Stitches is a clown, played by comedian Ross Noble, who hates children with a passion.
On the plus side, for him, he won’t have to do the job for much longer because when he attends a birthday party for a young boy named Tom, one of them ties the clown’s shoelaces together, another causes him to trip up and Stitches falls back onto a kitchen knife which is sticking up-right from the dishwasher…
Then on the night of the funeral, Tom goes to visit Stitches’ grave and stumbles across a secret clown cult where some kind of ritual is going on, but to what end?
Fast-forward six years on and Tom (Tommy Knight – The Sarah Jane Adventures) is about to have another party and he’s hoping Kate (Gemma-Leah Devereux) will also be there, the lust of his life from the first party, after she kissed him in the treehouse. She turns up, but sadly, so does her boyfriend Dan (Tommy Cullen). It feels like Adrian Mole and Pandora all over again, so you do feel sorry for his plight.
Already there from the start are Tom’s friends, Vinny (Shane Murray Corcoran), Bulger (Thommas Kane Byrnes) and Richie (Eoghan McQuinn), but then, by a quirk of fate, Stitches gets an invite and rises from the dead, ready to exact revenge on those who made his life a misery at the previous party. Throw in some uninvited guests – school bitch Sarah (Roisin Barron), her boyfriend Paul (Hugh Mulhern) and hottie Mary (Lorna Dempsey), and the party can get started.
Noble equips himself well in the role, an earlier profession as a street performer helping him in some of his actions here. The rest of the main cast also put in a good turn, and as we learn in the Q&A in the extras, most of them hadn’t acted much, if at all, previously, and that all really get into it.
Stitches has a great deal of dark humour and some brilliantly inventive murders, such as one lad having his head opened up with a can opener, so Stitches can scoop out his brains like ice cream. This gore in this film, albeit often done with CGI, certainly earns its 18-certificate, although only a few of the kids are offed and part of me thinks there could’ve been a handful more along the way which could’ve been added if it hadn’t taken so long to get from starting the party to Stitches’ killing spree, but then again, there’s also the argument that less is more, as a great deal of effort has gone into those that do get killed.
There’s tight direction from Conor McMahon with many neat little moments, such as when an older Tom is shown trying to pop a zit in the mirror, then it cuts to an egg yolk splattering into a heated frying pan; plus clever writing from McMahon and David O’Brien throughout, making you laugh frequently throughout, such as with the fact to get around licencing, it uses an alternate Facebook design called “My Face”, so Sarah later points out he’s “invited everyone to come on ‘My Face'”.
Presented in 16:9, the picture is sharp, detailed and colourful in all the right places, with no problems whatsoever. For the record, I’m watching on a Panasonic 50″ Plasma screen via a Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray player.
The sound is in DTS 5.1 and while there’s not too many surround sound moments, the murders sound good on it.
The extras are as follows:
- Making Of (20:01): Chat from the key cast and crew members along with on-set footage and it shows how some of the deaths were carried out.
- Gallery (1:39): On-set images from the film.
- Premiere Q&A (35:24): Ross Noble and director Colin McMahon field questions about the film. And give answers.
- Bloopers (4:05): Does exactly what it says on the tin, and some good ones in there, too.
- Trailer (1:01): In 16:9, and it hints at a couple of the deaths within, but there’s no major plot spoilers. It could’ve thrown in some of the amusing gallows humour, though.
The menu features clips from the film set to backing music of Clown by The Hollies. Sadly, there’s only the bare basics of chapters with 12. Why are Kaleidoscope doing the same as Momentum, Optimum et al? Give us more! You’re not paying by the chapter!
Like Kaleidoscope’s Irvine Welsh’s Ecstacy there’s no subtitles on this disc, another of my bug-bears, and you notice this lacking quite often when there are sharp Irish accents used which could really benefit from text on the bottom of the screen.
Running time: 86 minutes
Cat no: KAL8206
Distributor: Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment
Released: March 4th 2013
Sound: DTS 5.1
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Conor McMahon
Producers: Julianne Forde, Brendan McCarthy, John McDonnell and Ruth Treacy
Screenplay: Conor McMahon and David O’Brien
Music: Paul McDonnell
Stitches: Ross Noble
Tom: Tommy Knight
Vinny: Shane Murray Corcoran
Kate: Gemma-Leah Devereux
Bulger: Thommas Kane Byrnes
Richie: Eoghan McQuinn
Sarah: Roisin Barron
Paul: Hugh Mulhern
Dan: Tommy Cullen
Mary: Lorna Dempsey
Jenny: Jemma Curran
Young Tom: Ryan Burke
Tom’s Mum: Valerie Spelman
Stitches Mistress: Edel Hayes
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.