For this second feature, Hopkins mounts a semi-experimental, part-improvised, multi-stock, German Expressionism-influenced, b/w sci-fi black comedy about London's countdown to the coming apocalypse. It's a wacky, fun, febrile concoction, full of verbal and visual styles, jibes, jokes and puns, po-faced prognostications and gnomic utterances, with wildly eclectic scoring, surreal asides and occasional sublime cinematic coups. The sallow-faced Fisher stars as the protean Mr No - whom we first meet, decked out like an 18th century ghoul, emerging backwards from a cavernous hole by the M25. No has the ability to swap places with the souls he encounters and, by inhabiting their bodies and taking their powers, wreaks havoc in London and the world. His only capable adversary is the blind, mystic Dr Mabuse-like chief of police (McNeice), who senses the danger when, as he says, 'the pale child in the astral plane seems to be dying!' It's plain loopy, often awkward, clumsy and over-digressive, but rarely dull. Hopkins' gleeful melange of styles might feel like a nightmare, were it not for his undercutting playfulness, irony and humour.
The Nine Lives of Tomas Katz
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Ben Hopkins, Thomas Browne|