Sunday, September 21, 2008

One Day Removals (2008)

Back in July 2006 I took the gamble of spending some cash on a Sci-Fi film that some guys in Scotland had made for only £8000, that film was The Planet directed by Mark Stirton of Stirton Productions, I was pleasantly surprised by this film and so I contacted the guys and have been in touch with both Mark Stirton and Michael G Clark who produced and also acted in the film ever since. Now along comes their second film, I received 2 DVD's in the post last week, one for me to watch and review and one to give away as a prize in a competition on this blog.
One thing I have to say about this film to begin with is I'm glad they just didn't go off and do another SF film straight away, I like the fact they've tried something different.

Review includes - SPOILERS

One Day Removals is a very dark comedy about two removal men, Andy (Patrick Wight) is a married with a young daughter and running his own firm called 'Andy Removals', a pun on Handy Removals that nobody seems to get. Ronnie is his mate who helps out, a good worker but a little hard to get motivated first thing on a morning. The day starts pretty much like any other day we feel, with Andy trying to get in touch with Ronnie from home and then traveling round to find out he's crashed out in his bed. The lads have a removal job outside the city of Aberdeen moving some stuff from a house of a couple who are getting a separation. All goes fine until they find out the owner isn't in and Andy can't get a signal on his mobile phone. The occupier of the house is wandering the lanes drowning his sorrows and using the hedge rows as a place to relieve his bladder. Andy and Ronnie figure they'll have better luck trying to contact the owner from a call box and so off they set in the van, only to have the drunken householder stumble into the path of the vehicle chasing his can of beer. And basically for Andy and Ronnie it's all down hill from there. The guys seem to accumulate bodies like dog shit does fly's, the thing is though they're all accidents, but even Andy and Ronnie know after a while that no court is ever going to believe such a tall tale, even though as the audience we know these guys are telling the truth.

The film consists of Andy and Ronnie's day, and cuts too Andy in the police station being questioned by a Police Inspector played by Mike Mitchell. The Inspector would like to believe Andy's tale but the evidence they have to say these guys have been on a mindless killing spree is starting to look stacked against Andy and Ronnie. So we get this constant cutting from the events of the day to the police station for most of the film.

I really liked this film, and a few times there were some genuine laugh out loud moments as we see Andy and Ronnie get further up the proverbial shit creek. Towards the opening of the film I got the idea that the two leads were struggling a tad with their performances but this soon seemed to disappear. The characters sometimes can be hard to understand during long rants due to their broad Scottish accents and the use of the Doric Dialect, words like Aabody meaning Everybody and so on. I soon got into the swing of things and Ok if the odd word went over my head it didn't stop my enjoyment of the film.
Mark Stirton's direction is very assured and marked improvement from The Planet, and the film itself also photographed by Stirton has a very nice look to it. The structure of the movie may have the odd patch that could have been tightened up but I was never bored during any of it. I think we do get a few genuine moments when they're trying to figure out what to do where you'll say to yourself "What would I do if I was them !?" The film does have a excessive amount of swearing with 536 expletives of various descriptions. Were they all really needed ? That's for you to decide, the film may have worked just as well without them, but seeing Ronnie raging as they argue about the rising body count in my opinion is very funny, especially what he'd like ideally like to do after he's had a McDonalds. The film could almost be a very,very twisted Scottish version of Laurel and Hardy.
The supporting cast don't have a great deal to do for the most part but those who get a bit of extra screen time such as Michael Clarke playing a German Hitchhiker and Steve Tomas as a policeman who they run into do an admirable job.
So all in all a fun movie. They guys at Stirton Productions had a bit of extra money to play with this time with a £60,000 budget, though from what I gather quite a lot was spent on new camera kit and editing software etc... These guys are making fun movies for the type of money Toby Maguire wants for each blink he does in the next two Spider-man films. I look forward to what they do next and hope to work in some capcity with them in the future, even if it's just the tea boy.
I'd give this film a 9/10 for keeping me enterained for 88 mins.

Below we see a sad sight, as what was once a family living room is turned into a DVD shipping warehouse, you can help free up some space in the room by going to here to Stirton Production's sales page on their site and digging deep and purchasing a copy of the film, the DVD also features a Director's commentary / Out-takes / and Easter-egg, but sadly not the chocolate type, which had me most disappointed.

The 3 wise men pictured above in need of your hard earned cash to help fuel various habits that I can't mention here are from left to right Michael Clark,Mark Stirton and Kerwin Robertson, associate producer.


Inchy said...

It's a cracking wee film. I know this because I'm the lucky chap who won the competition (thanks again Mr G).

This film proves that budget doesn't necessarily equal success. I've watched two films this weekend, 'One Day Removals' with its budget of £60,000 and 'Southland Tales' which had a budget of some $15 million. Guess which one was far superior.

Michael G Clark said...

Hi, cheers for the cracking review Andrew I'm sure Mark will be in touch soon too with his thanks. Just to clarify Kerwin is also a producer for Stirton Productions, the associate title has him punching me round the ears.

I see you've got my comedy bodies coming out the back of the van on the capture, they were a bit mad.

Onywy at's me away noo, min. You keep chavin' and tak care o' yer doo's.(in original Doric)

Anonymous said...

And a shot of my cameo as... the fat policeman! You know I really should write better parts for myself, like M Night Shyamalan.

Cheers for review, glad Inchy liked it.


Michael G Clark said...

I see you have your IMDB listing on your blog, can I be a total copycat and do that too? I'll use your one though as it's better than mine.