Director Ben Wheatley follows up last year’s brilliant serial killer comedy Sightseers with this low budget, black-and white hallucinogenic period piece set in the hedgerows of 17th-century England. It’s a consistently weird, sometimes indecipherable, but always compelling piece from a guy who doesn’t want to paint between the lines. As the film begins, Whitehead (Reece Shearsmith) emerges from tall grass during battle, scared and begging for his life. Sent on a mission to find a manuscript thief, a mysterious Irishman named O’Neil (Michael Smiley), Whitehead is coming up short and his boss is losing patience. Whitehead soon meets up with three other deserters, including Jacob (Peter Ferdinando) and Friend (Richard Glover). The four decide the war is not for them and set out to find a place to grab a beer. The men wind up in the presence of the dreaded O’Neil. He has a human appearance but might be some sort of devil or warlock (at one point, he clearly states that he has “conjured” the men, and threatens to turn one of them into a frog). Friend comments that he isn’t surprised that the devil is an Irishman. The men are forced to dig for treasure, and very strange things ensue. If you are open to something a little (make that a lot) different, Mr. Wheatley is somebody who might interest you. This film is crazy nuts.
Director: Ben Wheatley
Writer: Amy Jump
Producer: Claire Jones, Andy Starke, Anna Higgs and Andy Kelly
Cast: Michael Smiley, Reece Shearsmith, Peter Ferdinando, Richard Glover, Ryan Pope, Sara Dee and Julian Barratt