Dan Reed’s Straightheads, part funded by the Screen West Midlands agency and filmed in the region, didn’t get the best best of reviews from the press. So, having built up to this moment for a year, how does the director deal with this on his blog? By listing the adjectives for a start:
rabid nonsense, hideous, ugly, repellent, wrong, stomach-churning, vomit-inducing, gruesome, abysmal, twisted, lurid, nasty-brutish-and-depressing, nasty-and-nonsensical, nasty-vindictive-and-violent, nasty-brutish-and-short, unhinged, dangerous, foul and violent, brutal, raw and uncomfortable, deeply unnecessary, disturbing, unsavoury, objectionable, grubby, shocking, uncommonly brutal, exploitative and depressing, torrid, stupifying (sic), grisly, violent and unsettling…
and by taking them as vindication that he achieved what he set out to achieve. The comments that follow are interesting, pretty much unanimously liking the film with only a couple of qualified dissenters.
According to this week’s Guide it’s only showing in Birmingham at the Empire Great Park tonight at 11.30pm so if it’s going to make any money in the UK it’ll be on DVD, not too surprisingly. Of course there’s still the international release to come which with Gillian Anderson having the lead shouldn’t be small.
This isn’t necessarily a criticism. A film like this was very unlikely to make its money back in the first week of cinematic release. If it’s going to succeed financially it’s going to be on DVD over a long period of time. What I wonder is whether the folk at Screen WM understand that or whether this will quickly be written off as another Brit-flick funding failure.
According to Wikipedia the budget was Â£1.8 million. Low for movies, not insubstantial for regional development. How much of that came from Screen WM is unknown. It’ll be interesting to see, in a years time, whether that money has come back.