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Abbie Spallen's fiercely observed, unflinching drama explores the dangerously intertwined lives of ordinary people trying to escape their humdrum existence in a rural Irish town. At the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Shawshank
...
Sinead
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Peter Ballance ...
McManus
...
Hammy
Alexandra Ford ...
Deidre
Samantha Heaney ...
Pumpgirl
Emma Little Lawless ...
Dympna (as Emma Little)
Packy Lee ...
Doot
Joe Rea ...
Barman
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Storyline

Abbie Spallen's fiercely observed, unflinching drama explores the dangerously intertwined lives of ordinary people trying to escape their humdrum existence in a rural Irish town. At the local garage, the tomboyish pump girl loses herself in girlish daydreams about stock car driver Hammy, who occasionally drops in for fuel and a fumble with her. Pump girl's co-worker, Leanne, warns her about getting involved with such a feckless married man. Pump girl naively believes that Hammy loves her and would leave his wife, Sinead, had it not been for their two children, KELLY and DARREN. After all, Hammy spends as little time with his family as possible, favoring the company of ex-con Shawshank and his low-life friends, McManus and Doot, instead. Stuck in a loveless marriage with Hammy, Sinead's need to be desired and stimulated spiritually pulls her into a maelstrom of adulterous passion with the caddish Shawshank. Unbeknownst to Sinead, Shawshank is just using her to exert power over Hammy. ... Written by Anonymous

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2 April 2009 (UK)  »

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User Reviews

Makes Eden Lake look like The Sound of Music - "quote...unquote" hehehe
3 April 2009 | by See all my reviews

My first review for IMDb...oh the excitement! A friend of mine invited me to the screening of this local picture last night and I must admit, I was expecting it to be the usual Northern Ireland dross....static shots, focus pulls, over the top theatre actors and references to times we would all rather forget. To be fair it has some of these traits but it is rather surprisingly a bit of a curiosity. I believe the plot is outlined above so I won't bore you by going over it again. The film does indeed begin with those painfully overdone "NORN IRON" accents (can't believe I typed that) but you soon forget it as the comedy takes you along at breakneck speed. Indeed for the first part of the movie much of the audience really was enjoying themselves. Of particular note were the family antics of Hammy's wife and kids and a stirling performance from Gerard Murphy as Shawshank...a truly revolting character, both hilarious and depraved. He almost made my girlfriend puke when he got down to business with Geraldine Hughes. However the film takes a more chilling turn for the worse and one finds it hard to recover from the increasingly downbeat misfortunes. I had just watched Eden Lake the night before...and after this I was dying to watch Step Brothers again to lighten the mood. It gets dark kids....very dark. There are flashes of humour but nothing quite lifts the movie out of its spiral. I was hoping Richard Dormer might actually turn into Alex Higgins to rescue me but it was not to be. Whereas the Coen Brothers can manage this kind of humour/horror (Fargo) quite well, I found the mix in this film did not fit so well. I believe the ladies beside me were friends of the cast and were suitably horrified at some of the events...like much of the audience. I felt that a more draconian editor may have helped the downbeat ending of the film somewhat as I felt the overall picture was about 15 mins too long. Still, it is something of a curiosity and if you get the chance to see it, do so. Reminded me of Requiem for a Dream as I thought "Jesus it cannot get any worse." Some things that didn't sit well were the animal cruelty (Shawshank against the dogs I can understand....Hammy vs Chickens I cannot) and the terrible symbolism of the broken doll....(duh! how thick are we?) However I think most people will be reviled and amused by the excellent Shawshank and the child actors playing Hammy's kids were great too. Probably the best thing I took out of this though was that Martin McGuinnes mentioned some movie called "Grand Torino". Now I have seen "Gran Torino"...but the one he mentioned sounds much more interesting.


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