Part British hardman flick, part vampire movie, Dead Cert is best described as From Dusk Till Dawn meets Guy Ritchie. Sadly, those involved don’t have the style or wit that Ritchie has (though I know that not everyone is a fan of the guy).
Craig Fairbrass plays Freddy Frankham, a tough guy who is trying to leave his sordid past behind and make himself a respectable businessman by putting his weight behind a strip club. Unfortunately, he’s still got people hanging around him like Eddie Christian (Dexter Fletcher), who seems to always be just one step ahead of trouble. When Eddie bring one of his recent associates (Dante Livenko played by Billy Murray) to the club Freddy knows something’s not quite right but he’s unaware of just how wrong things are until it seems too late, with the possibility of both the club and lives being lost because of Eddie’s actions.
I’ve seen some damning reviews for Dead Cert and, frankly, it’s NOT half as bad as some people are claiming it to be. If you like vampire flicks and you’re also a fan of wide-boy, rough and tumble tactics then this is the movie you’ve been waiting for. Yes, it seems to be a strange blend and it certainly is but fair play to director Steven Lawson (who also wrote the story that formed the basis of the screenplay) for trying something a little bit different even if it doesn’t pay off.
And let’s not try and disguise most of the major criticisms with any big words or pretence at maturity here – for a strip club there’s a displeasing lack of any actual nudity and for a vampire movie potentially full of violence there really isn’t enough blood flowing. Those are the main points away from the film, alongside the fact that Billy Murray’s character doesn’t exactly strike fear into our hearts even though he’s supposed to be the big baddie.
With a cast also featuring Jason Flemyng in a small role, Steven Berkoff, Ricky Grover and Perry Benson you at least get a few familiar faces to accompany you through the film’s hour and a half of mildly diverting entertainment. And Craig Fairbrass in the central role is enjoyable enough due to the fact that the film seems to have him destroying vampires largely through the strangely unique power he has of being Craig Fairbrass. Who knew that cursewords and good ol’ British violence would one day replace stakes and holy water as the weapons of choice to wield against the fanged undead? Okay, it’s not quite like that but it certainly seems that way at times.
Despite the many easy criticisms you can level at the film it does have a few decent vampire moments in there and while it doesn’t quite work it’s not for the lack of trying. At least the movie looks like it was made with care and a bit of polish, even if that effort can still only raise the final result to a decidedly average rating.
DIRECTOR: STEVEN LAWSON
CAST: CRAIG FAIRBRASS, DEXTER FLETCHER, STEVEN BERKOFF, BILLY MURRAY
DURATION: 92 MINS APPROX