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Tony Grist

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The Demon Barber [Jan. 4th, 2006|10:03 am]
Tony Grist
I'm not squeamish- not really. I've worked in hospitals. And when it comes to film and TV (and I know it's prosthetics that are being chopped off and the blood is fake) I scarcely turn a hair.

There are only two things that really creep me out- squashed bugs and ghosts.

So Sweeney Todd wasn't really for me. This wasn't the Sondheim show but a TV movie starring Ray Winstone and (oh joy!) dear old David Warner. The odd thing is they did it entirely straight- as if it were a study in the pysychology of a serial killer and not, as was the case, an updated version of a grisly old Victorian shocker about an ogre who never was.

I'm Sweeney Todd the barber
And evil thoughts I harbour..

This must be the first time that the story has been told without a hint of camp, without a single laugh.

The killings came thick and fast, blood flew, body parts were dredged from the Thames, coffins were thrown about. The single-minded dedication to the aesthetic of grue was awesome. No bugs were squashed and no ghosts appeared, so I found it all faintly boring, but I guess there were people out there going "gross!" and "eek!" and hiding their faces behind sofa cushions, who felt they were getting a good return on their licence fee.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-01-04 04:42 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: purchas
2006-01-04 04:44 am (UTC)
I needed to wind down with something- and Sweeney fitted the bill.
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[User Picture]From: aellia
2006-01-04 03:32 am (UTC)
"When I get him in my chair
I'll do more than cut his hair"
So glad I didn't watch it
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-01-04 04:45 am (UTC)
It passed an idle hour and a half...
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[User Picture]From: shullie
2006-01-04 03:54 am (UTC)
i actually enjoyed it because it was played straight... portraying him more like a modern day serial killer, ...i found the pathos, the lack of camp and the slowness- i.e the building up of the character quite interesting, making him for me more than a two dimensional comical caricature.
It could have done with more depth at times... but all in all i didn't find it to gory ( i don't like gore films on the whole).. and saw the blood letting as his way of 'release' from his demons- fetishistic even.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-01-04 04:50 am (UTC)
These are good points.

I think a little humour would have given it the depth it lacked. I mean, that's how Shakespeare worked- bringing on the clowns at moments of tragic crisis.
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[User Picture]From: qos
2006-01-04 05:55 am (UTC)
I always enjoy watching David Warner.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-01-04 06:18 am (UTC)
Yes indeed. We don't see nearly enough of him.
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