Around twelve years ago, when I was hard at work in the video store I ran (well I say hard at work – I watched a ton of films and found myself interrupted now and again by customers wanting to give me money and borrow my movies) I saw a VHS tape of the film ‘Essex Boys’. Starring Charlie Creed Miles, Sean Bean and the always watchable Billy Murray. The film told the story of events in December 1995 that culminated in the murders of three drug dealers in Rettendon, Essex, UK. Good film. Well put together.
Fast forward to 2007, I had since closed the video store down but still watched as many films as I ever have, although now most of them were on DVD. I saw a film entitled Rise of the Footsoldier. This film told the tale through the eyes of Carlton Leach, who went from football thug to gang member and found himself involved in the Rettendon, Essex Range Rover Killings of December 1995.
Hang on!! Hasnt that story been done before? Well yes, but even though those two films focused on the same ‘case’ they came at it with enough differences and through different eyes that they do make the films very different.
(I own both those films on DVD)
* Many thanks to Scott Wilby on Twitter who also pointed out to me that the storyline was also used in 2010’s Bonded By Blood. I haven’t seen this film so left it out of this article however I was aware of the films existence.
Fast forward some more to 2012 and after seeing the brilliant double hitters of Rise and Fall of a White Collar Hooligan (Directed by Paul Tanter) and GBH (Directed by Simon Phillips) and both starring an actor with such a great future ahead of him (and hopefully a wonderful present tense) Mr Nick Nevern, I started to hear about the next project from producers Jonathan Sothcott (GBH, White Collar Hooligan, Vendetta) and Simon Phillips (The Hooligan Wars, Jack Falls). This project would be entitled The Fall Of The Essex Boys and be directed by Paul Tanter (Jack Falls, White Collar Hooligan)
Hang on!! Hasnt that story been done. Not once but twice.
Well, yes actually. So id be lying if I wasnt a little concerned that some of my favourite British film makers were tackling a film that I felt had already been done before.
But as it happens, now and again in my life. I have been known to have been wrong.
This was one of those times. I should have known that things would be fine. They were beyond that.
As Annette & I sat down to view The Fall of The Essex Boys this week,all mild concerns about ‘yet another Range Rover’ movie faded. (they had pretty much faded when I began reading the online interviews by star Nick Nevern (who plays Darren Nicholls)
When asked by ComedyChords.Com
Did you feel this added to the Rettondon murders?
Nicks reply was
Yeah, let’s have it right, this story’s been told a few times now. So if you’re not coming with anything new then don’t come with anything, I guess, which was kind of the reason I decided to jump on board.
So is the film worth watching if you havent seen ‘Essex Boys’ / ‘Rise of the Footsoldier’
Most definitely. A storyline that spans not just a single country. Characters that are 3 Dimensional but more than that, based on REAL PEOPLE and REAL EVENTS.
Theres something far better about a film if you know its real. Then again that just could be my opinion.
To go into real detail could give spoilers away and anyone who listens to my podcasts, knows that Im not a huge fan of spoilers. Rest assured this film is tough, this film is genuine. But more importantly for those who have seen the Essex Boys/Footsoldier films then dont let that sway you from watching The Fall Of The Essex Boys. To say that ‘ive seen those, why watch this’ is a bit like saying ‘ive seen Goodfellas, why bother with Casino’
As mentioned, I own the two films and when this film hits Blu Ray and DVD on February 18th 2013, I will own this one also.
Part of me wishes that I could go into so much detail that this would turn itself into a book, but dont panic. I wont ramble on for hours.
This is just my way of recommending to YOU, one of the best British Films that Ive seen this year (trust me, ive seen a lot so far even though its only February)
So check the film out but more importantly Im going to give you a short list of names here followed by their IMDB links. Check them out and check out some of their previous works. I have followed these guys and girls since early 2012 and their work is quality. There are so many people that id love to mention in this article, from the smaller roles played by Charlie Bond, Lucinda Rhodes, to the very scary and psychotic Jay Brown (his character is psychotic, im sure Jay isnt remotely like that in real life). Annette and I really enjoyed this film and wish it all the very best on its journey to peoples minds and screens. I am excited to see what everyone else thinks of the film thats for sure.
So with thanks to the cast, crew and everyone who put their hard work into The Fall Of The Essex Boys, theres nothing more to say other than.
February 8th 2013 Limited Cinema release.
February 18th 2013 Blu Ray & DVD release
Directed by Paul Tanter. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2662500/?ref_=tt_ov_dr
Produced by Jonathan Sothcott http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1151096/
Simon Phillips http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1792652/
Starring: Nick Nevern http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2339680/
Jay Brown http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2261086/