some entertainment may be derived from speculating over why Paul King continues to give himself odd names (Cheltham previously, now he’s Grace, which, if it’s intended symbolically, gives the film a lineage reaching back to Bunyan and Chaucer).

    BLOOD FEUD suggests the Kings are interested in serious stories as opposed to the usual blood and guts nonsense. This is hinted at in their first film, albeit in a heavy-handed, horribly amateurish way. At their current rate of progress the Kings seventh film should be just about within the bounds of modestly poor respectability. Meanwhile BLOOD FEUD represents a surge in quality but fails to convince as a film which needs to exist.

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