6 out of 10
Release Date: TBC (Available on DVD in Germany)
Director: Paul Tanter (Age of the Living Dead (TV) / Kill Ratio / Dystopia (TV) / No Easy Days (TV) / He Who Dares 2 / Meet The Firm – White Collar Hooligan 3 / Shame The Devil / The Hooligan Wars / He Who Dares / Essex Boys Retribution / White Collar Hooligan 2 / Fall of the Essex Boys / Rise of the White Collar Hooligan / Jack Falls)
Cast: Mark O’Neal, Petra Bryant, Tom Benedict Knight, Akbar Kurtha, Anais Alvarado, Daniel Berkey, Sefa Kumanaskat with Simon Phillips and Billy Murray
Writer: Paul Tanter
Trailer: THE DISAPPEARANCE OF LENKA WOOD
So far without a UK release date, this stands as the ‘lost’ Paul Tanter / Simon Phillips film. News of a lost film usually picques the interest of film nerds but I wonder what fans of Tanter’s fake hooligan movies would make of this Turkey set kidnap thriller. It ain’t Kubrick or Gilliam so there won’t be a dissection of it by the BFI in Sight and Sound any time soon BUT….it is a good, solid actioner. Despite, budgetary limitations, this film has a few disarming tricks up its sleeve and for the most part it plays out like a ‘real’ film. With a few more quid in their pockets and another revision of the script this would have been something my Mum & Dad would have liked. As it stands it plays as Paul Tanter‘s best film so far.
Told out of synch in an impressionistic way, the story tells of the honeymoon of Czech girl Lenka Wood (PETRA BRYANT – THE LAST SCOUT) and CIA spook Dexter (MARK O’NEAL – SPECTRAL) in Turkey. Mysterious local men stalk the newly weds and eventually kidnap Lenka. Then a quest to find the wife with the help of the obstructive police force, led by Tom Benedict Knight (THE CALL UP) ensues. Meanwhile, there are regular flashbacks to Dexter’s time in the army some years’ before, when he’s conducting an interrogation with another soldier played by Simon Phillips (THE LAST SCOUT) (on top form in a smallish supporting role). What at first spins out of control quickly, turns into something else.
A few minor plot holes aside and some duff fighting scenes, this film has a nicely thought-out intelligent plot with a satisfying denouement. Maybe Paul Tanter has something to say about foreign interventions and the way the guard dog in the west protects our freedoms. It’s certainly the closest he’s come to making a thoughtful film if you compare this to his He Who Dares movies or his Saw tribute Shame The Devil. Could it be the mild dose of Simon Phillips? He puts in some solid support work here as opposed to his comedy / dramatic mugging, in Lenka Wood. The leads are OK. Mark O’ Neal is an American renta-plank who can carry a tune, Petra Bryant is given very little to do and it’s good that she’s not stretched as signs of strain would endanger the film further. Another standout is Tom Benedict Knight, so bad as the hero in He Who Dares 1 & 2, as the lead Turkish cop. Also his best yet, although I’ve not seen him in much. Billy Murray (ESSEX BOYS RETRIBUTION) turns up as a dodgy gun dealer / Mr fix-it for a decent cameo too. What he’ll do a foreign holiday in the sun! Look out for Paul Tanter’s micro-cameo who plays the victim of a moped theft…
So there’s fun to be had, and if you don’t read to much into it, it’s a good, light piece of action entertainment. It’s the first competent Paul Tanter film in a long time (I mention The Rise and Fall of a White Collar Hooligan) and its a shame that a UK release is unlikely. However, completists can find a copy of the DVD online at Amazon (that’s how I got Britpic a copy). Paul Tanter completists of the world unite! Or is it just me, Joe Pesci II, Simon Phillips and Paul himself?
6 out of 10 – Entertaining action thriller set in Turkey featuring all our ‘fave’ actors at Brtipic! It’s naff at times and a bit rough at the edges, but I liked it.
Another review below by Matt ‘Spunka Wood’ Usher
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?
- Mark O’Neal: Spectral
- Petra Bryant: The Last Scout, Abduct, Meet The Firm – White Collar Hooligan 3
- Tom Benedict Knight: Brash Young Turks, Underbelly, The Call Up, He Who Dares 2, He Who Dares, White Collar Hooligan 2
- Akbar Kurtha: A Street Cat Named Bob, Meet The Firm – White Collar Hooligan 3, 24 (TV), Syriana, Doctors (TV), My Son The Fanatic, Bhaji On The Beach
- Simon Phillips: Age of the Living Dead (TV), The Last Scout, Dystopia (TV), No Easy Days (TV), He Who Dares 2, Shame The Devil, Dangerous Mind of a Hooligan, The Hooligan Wars, He Who Dares, Essex Boys Retribution, White Collar Hooligan 2, Fall of the Essex Boys, UFO (2013), The Rise and Fall Of a White Collar Hooligan, Strippers Vs. Werewolves, Airborne, The Reverend (2012), Offender, Bonded By Blood, Ghosted, How to Stop Being a Loser, Kill Keith, Jack Falls, The Last Seven, Jack Said, Just For The Record, Risen, Stagger, Cut, Jack Says
- Billy Murray: We Still Steal The Old Way, What’s The Score?, Essex Boys Retribution, One In The Chamber, Rise and Fall Of a White Collar Hooligan, Airborne (2012), Strippers Vs. Werewolves, Stalker (2011), Freight, Devil’s Playground, Dead Cert, Just For The Record, Doghouse, Rise Of The Footsoldier, Hell To Pay, Rollin With The Nines, Eastenders (TV), Essex Boys, The Bill (TV), McVicar