DEAD CERT (2010)

Gangsters vs. Vampires.



Simple, right? And a pretty badass idea, to boot. Sadly, DEAD CERT is a bit too convoluted for something that should’ve gone straight for the jugular. Yeah, I made an obvious joke. Fuck you.


Freddy “Dead Cert” Frankham – not to be confused with Freddy “Spicy Scallops” Frankham – is a former London gangster looking to give up his life of crime, start a family, and run a respectable strip club with his lovely wife. He also helps with an underground Fight Club, which makes a lot of sense for a guy trying to go straight.


Is this carpet microfiber? I heard it never stains!


When a group of shady Romanian businessmen show interest in Freddy’s club, things get complicated for Our Hero. What starts as relatively peaceful negotiations quickly go south, and they end up setting a wager: eleventy-billion dollars (thereabouts) against the rights to Frankham’s titty bar, and the score will be settled in the ring between a Romanian bulldozer and Freddy’s star fighter – his brother-in-law, Dennis.


I’m not fucking with you. The toughest guy in London is named Dennis.






Sure as shit, Freddy loses the bar, Dennis is unceremoniously skullfucked, and TiVo forgets to tape the season-ending finale of “Big Brother: Liverpool.” Then, just to add insult to injury, it turns out the Romanians are not only vampires, but huge douches as well – the worst kind of vampire.


Does “Dead Cert” have enough in the tank to get his life (and titty bar) back on track?


Two of the many victims clawing and biting to get out of THE LION KING 3D.


I’d heard this flick was a cross between SNATCH and FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, and I can totally see that, but nothing new or interesting is brought to the table. Granted, DEAD CERT was probably a bit hamstrung by its meager budget, but that just means you need to get creative. Take what you got, don’t spread yourself too thin, and put an original spin on the concept. DEAD CERT pretty much failed in those categories. It has moments of inspiration, but tries too much with too little. Again, Vampires vs. Gangsters: keep it simple and you probably got a winner. But if you try to make DRACULA MEETS GOODFELLAS with ten bucks, it’s gonna bite you in the ass.


There are some positives. Craig Fairbrass, who plays the titular Dead Cert, is a genuine badass in the vein of Vinnie Jones and Ray Stevenson. He’s a good actor, plenty tough, and never quite goes over-the-top. As a matter of fact, the acting is pretty solid all around – which is a plus in a small film. The cinematography is also pretty tight: sharp colors and the occasional stylish flourish that complements instead of distracts.


But when it’s all said and done, I can only recommend DEAD CERT as a rental, Bastards.


Last but not least, if you set the majority of your movie in a strip club, you’re gonna have to show some titties. Can’t afford a nudity clause? Don’t want to come off sleazy or objectifying? That’s all well and good – set your movie in a fucking bowling alley.


Did I leave the oven on?


Twitter: @Hyata74


Jon Abrams

Editor-In-Chief at Daily Grindhouse
Jon Abrams is a New York-based writer, cartoonist, and committed cinemaniac whose complete work and credits can be found at his site, Demon’s Resume. You can contact him on Twitter as @JonZilla___.
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