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Steven Berkoff film 2010s continued
Following roles in major films, Berkoff alternates between mainstream films and cheap cameo roles.
Strippers vs. Werewolves
A horror comedy directed by Jonathan Glendening in 2012. But this film is dire. Bad script, acting, direction, editing etc. A film with 20 producers is not going to succeed. One of the worst films I have ever experienced. Nightmare on Elm Street's Robert Englund and Steven Berkoff are guest stars. Berkoff appears after six minutes and thankfully after nine he is dead. Not the best three minutes of his acting career.
Berkoff was among known people: Billy Murray previously acted with Berkoff in Dead Cert, Just for the Record and The Rapture and earlier McVicar; Martin Kemp of Spandau Ballet in The Rapture and The Krays; Simon Phillips in The Rapture; Joe Egan in Dead Cert and Just for the Record; Coralie Rose in Dead Cert; Shaun Lucas in Big Fat Gypsy Gangster; Mo Idriss in Dead Cert and Big Fat Gypsy Gangster.
It does not end well for Berkoff- was it the strippers or the werewolves? Do we care? Best name from the credits, Lloyds de Vere of Onger.
Bruce Willis revives his role as a RED (Retired Extremely Dangerous) member of the CIA alongside John Malkovich and British spook Helen Mirren. Hit man Byung-hun Lee is hired to kill Willis.
Lee meets Berkoff, in his best Chinese cliché character, but negotiations do not go well and Berkoff is killed by an origami weapon. Berkoff is on film for under a minute. Directed by Dean Parisot in 2013. Brian Cox who plays Ivan was in The Flying Scotsman with Berkoff, and extras David Papova was in The Borgias, Lee Asquith-Coe was in Strippers vs Werewolves, Gino Picciano was in Dead Cert.
Fall of an Empire
The Story of Katherine of Alexandria
Decline of an Empire
Berkoff is in good company, Peter O'Toole (his last film role) and Edward Fox, in a historical drama directed by Michael Redwood and released in 2014. Berkoff plays Liberius.
We Still Kill The Old Way
Sasha Bennett directs this film about old time gangsters against young gangs, released in 2014. Ian Ogilvy stars and Berkoff gets a special credit. Craig Miller is Berkoff's stunt double.
Berkoff plays Charlie Archer and is happy as he phones his bother...
...but shortly after he confronts a gang who are attacking a woman. He knocks one down with his knuckleduster.
But his age and the number of gang members mean he is overpowered and kicked to death. His brother, a retired East-End gangster, decides to reform his old gang to get revenge. Not a bad film to see once, and it had a follow-up film We Will Steal the Old Way, but obviously without Berkoff.
North v South
Steven Nesbit directs this 2015 gang film which went straight to DVD. Berkoff plays his usual gang leader role about North and South gangs meeting and fighting, but a couple of young lovers get mixed up in the struggle for power.
The two gangs meet to discuss how to work with each other to form "the biggest criminal conspiracy the UK has every seen". Berkoff is Vic Clarke, one of the gang leaders.
But Berkoff's daughter falls in love.
The star crossed lovers in this film which has some similarities with Romeo and Juliet.
A comedy from 2015 directed by Frank Howson. It attempted to get crowd funding but failed to reach the target.
7 Cases directed by Sean J. Vincent in 2015, his only film. He says "Last week we shot the final scenes (bar a couple of composite elements) of 'Seven Cases'. We were lucky enough to have been able to get the great Steven Berkoff to play the lead antagonist role of 'Lawson'. As you might expect, Steven brought a level of performance to the scenes that has elevated the film to new heights. His intensity and talent in playing complex characters was a pleasure to watch and directing him was a real privilege" (Sean Vincent, 19 Nov 2013, seanvincent site click here).
Floyd (Dave Vincent Philips) and Mitchell (Paul Cooper) are down-at-luck robbers who plan one last job to set them up for life- yes that old cliché. They succeed in escaping from a robbery with seven cases of money (the 7 cases of the title). But when they wake up the next day the money has gone missing.
The money has been taken by Lawson (Steven Berkoff) who has attached each case to a victim. When they find the victim they realize if they take the case the victim dies. He watches progress on his CCTV monitors.
The victims include model and singer Samantha Fox (first photo) and Samantha Sprackling from the band Republica (second photo).
The film consists of a lot of dreary shots of the two robbers in a car, but occasionally (rarely) there is some good photography by Sean J. Vincent who also co-produced, script writer, editor, sound editor and handled special effects- never a good idea to have so many roles in one person.
The film copies the Saw films with the challenges to find the victims and the intricate weapons of death but is a poor substitute (though I dislike the Saw films). The dialogue is stilted and the voice-over pretentious "money isn't the key to happiness, but when you've got nothing..." and "we haven't got a hope, and hope is all we need".
Best name from the credits- actress Samantha Sprackling - "a British singer, songwriter, and actress. She is the lead singer of the electronica band Republica" (Manila, 13 Mar 2921, Ethnicity of Celeb website click here) .
I assume Berkoff competed his role in the film within a day, which seems to be typical in his "star name for hire" roles.
All images from the film.
Rise of the Footsoldier Part II. Directed by Ricki Harnett in 2015. It was the first film he directed, and he is also the writer and lead actor.
A sequel, this continues the attempts of a group of hoodlums to set themselves up in crime. The film is made up of set pieces- the fights with other gangs, the nightclub with drugs, the sex scenes, all interspersed with a collapsing family life.
The gang off to a job.
The wife (Coralie Rose) has had enough.
He has to consider whether he wants to continue as a hoodlum, or become a family man - "retirement is a fantasy".
Steven Berkoff as Dr. Flint in a minuscule 90 second role as Dr. Flint in a scene that barely makes sense.
There are some good shots in this otherwise poor forgettable film.
Cinematography was by Alfie Biddle and editing by Gabriel Foster Prior and
Like Berkoff Coralie Rose also appears in Dead Cert and Strippers vs.
As with similar films the number of producers is an indication of how bad the film is. There are 1 associate executive producer, 3 associate producers, 3 associate executive producers, 1 executive producer, 1 producer, 2 executive producers and 4 associate executive producers.
"Entirely unnecessary sequel on the further fortunes of a football hooligan turned gangland bruiser trying to rise in a grotty underworld of thugs’n’drugs... The plot follows football hooligan turned gangland bruiser Carlton Leach, played again by Ricci Harnett who also writes and directs, as he tries to regain a foothold in a grotty underworld of thugs and drugs... it’s a largely forgettable slog littered with tired cliches and ropey performances, seemingly aimed at an audience made up of drunken stag parties" (Benjamin Lee, The Guardian, 10 Dec 2015).
"With the men front and centre, women are very much resigned to gangland stereotypes: ‘Irish girl who knows when to keep her mouth shut’ and ‘disgruntled wife’ being the two most complex. “Gypsies” also get a rough deal, painted as en vogue pests with incredibly broad strokes" (Emma Thrower, Empire, 11 Dec 2015, click for empireonline site here).
"Lead actor Harnett also writes and directs this time around. Unwisely, he over-compensates for a thin story with sweary geezer mayhem, gentlemen’s clubs and white powder consumption. He makes a scrappy job of the exploitation highlights, while lacking the craft or insight to do much with the domestic scenes either. Very poor indeed" (Trevor Johnston, Time Out, 7 Dec 2015 click here).
All images from the film.
Manhattan Night directed by Brian De Cubellis in 2016. Based on the novel Manhattan Nocturne by Colin Harrison.
Porter Wren, played by Adrien Brody, is a journalist now unhappy with his work and life "I’m always running to the place where the bad thing just happened".
He meets Caroline Crowley (Yvonne Strahovski) and gets involved in trying to find out who murdered her husband. The film tries to be a Maltese Falcon or a Chinatown with a deepening mystery and no-one being as they seem, but while film noir uses the maze of plot to develop the intrigue, here the plot twists seem forced and often seem unrelated to the murder.
Steven Berkoff plays Sebastian Hobbs, who has just bought the newspaper Porter Wren writes for, but is soon caught up in the conspiracy.
"In spite of- or perhaps because of- the film’s many shortcomings, it should be required viewing for anybody who seeks to write in the noir genre. Manhattan Night is one of the most effective depictions I’ve ever seen of the unfortunate effects of going too far in some aspects of the genre while falling short of others" (Christopher Chan, 19 Jan 2018, The Strand Magazine click here).
&"In its complexity and zest for evil, the plot rivals that of 'Chinatown.' The story even has its own Maltese falcon, in the form of a priceless green jade figure of a horse. But what sounds so delicious in the telling is pallid and ludicrous onscreen... Caroline is being threatened by Sebastian Hobbs (Steven Berkoff), the glowering plutocrat who has just purchased the failing tabloid for which Porter writes. Mr. Berkoff plays him as a Sydney Greenstreet type whose behavior doesn’t add up once his secrets are bared". (Stephen Holden, 19 May 2016, New York Times).
The cinematography by David Tumblety is good with some beautiful shots. The editor is Andy Keir.
The film has three producers, seven executive producers, four co-producers, one line producer, one "line producer (Pick-up Day)" and two DI Producers. There is also a 2nd 2nd Assistant Director. Not difficult to work out why the film failed.
Jackie Chan is one of the producers, but I can't find any information on his involvement.
All images from the film.
Titanium White. Steven Berkoff again directed by a first-time director, this time Piotr Smigasiewicz in 2016.
"Dominik, a Polish PhD student of art history, goes to Italian town of Porto Ercole to survey the last works of the great painter Michelangelo Caravaggio. Along with his new friend Silvia and a local priest Paolo, they unexpectedly become part of a criminal intrigue – a theft and grand-scale forgery of Caravaggio’s masterpieces." (photo and quote from website of 33rd Polish Film Festival in America, cick here).
Photo of Daniel Olbrychski from his website on Mubi click here.
Any more information welcome.
Riots in London pushing police to the limits, and one policeman over the limits. Berkoff plays the Chief Constable. The film, "based on actual events" was directed by yet another first-time director Simon Phillips in 2017. Later Philips would act in The Rapture with Berkoff.