Straight Outta Romford
January 24, 2018 1:02 AM   Subscribe

These films keep turning up on London Live - a channel which I suspect isn't long for this world, which was intended to be local news and programmes and has turned out to be a cornucopia of admittedly lovely and often hard to see old movies and... these. I wondered where they came from, but wasn't quite curious enough to actually watch them. I'm not exactly the target audience.

(A 24-year-old Maggie Smith in a 1958 b&w crime potboiler, though? Sign me up!)

(Just me, though. That's why the channel's not long for this world.)
posted by Grangousier at 1:52 AM on January 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

I grew up (another part of UK but there are a lot of little Romfords) with some of the real-life versions of what's portrayed here and most of them have been dead 15 years or more - live fast, die quickly.
posted by unearthed at 2:00 AM on January 24, 2018

posted by GallonOfAlan at 2:58 AM on January 24, 2018 [8 favorites]

> GallonOfAlan:

Oi! You think you're hard now? Yeh?
posted by Samizdata at 3:26 AM on January 24, 2018 [4 favorites]

Long live the long tail for creators!

Seriously fascinating read.
posted by Annika Cicada at 4:31 AM on January 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

Oi! You think you're hard now? Yeh?

Right, you- OUTSIDE!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:40 AM on January 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

Leave 'im, Whitey. E's not wurf it.
posted by Devonian at 4:49 AM on January 24, 2018 [6 favorites]

As someone who's from Essex I found the funding model fascinating. Whilst it's true that there are similar places with the plastic gangster contingent, what there isn't is a geographically handy connection with both city money and media connections. Essex is next to London. May not feel like it but those two worlds cross more than you'd think.
posted by treblekicker at 5:12 AM on January 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

Oi! You think you're hard now? Yeh?
Right, you- OUTSIDE!
Leave 'im, Whitey. E's not wurf it.

<Mike Leigh> And ... cut ... </Mike Leigh>
posted by octobersurprise at 6:33 AM on January 24, 2018 [4 favorites]

I worked on the US release of Vendetta. It’s better than the article makes it out to be, but not that good. The domestic distributor expected UK numbers for the US release for some reason, but WalMart shoppers left it on the shelves. The distributor stiffed us, and their bankruptcy trustee has let us know that we can expect pennies on the dollar when the office furniture and back stock is liquidated.

Indie producers: KNOW YOUR MARKET.
posted by infinitewindow at 7:07 AM on January 24, 2018 [3 favorites]

"Part Carry On, part A Clockwork Orange ...
"Would you like to go to sea, my droogs?"
"Like to go see what?"
posted by octobersurprise at 7:18 AM on January 24, 2018 [3 favorites]


Oi! You think you're hard now? Yeh?

Right, you- OUTSIDE!

Leave 'im, Whitey. E's not wurf it.

Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Plagueis The Wise? I thought not. It’s not a story the Jedi would tell you. It’s a Sith legend. Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith, so powerful and so wise he could use the Force to influence the midichlorians to create life… He had such a knowledge of the dark side that he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying. The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural. He became so powerful… the only thing he was afraid of was losing his power, which eventually, of course, he did. Unfortunately, he taught his apprentice everything he knew, then his apprentice killed him in his sleep. Ironic. He could save others from death, but not himself.

The fuck? You takin' the piss?
posted by Naberius at 7:23 AM on January 24, 2018 [3 favorites]

I would probably go bananas and just race through all these like I did that rash of sympathetic skinhead books that came out in the 70s, mostly written by Richard Allen.

I mean, they're trash and they're unforgivable, but boy can they kill time.
posted by maxsparber at 7:23 AM on January 24, 2018

I love the idea of some wannabe tough guy watching Borstal Boy based on a misleading DVD cover.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 7:24 AM on January 24, 2018 [6 favorites]

I think that's how you get them to watch Kes and then cry and cry and cry.
posted by maxsparber at 7:28 AM on January 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

those two worlds cross more than you'd think.

You can test the veracity of this statement by drinking in the pubs around Fenchurch Street and Tower Hill any workday evening. If you want actual gangsters, get the District line out to East Ham and beyond - through Kray territory and out to the badlands. It's not like it's covert. And it's not like there's a shining line between the bankers and the blaggers, unless they're hoovering it off a mirror together.

As for the budget thriller scene, it's not always what it seems either. Sometimes it edges into The Producers territory...
posted by Devonian at 8:09 AM on January 24, 2018 [4 favorites]

I've been watching "The Real Football Factories" with Danny Dyer on Netflix off an on recently. The basic format is that he goes to a match, drinks a beer with an old man with one colored scarf, and then drinks a beer with another old man with a different color scarf. All the while the camera zips and pans around, occasionally going to black and white.

I hear there's another documentary where Danny Dyer menaces UFOs. I really, really hope it's the same format as the Football one - Danny drinks a beer with a Grey, then cuts across the park to drink with a Reptilian.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:56 AM on January 24, 2018 [5 favorites]

When you've finished with Danny Dyer start looking for the "Ross Kemp on..." series.

Both men have built up a hard-man rep based on TV/film performances, and have turned that into a lucrative career being the straight man in hard-man documentaries.

Indeed both men have partly earned that reputation through (essentially) playing the same role - the landlord of the 'Queen Vic' pub on British soap opera Eastenders.

(It's probably best to think of the landlord of the Queen Vic as a sort of regenerating timelord. They're always essentially the same character. They just look different).

Oh, and dig out the version of Scrooge where he's a loan shark on a London council estate for more awesomeness in this vein. Ross Kemp stars, obviously.
posted by garius at 9:14 AM on January 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

I like Danny Dyer. because he plays such a hard case but honestly looks like he should be riding an Ent complaining that he hasn't had second breakfast yet.
posted by maxsparber at 9:17 AM on January 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

Yeah, it's hard not to like him.

I actually owned one of these for a while then it went missing at work.

Bloody tea leaves.
posted by garius at 9:22 AM on January 24, 2018 [3 favorites]

Metafilter: [doesn't] exactly fail the Bechdel test as much as draw a large appendage on the test paper and jeer defiantly at the examiner.
posted by k5.user at 10:59 AM on January 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

> Devonian:
"Leave 'im, Whitey. E's not wurf it."

Right then. That's wot yer mum said about yez last night.

posted by Samizdata at 11:01 AM on January 24, 2018

Are you 'avin' a larf?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:38 AM on January 24, 2018

Wha: are all these fucking Ts doing in suppose:ly Essex dialogue? It's pronounced

Saw ED.
posted by alloneword at 12:37 PM on January 24, 2018 [3 favorites]

yeah, I've gotta admit I was a bit obsessed with the cheapskate holli/gangster film back in the day but gradually ran out of steam on about my third or fourth version of the Rettendon Ranger Rover murders and I've not seen much of the current generation the article covers... some of the earlier ones are pretty watchable but they slid into entertainingly bad and then just plain bad.

For the true nardir have a butchers at this pile of pony... Full English Breakfast

If you've got some time on your hands it's worth having a watch of this very long but insightful and entertaining review and analysis of Full English, with plenty of film-making tips of the 'for god sake don't do this' variety. Part 1, Part 2
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:50 PM on January 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

I appeared as an extra in one of these! Well, sort of one of these. I did one set/filmed in Manchester, so it's up north, but it's almost certainly the set premise. On the 'advertising for actors' sites, there's always something like this going on. I genuinely can't remember what it was called, it was so straight-to-DVD it was worthless.

I was going through a period of alopecia, so I felt my image suited the grittiness a little better. Or whatever. The guy behind it (also, naturally, the star of the show) was a bit of a knob but everybody else was lovely, even the big hench fellows. We did a big fight scene and I reacted to being attacked like a pro-wrestler. It's all bollocks but at least nearly everyone else involved knows that as well and just treats it as a laugh. I walked away with a guy at the end discussing how to frame the shots better and maybe even doing one in the future like a Wes Anderson flick.
posted by bumcivilian at 1:55 PM on January 24, 2018

The Ts aren't missing, they transmute to a glottal stop, which you can't really write in latin script. Have to make do with an apostrophe. Sor'ed. But you don't do that at the end of words, you replace the T with a short voiced plosive and gawd knows how you write that, you muppet.

And no, I am most certainly not 'aving a giraffe.
posted by Devonian at 2:11 PM on January 24, 2018

'Ullo John! Got a new motor?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 3:40 PM on January 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

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