Twitter Plot Summary: A killer is bumping off minor celebrities and Keith Chegwin is on the list. Will he survive?
Five Point Summary:
1. The Crack of Dawn. Oh I see…
2. That’s not Tony Blackburn. Oh, it’s a gag. Right.
3. A flatulence gag. This amuses me.
4. Ooh, a twist.
5. Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb!
It doesn’t bode well for this film from the very beginning. The title and the DVD artwork pay loving homage (in other words – completely rip off) the much bigger, more successful movie Kill Bill. Perhaps in a desperate marketing bid this was decided as a good idea, yet at no point in the film does Keith Chegwin wield a samurai sword and, in fairness, it’s not really a film about Mr Chegwin in the first place.
Danny is a tea-boy/runner on popular breakfast TV show The Crack of Dawn (yes, very funny) and current male host Cliff is on his way out, albeit somewhat reluctantly. Actually, scratch somewhat – he really doesn’t want to go. But there is trouble afoot – all the potential replacements for Cliff are being bumped off one by one by a murderer dubbed the Breakfast Cereal Killer. Meanwhile, Danny has a romantic interest in Dawn, one which slowly develops as the story progresses and the killer places her in his sights. There are a number of D-list celebrity cameos, including Tony Blackburn, Joe Pasquale and the titular Keith Chegwin, playing up to the idea that breakfast TV is throwaway stuff.
Surprisingly there are a lot of amusing moments, in particular the producer who is essentially a vampire, lurking in his office and floating across the floor like he’s in a surreal Reeves and Mortimer sketch. Other jokes are less successful – Tony Blackburn being played by a much younger man is a fun idea on paper, but in reality is handled badly. It would be better if the younger guy was entertaining, or even a little bit like Blackburn in any capacity, but Joe Tracini could be anybody. That’s probably the gag right there, but again an idea on paper is fine, but you need to back that up with genuinely funny interplay when it comes to putting it on screen. The only genuinely good joke he gets is when the real Tony Blackburn finally shows his face and those trademark pearly whites, and that just leaves you wishing the original Tony was in it all the way through.
Keith Chegwin is also surprisingly good as himself – it would be extremely disappointing if he couldn’t even portray himself convincingly, but he does a top job. There are several genuine laugh out loud moments, in particular his annoyance at not being recognised at the studio’s front desk. The remaining celeb cameos are kept short and to the point – this is a good thing.
At best it’s a low brow British comedy. Moderately amusing in places and thankfully doesn’t put more emphasis on the D-List celebrity cameos than is necessary. The celebs are a recurring theme throughout but aren’t the core focus. They add colour to what would otherwise be a quite generic slasher film, but for once there are genuine laughs which at least counterbalance the overriding smell of cheapness that runs through the rest of the production. It’s a 50/50 success rate in that respect, but it’s hard to be disappointed by the poor jokes if you’re expecting them in the first place. It might even – dare I say it? – warrant a repeat viewing somewhere down the line. Going in, I never would have expected that to be my reaction by the closing credits. Well done folks, you have completely subverted my expectations.
[…] and bumping people off at regular intervals. We’ve seen this sort of thing before in Kill Keith, but that at least had the benefit of knowing how bad it was. DeadTime is just awful, no two ways […]