Dead Man's Cards

Film, Thrillers

Time Out says

The biff-bang-pow of Liverpool nightlife gets an airing from the bouncer’s perspective in this willing but lifeless low-budget Britflick. Ex-boxer Tom (James McMartin, who also co-wrote) gets a job on the door at Billy’s Bar, a western-themed boozer run by Tom Bell’s eponymous cowboy-hatted proprietor. Showing him the ropes is seen-it-all top bloke Paul (the excellent Paul Barber, aka Donkey from ‘The Full Monty’); providing the aggravation is a local coke baron who wants both doormen to work for his new ‘security firm’ and won’t take a negative answer. It’s not an unpromising set-up but, alas, first-time director Marquand makes shockingly little of it, stymied by an uncharismatic lead, mundane plot development, the dullest of baddies and pacing that moves at an unrelenting plod. The Wild West imagery obviously nods towards the likes of ‘Rio Bravo’ as integrity makes a last stand, but the flat storytelling makes such ambitions look hopelessly over-optimistic. In his final screen role, British character stalwart Bell is crankily assured but can’t carry the picture on his own.

By: Trevor Johnston



Release details

Release date:
Friday December 15 2006
91 mins

Cast and crew

James Marquand
James Marquand
James McMartin
Paul Barber
Lisa Perry
Mark Russell
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