Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

The Demon Barber

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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