Tuesday, 22 February 2011

The Acid House (1998) - Paul McGuigan

It used to be all Irvine Welsh around here, of course that was back in the mid nineties when looking like a Jakey and having a brogue accent was all the rage. After the success of Trainspotting it was only a question of time before something was rushed into production, in order to have that all important 'from the author of Trainspotting' on the poster. The Acid House was that film, and boy did it kill off the Irvine Welsh trend. It's a portmanteau film consisting of three short stories adapted from the book of the same name. Two of them work well, one doesn't, and that's what prevents The Acid House from being thought of as anything other than Trainspottings ugly sibling. There is a theme of transformation running through all three chapters, it's none too subtle, but who cares. Like that film, the soundtrack for The Acid House is as good as what's up on the screen.

All three shorts are packed with everything I love about great Scottish films, they are sweary as anything, dark but bristling with humour and packed with a cast of great Scots actors that will have you reaching for the IMDB to find out just where you know them from. The Granton Star Cause is first up. Boab gets dropped by his fitba team, is asked to move out by his Ma and Pa, loses his girl, gets arrested and beaten to a pulp by a couple of the boys in blue, then to cap it all off has a run in with God over a pint. God in his pissed up wisdom decides to turn Boab into a fly. Boab uses this to wreak revenge on those that have dissed him. A Soft Touch is the real centerpiece of The Acid House, Kevin McKidd is Johnny the soft touch from the title. He marries Catriona (Michelle Gomez) the local bike, and they have a kid. Hard bastard Larry moves into the flat above them and starts being more than friendly with Catriona. Will Johnny man up, or mouse off? Last up is the The Acid House itself, Ewen Bremner plays Coco Bryce, yr typical Irvine Welsh clubber, who when struck by lightning one evening ends up in the body of a new born baby.

The first two segments are winners, and would be proudly displayed on any directors CV. It's this last story that let's the side down, everything just goes tits up. It's overlong, the lightning strike scene goes on for what feels like hours. It could really have done with a bit of trimming, the story hangs around for an age. I don't think it helps that all of a sudden we are propelled into the home of a middle class English couple, after spending the previous hour in rundown Glasgow. It's a drag since the other shorts work so well, both sporting that tar black Irvine Welsh humour. McGuigan went on to direct the wonderful but flawed Brit gangster flick Gangster No. 1, and not a lot else. Ho hum.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...