the greatest British movie of the last 25 years. Great
tongue in cheek dialogue, one of the most moving songs in
cinema history, and superb motorbike choreography.
This is a story about TOM LATHAM (played by man of the
time, NICKY HENSON) and his biker troupe THE LIVING DEAD.
TOM wants out of this world - and tells his
girlfriend ABBY (played by MARY LARKIN) he wants her to
join him, and come back as indestructible. The drama
comes very early when TOM makes it very clear hes
going for it, and the dialogue is taut with tension,
Sometimes you scare me ABBY says. TOM replies
with masterly eloquence, Its not me that
scares you - its the world. Lets get out of
it, ABBY. Lets cross over. This comes after
some unfortunate driver is forced off the road to his
apparent death, and this after the spine-tingling title
music by JOHN CAMERON sets the tone for what is to come.
TOM is a mad, bad, dangerous to know biker, and more so
as he is on a suicide mission. He goes in glorious style,
roaring over a bridge into a river. Then he comes back
refreshed, killing irritants who get in his way. He lets
his mother know he is alive whilst in the
middle of killing five people. Im dead
mother, but apart from that I couldnt be better.
The most moving scene is when TOM is buried by his biker
pals, bolt upright on his metal steed, and the lilting
voice of HARVEY ANDREWS wafts across the screen, and
those memorable lines, He really got it on/He rode
that sweet machine just like a bomb. And other
great lines, ...the holy sound of revving fills the
sky. And They tried to clip his wings just
like a fly/So instead of standing still he chose to die.
The tough bikers are lovingly making wreathes whilst this
acoustic melancholia is going on.
TOM comes back roaring out of his grave to run over some
guy who gets in his way. He tells the gang they can all
come back, if they believe. HINKY doesnt. Lots of
spectacular deaths ensue, and TOMS mother (BERYL
REID) has had enough of the murders and carnage, and
conspires with her remarkably suave house attendant
or butler SHADWELL (GEORGE SANDERS) to have her son
zapped for good.
The MR. FREEZE of BATMAN fame has em turned to
stone, which is just as well as TOM is about to kill
ABBY, as she botched her suicide, and doesnt want
to go with him.
Incidentally, GEORGE SANDERS never made another film. He
topped himself the year this film was made, 1972. Who
says films cant influence people?
Other people to look out for are ROBERT HARDY, who plays
the bemused and unfortunately named Chief Inspector
HESSELTINE, and JUNE BROWN, who plays head-case JANE
PETTIBONES mum, and does nowt but cry. BILL PERTWEE
of DADS ARMY fame is one of the early victims.
HALLIWELLS FILM GUIDE describes the film as arrant
nonsense of the macabre sort, sometimes irresistibly
amusing. WHATS ON TV called it the
ultimate deathwish comedy... deliriously daft horror
movie... A psychomanic hoot!