Monday, 24 May 2010

COLD FISH (2001) Jon Paul Gates

From the blurb on the cover: WARNING! "A pack of seasoned film buyers and distributors yesterday stormed out of the screening of a British film that includes real shootings and hangings" The Times

Now, that may be...(but trust me, the only shocking aspect, is the acting) I'm just glad that someone finally had the balls to make a film that combines the fierce intensity of Christopher Biggins alongside the dangerous allure of (busty Irish songstress) Rose Marie (making it the UK answer to Michael Mann's HEAT, as far as I'm concerned)

COLD FISH, stars Jon Paul Gates (of BBC's ELDORADO fame) as Alex, a would-be cameraman, itching for that (all important) big break. However, his 'craft' involves little more than pointing his camera and twisting it upside down (at shit rock bands) as if 'ZOOM' had never been invented. His colleagues hate him, including one smarmy bitch newsreader (who makes Anthea Turner look non-punchable) Harsh treatment for the errand cameraman, but just before you start to weep openly, observe the following picture of Alex:

(Alex......journo......lover....fighter......ugly bastard!)

Now his physical deformity aside, he's also cursed with the worst accent and line delivery known to man or beast. He takes (the many justifiable) snotty remarks (about his many imperfections) on his (cleft) chin. But his face of mould, reveals a heart of gold, as Alex supports his ex-junkie girlfriend Jo, by escorting her to rehab, and showering her with glitter-filled umbrella (wtf?) awwww!
When a chance occurs to film a news story at the site of a fatal explosion, Alex meets 'controversial art-house luvvies'* Jon & Marta Henley (who are there to make 'art' of death and carnage) Alex lies to the Henleys and claims he's a reporter, and he managed to bag a one and only interview with the two 'enfant terribles'.

(Jon & Marta Henley...twisted perverts of the art world)

Our hero is accosted by Marta Henley in a cab, and there she performs (what Alex's friend later refers to as) a "Taxi-Wank" to a gurning pig-faced Alex (trust me ladies, his 'fuck-face' makes his normal features, look like George Clooney) and disgusted with himself (and probably in need of a handy wipe) Alex (wisely) mentions nothing of this, to Jo. But he invites her to a party the Henleys are throwing (which probably isn't too wise an idea) Alex is granted his interview, but must stay with the Henleys in their mansion. But Alex is about to find out, the true meaning of 'Editorial Control' as the Henleys draw our luckless reporter further and further into their twisted depraved lifestyles of extreme art. No-one is safe (not even Jo)

("Is it in yet?.....shouldn't think so, you being a woman, and all")

Now (if you were actually reading this crap) you'd be well within your rights to shout "Where the FUCK is promised us Biggins!" Let me say that CB excels in his role as the Henley's press agent, Roland. And the chameleon-like Biggins puts an unusual and unique twist on his usual 'hard-drinking, whore-fucking, brawling sonofabitch' persona (that we witness week-in, week-out, on the 'National Lottery' draws) playing a 'jolly rotund gay mirth-maker' (for a change)

As for Rose Marie, she makes a Cameo near the end, as a (obviously desperate) milf-type, that tries to pick up Alex in a bar, just before seeing the 'Wanted By The Police' picture of him on the TV. To be fair, Alex ('Taxi-Wank' aside) only has (sunken) eyes for his ex-junkie girlfriend, and isn't bothered at all about the (many) charms of the Irish songstress. But it's good to know the makers of Cold Fish had an extra £20 in the kitty, to (over) pay Miss Marie for her troubles (and let's face it, as long as she's making movies, it keeps her from overpopulating BOYES stores, with her endless stream of '30 Golden Hits' cassettes)

(Acting asside, Please quit your day-job also, Miss Marie)

Anyhow, as the 'Hitchcockarian' hunt continues, Alex convinces his friend at the studio to help him hijack the Henleys latest show (a show that consists of the same old tired out 'Mushroom clouds and firing squad' footage as before) so that he can expose the Henleys as the murderous perverts they are, to their sophistico guest list. After a (not-so) nail biting build up, Alex's friend runs VT just in time, to show video footage of Martha finishing off a tramp (that she'd recently ran over) to a suddenly sickened crowd (which is funny, because 2 minutes prior, the same crowd had been going gaga over images of nuclear destruction, and firing squads?) This gives (not only) Alex (but actor Jon Paul Gates) his 'Glengary GlenRoss' speech he rips the art establishment a new one' (replete with lancashire accent)

(The deeply ugly, Jon Paul Gates, turns the tables.....when quite frankly he should be 'waiting' them)

The crowd have turned on the Henleys, which in turn, forces them to run away (and for Biggins to consider which panto he'll be returning to afterwards) Alex gives chase....but not in time to stop Jon Henley push martha onto the tracks (and to her death)

(Martha, already fallen from the does likewise to some railway bridge)

Alex and Jon have a brutal fight (that would make Charles Hawtrey wince) before Henley (realising that the game is up, and that he could make a semi-successful 'Graham from the Jeremy Kyle Aftercare team' lookalike) throws himself off the same bridge, and lands alongside his perverted wife. Oh, the symbolism.......

Oh well, a happy ending (or "So shines a good deed in a weary world" as Willy Wonka would say) Alex is then seen filming (still without the basic grasp of how to hold a camera) his twice recovering addict girlfriend Jo (remember her?) in the park. For the benefit of the viewer (who to be honest, would probably prefer to read about our Hero & heroin(e) imminent appointment with the 'Ebola' virus) we are instead treat to this baffling epilogue (as the titles roll)

(Trust an ex-junkie, to be back on the 'horse'...ho-ho!)

Watch COLD FISH, and YOUR life will never be the same again.

Movie Highlights

Too many to mention, but if 'Crimewatch re-enactment' level acting, mixed with poverty row characters and plot devices, wrapped up with the incendiary (never fulfilled) promise of Biggins and Rose Marie together in one shit-stained 91 minute extravaganza doesn't float your boat...then nothing will.

Although, the following screen-shot may be a notable highlight in any movie

(* = Talentless hacks, merely content to show atrocity footage, no worse than stuff you can see on the regular news bulletins)


  1. This Lee Nicholson seems to be a frustrated film-maker or actor who does not have the talent to get into films and has decided to vent his frustration on anybody who has! He's very critical of the actor, Jon-Paul Gates, who I googled and has starred in 34 films so who's kidding who here! Lee Nixcholson isn't even a respected film critic!

  2. I'm neither an actor or film-maker.

    If i'm critical of John Paul Gates, it's only in jest (I'm hardly Burt Reynolds myself) I love this movie. It's a classic early morning 'hangover' piece that my friend and I rewatch 2-3 times a year.
    If i hated it, i'd hardly waste the time it takes (me) to write a lengthy review (probably the biggest it's ever had on the net) You should maybe consider these factors, before trying to act the 'valiant knight' for Mr Gates (who after 34 movies, probably has thicker skin than yourself?)

    However, if you think I've said anything untrue about this movie...please feel free to let me know? I'm always interested in feedback

    Finally....Who the fuck wants to be a 'Respected Film Critic' ??????