Meat Loaf Aday stars as Jake Feldman, a short-tempered furrier struggling to build a small-time business while being tormented by his obsession for a sexy stripper. But when a sadistic backwoods trapper (John Saxon of “Nightmare on Elm Street” and Argento’s “Tenebre”) kills a strange group of pet raccoons, Jake knows their luxurious hides could make a coat that will change his fortunes forever. Only these are no ordinary pelts. Everyone who comes in contact with the cursed furs is soon driven to unspeakable acts of self-mutilation and extreme violence. Even if Jake can now possess the flesh he desperately covets, what horrific final price will he pay for the skin he’s in?
2006 – Certificate: Not Rated – American TV – 6.5 out of 10
I virtually never watch TV. I’ve access to hundreds of channels and a hard disk recorder, plus more catch-up and subscription services than I can pronounce, but I can count on one, typical, human hand, how often I use any of these. It’s not that I’m a TV snob either, as amongst all the dross are some really great programmes. However, once in a while I take an arbitrary liking to something and will collect it on DVD or Blu-ray. Whilst I like to watch films and write garbage about them here, I have a dirty, embarrassing, hidden secret that I rarely talk about to anyone; that is to say I also have one or two TV programmes I’m watching at the same time too. (Although not literally.) I don’t really binge-watch, so it takes me a long time to work my way through one with a lot of episodes. Over the past few years I’ve done “Dad’s Army” (so part of my childhood), “Andromeda”, (massively underrated), “The Likely Lads” / “Whatever Became of the Likely Lads” (TV that reminds me of my father), and Red Dwarf (you can’t be a student without watching it and learning the silly Rimmer salute). At present I’m slowly working my way through “South Park” and “Pretty Little Liars”. Sadly, embarrassed by my indiscretions with the ‘small screen’, I rarely write much about them here. This is strange in a way, because however good a film is you only get to spend a few hours with most of the characters, (even with a long franchise). However, with TV you can spend weeks or months with them, years even, investing a huge amount of emotional capital in their lives. This is something even the best film can never hope to match. But no more… From now on I’m going to attempt, in my usual inept way, to make more of a song and dance about them, right here. Well don’t get too excited…
By pure coincidence, Pelts is actually a TV programme, although just to be confusing I’m treating it as a film. Staring Meat Loaf (yes, that Meat Loaf), who spends most of the movie looking like a very disreputable version of Liam Neeson’s father and wanting to get his hands on a local stripper, when he’s not stripping the skin of the local wildlife to make coats out of. Even without his less than vegan lifestyle his character is entirely without a redeeming feature; indeed, he really doesn’t have any positive characteristics at all. This is not a film for which the plot is worth analysing; it’s really just there to provide an excuse for (the admittedly beautiful) Ellen Ewusie to get her top off (and scream a lot and yes, fall-over when she’s running away) and some excellent special effects. (Except when Meat Loaf pulls most of his skin off and runs about a bit with it; not sure that worked well for me, but I guess he was just trying to out-strip his female co-star. The face sowing is excellent though!) However, it was good to see the purveyors of a fur coat get their come-uppance. The wearers of real fur really are the embodiment of all that’s fucked-up in fashion.
There’s a soundtrack. Its plays.
The trailer is what it is. It reminded me a bit of magnolias paint.
Movie Weather Forecast: Eh… it’s overcast; and dark a lot.
Recommended for furriers, poachers, strippers and the fashion industry in general.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations. (Unless you count all the poor racoons that get killed and skinned; I imagine that involved all their heads being removed at some point.)
Top badass moment? There really isn’t a single nice or worthy person or act in this film. There’s not even evil masterminds either, just a load of shallow, mostly worthless individuals. However, I don’t like to admit defeat and there is a brief shot of a snail (and sorry I don’t know what species it is) crawling along. In comparison with all the humans, that’s just totally, totally, hardcore badass.
Altogether then, to the tune of “Celebration”, that horrible, horrible Kool & the Gang hit from 1980. Ulster Bank has finally managed to get my account details up to date; it’s only been 21 days since it broke its computer and my account stopped working. I wonder how many of the four credit card companies that haven’t been paid on time as a result of this, (“I’m afraid you won’t be able to make any manual payments from your account until it’s fixed”, said the nice man from Ulster Bank on the phone last week), will be looking to put a ‘hit’ out on me in retaliation? (Look, since the ‘Banking Crisis’ they’re pretty hot on this stuff; killing off a few, stupid late-payers will probably help the global economy no end. Yes technically it’s illegal, but since when has that been an issue for a bank?) On a more serious note, I can’t wait to see all the different bailiffs turn up on the doorstep and start fighting amongst themselves as to who gets my TV and lava lamp. So now let’s go from the Ulster Bank to a film about Ulster (sort of).
2009 – Certificate: 15 – United Kingdom
America has spent the last 37 years churning out films about Vietnam, in an attempt to rewrite history or justify it, (depending on your viewpoint). Northern Ireland is becoming the UK’s own personal Vietnam, as more and more films about The Troubles get released, to, em, ‘review’ what went on. This one does have the added authenticity that it’s based on real interviews with two men who were involved as victim and perpetrator. Liam Neeson is great as the downbeat killer, whilst James Nesbitt (who’s an Undertones fan and therefore ‘the business’ as far as I’m concerned) does a great job as the increasingly unhinged victim’s brother. It does lurch from genuinely menacing to somewhat comedic from time to time in a rather haphazard way, but what’s going to happen in the end is pretty well hidden and although it feels a bit slow at times it does keep the attention; (well it kept mine anyway). I always feel a bit crap about being entertained by films based on real life tragedies, especially ones that identify the individuals concerned; kind of like laughing at a funeral, or looking for the bodies at the scene or a car crash. I’m glad most of this stuff has now stopped in Northern Ireland. I lived there for years and I really liked it, well except the crappy weather and that fact that hardly any non-local bands played gigs there; I’m convinced I was exposed to too much country music when I was there and this has had a negative and long-lasting effect on my mind…
Recommended for people who like decent drama with a bit of an edge. (This a weak statement I know; I just can’t think of anything else to say right now.)
No cats and no decapitations.
Top badass moment? I can’t say, because it would spoil the ending if you haven’t seen it. If you have seen it then you’ll know what I mean.