Those who enjoy British gangster antics from the likes of Guy Ritchie, combined with vampires flicks such as From Dusk to Dawn and Vamp, just might enjoy the insane romp that is Dead Cert. Others will probably want to head for the hills when they see this low budget, awkward gangster-vampire mash-up coming their way. Beyond low-budget and practically void of anyone recognizable, apart from Craig Fairbrass (EastEnders and as the helmeted “Ghost” in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare games to everyone else), there may not be much going for director Steven Lawson’s love letter to recent British gangster films. Bt those willing to forgive its many sins may just find a pulse hidden deep in there somewhere.
The story follows Freddy “Dead Cert” Frankham (played by Craig Fairbrass), a reformed crook who decides to open a gentleman’s club in an attempt to become legit, and to make some money to support his wife and unborn child. Things take a turn for the worse when his brother-in-law Eddie (Dexter Fletcher) brings Romanian crime boss Dante Livenko (Billy Murray) by the place, who in turn likes what he sees and wants to buy it. It goes from bad to worse when Freddy decides to fight over the place with Dante, and finds out the hard way that Dante and his gang are vampires. What follows is a From Dusk to Dawn-like survival adventure for Freddy and his mates.
Shout! Factory has done a great job with the Blu-ray transfer. The video is nice and sharp, which helps show up all the blood and gory scenes pretty well. The 7.1 DTS-HD sound is also great, as every gushy vampire bite and gory sound effects ring in loud and clear. There’s not many special features to be had here, but there’s audio commentary with actors Billy Murray, Craig Fairbrass, Lisa McAllister, and producer Jonathan Sothcott, as they laugh and joke while talking about the movie. The “Making of Dead Cert” featurette gives us a 30 minute look behind the scenes of the film with such things as the story, splatter effects, stunts, and production design. It would’ve been nice if that and the trailer for the film included were in HD, considering there’s plenty of room on the Blu-ray to do so.
While it’s not the greatest of example of how to mix vampires and gangsters (the undead vs. the underworld?), Dead Cert is a decent low-budget film for those who who get a bite from such films as Innocent Blood and From Dusk to Dawn, yet still want a little Guy Ritchie feel to them. As long as you don’t set your expectations too high, there’s some cheesy fun to be had in director Steven Lawson’s homage to the modern British gangster genre. With its biggest star being Craig Fairbrass and a budget that feels smaller than reality television, this is definitely one for extreme genre fans and those who like their scares cheap and without much polish only. Everyone else will think the film is a real pain in the neck, and probably want to revisit the classic vampire and gangster films that inspired it instead.
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